During a night out at a girlie get-away, Nerralie Shaw slipped on one of her favourite dresses. It felt a little tight at the time but looking at the photographs later horrified her – she looked huge! Certain that the time had come to make some big changes, Nerralie joined The Biggest Loser Club. Now over 11kg lighter, she feels more energised and happier than she’s ever been.
Shift work dinners
“Having been a bit heavier than I want to be for a very long time, I have dabbled with a few weight-loss diets before joining The Club," Nerralie said. "I didn’t have much success with any of them, though. Working shifts as a children’s emergency nurse, I found it difficult to get to meetings when I joined WeightWatchers and the points were tedious to stick with. I tried Lite n’ Easy too, but I got tired of the pre-packaged meals; I craved freshly-cooked dinners,” she said.
Self-confessed meal-skipper Nerralie often missed breakfast and wouldn’t eat until late morning or lunch time. If she did eat breakfast, it would be a cafe-bought brekkie of creamy eggs Benedict washed down with a large, full-cream mocha. Lunch would often be a ham sandwich made with white bread and the vending machine at work provided between-meal snacks of potato chips and chocolate bars.
“If I was working in the evenings, I would rarely take dinner to work and when I got home, I rarely had the motivation to cook. If I did cook, dinner would typically be a creamy tuna Mornay or a steak with mashed potatoes. One of my biggest vices was soft drink such as cola; some days I could down over a litre of it in one day.”
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Change on the horizon
Determined to take action, Nerralie began to search for a weight-loss solution. She clicked onto The Biggest Loser Club and was immediately inspired by the success stories from Club members.
Once she had committed to her Club get-healthy plan, Nerralie overhauled her diet. “I always eat regularly now and I use the diary which shows clearly where I was going wrong," she said. "I have downsized my portion sizes and added regular exercise into the mix, too.”
Now, a typical day for Nerralie starts with a breakfast of muesli with yoghurt and a skim mocha, lunch could be a mountain bread wrap or homemade pizza and dinner could be a piece of steak with low-fat homemade chips or perhaps a slow-cooked beef curry with brown rice. Snacks could be fresh fruit or crackers with tomato and light cream cheese and water is her number one drink of choice – she sips around two litres of it throughout the day. Exercise wise, Nerralie keeps fit by regular walking and occasionally, she goes for a run around the park too.
Having started her weight-loss journey at 79kg, Nerralie now weighs 67.9kg which is a loss of over 11.1kg. She feels so much fitter and is energised. Now, Nerralie also has the ongoing motivation and the understating she needs continue to lose weight and reach her final goal weight of 65kg. Later, she plans to stick with The Club and use the tools to maintain her weight.
Making friends online
Although Nerralie has enjoyed reading the personal stories, problems and encouragement shared by Club Members on the forum, she hasn’t felt brave enough to participate fully or to contribute photographs of herself – until recently, that is. Nerralie explains, “I got up the courage to post some photos of myself on the forums and these were welcomed by my forum buddies. I received some lovely compliments, too.”
Nerralie realised that she didn’t have as much weight to lose as other forum mates, but says that the encouragement and advice that she received from fellow Clubbies on the forums has been invaluable. “People like Glenis have been an inspiration and great encouragement for me,” she said.
Despite wearing loose surgical scrubs at work, even Nerralie’s colleagues are starting to notice her new shape. “One person said that I looked amazing which was fantastic to hear,” she said. Colleagues at the hospital in Sydney where she works have been inspired to take up their own 12-week challenge – 15 staff are taking part to lose weight and with their own Biggest Loser challenge.
At last, Nerralie feels proud to walk down the street in her shorts and t-shirt and when she catches her reflection in shop windows, she is finally beginning to like what she sees.
Nerralie want to motivate and encourage even more people to lose weight and feel as good as she does and says that you can do this too if you:
- Plan, plan and then plan some more – what, where and when you eat and exercise
- Don’t let small setbacks derail your diet
- Use the diary and the forums to help you stay on track, inspired and in control.
“The Biggest Loser Club works," Nerralie said. "It's an easy program to follow and there is an amazing amount of support out there from fellow members. No one said that losing weight is an easy journey, but if you stick with the plan, the weight will come off. Trust me.”