‘I’m happy, strong and fit’: How woman lost over 20kg
AFTER five years of health education and dedication, this South Burnett woman has shed 20kg and changed her life for the better.
Five years ago, Lauren Kerr was 19 years old and at her heaviest weight of 109kg.
She sought out Kingaroy personal trainer Laila Gordon after her the trainer she had been seeing for just month was unable to train her anymore.
"I inherited Lauren and I've never looked back," Laila said.
Lauren had just moved out of home and found she struggled to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
"I put on a lot of weight in that first year living out of home," she said.
"I wasn't exercising, I was eating absolute junk every day, I was stacking on the weight, and I wasn't happy.
"I used to drink a lot of Coke. I'd have Red Rooster for lunch and then Domino's or cheese pasta for dinner.
"It was really bad and I just always felt really unhealthy and yucky."
When Lauren first started training with Laila, she had low self esteem and knew very little about how to be healthy.
"I know five years sounds like a long time but I think it's important to remember being healthy is a lifetime commitment," Laila said.
"Lauren had to learn what worked for her.
"That involved a lot of trial and error, especially with food.
"We've always done three 45-mintue workout sessions a week, but it was the healthy eating that Lauren struggled with, and you can't work off a bad diet.
"There was also a lot of what's known as the yoyo effect."
Laila said the yoyo effect was extremely common and involved losing and putting weight on over a period of time.
"When you first start out it can be hard to keep the weight you've lost off," she said.
"So we had to find something that worked for her long-term and would be more sustainable.
"She tried everything until she found the right fit."
Lauren has tried it all. There was calorie counting, food restriction, shakes as meal replacements, keto, and more.
"I'm currently using Weight Watchers and their app," Lauren said.
"I get points based on what I eat.
"The thing is, I'm not eating ridiculously healthy and it's not super restrictive.
"I'm just eating a well-balanced diet. Normal food."
Lauren started Weight Watchers in June last year.
"It's been really good for her and has helped her to shed those last few kilos," Laila said.
"But most importantly, it's been sustainable.
"This is the first year Lauren hasn't come in to see me in January in tears because of all the weight she put back on over the holidays."
Lauren is now down to 87kg, and said she felt better than ever before.
"It's not just about how I look though," she said.
"For the first time in my life I'm a confident person and I have self-esteem.
"I'm happy, and I'm strong and fit.
"It's all thanks to Laila. I couldn't have done it without her help and the personal interest she took in me.
"I think if you just have one supportive person to hold you accountable, then anyone can do what I did."
Laila said she was incredibly proud of Lauren, her efforts, and her achievements.
"She has turned her life around and I just couldn't be more proud of her," she said.
"She's learnt so much in the past five years and will just continue to learn more about herself and her body.
"Our health is so important and it's an ongoing journey.
"It's not about quick results. It's about turning your life around and putting yourself first."