Tracey Mitchell

Weight Watchers Meetings member Entrants from Queensland Tracey is a Slimmer of the Year entrant, and also an entrant in the Health Improvement category

116kg

Starting Weight

64kg

Current Weight

52kg

Total Weight Loss

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Tracey's entry

My Story

Why Weight Watchers worked for me

Weight Watchers works because it focuses on how to change your life, not just how to drop the weight. I've learned a lot about myself during the 12 years of my weight loss journey with Weight Watchers. It helped me see that focusing on my weight loss alone was never going to bring me success - I had to look at this as a whole life overhaul, and not just work on my body but also my mind. I was so self-conscious at the start, but the unconditional support I found at my meetings helped me relax and realise we are all in this together. Weight Watchers isn't about denying yourself anything, either - it's about learning how to incorporate healthy choices into everyday life. I love food, and WW never made me feel food was bad - only that I had to balance everything out. And it's so EASY! Points take the guesswork out of planning meals & staying on track. I know that I would NEVER have managed this journey on my own. I might have taught myself to fly - but Weight Watchers gave me my wings.

My trigger moment

When I first joined Weight Watchers in 2002, my trigger was seeing a picture of myself that made me realise how big I'd become due to depression. I was 30, in an abusive marriage & had just come to the realisation that I really wanted to have a child - but I knew I had to get healthy in mind & body, get out of my marriage and change my whole life to do that. So I got started and lost around 30kg in the first year, ended my marriage and started rebuilding my life. But my journey has been a long one since then with many obstacles. But in September last year my last long term relationship ended and the very next day I went back to Weight Watchers. I knew I had to focus on myself for a while and getting to goal seemed like a great first step. It was my 4th time back since my first Weight Watchers visit, but this time I was determined to make it. And I did - I hit my 69kg goal and have continued to lose, tone & get into shape. Now I'm 42, fit, feeling fantastic - and it's MY time to shine!

The most challenging part of the journey

The mental battle. In the end the mental weight you carry as an obese person is so much heavier than the physical weight. Changing your mindset, battling your demons, choosing EVERY SINGLE DAY to live healthily and make the right choices for the long term instead of the ones that make you feel good in the short term is the biggest challenge. I also had to battle chronic pain which made exercising difficult at the start. I had DDH (developmental dysplasia of the hip) in my left hip that caused arthritis. My pain got worse & worse until I gave birth to my son in 2008, tore my hip cartilage during labour & could barely walk. However in 2010 I had a hip replacement and that changed my life. Now the biggest challenge is fitting everything into my incredibly full life because there's NOTHING I can't do. I celebrate my incredible every single day by living an amazing life & I have my Weight Watchers journey to thank for that.

How my lifestyle changed

The very first thing I did the week I joined Weight Watchers was to buy a treadmill. I knew my biggest battle would be getting active. I had always hated exercise, getting hot & sweaty, being out of breath. And I knew that I would find excuses NOT to exercise if I stuck to the gym or to walking outside - that it was hot, that it was raining, that it was too late at night, that I didn't have time. So I bought a treadmill and placed it in the main space of the house right in front of an air-conditioner, and that was probably the best choice I made in the beginning. But along the way I have changed my lifestyle in SO many ways. I am nothing like that person who walked into my first Weight Watchers so long ago. I am now a total fitness fanatic! I go to Zumba 3 times a week, I walk along the beach for 10km a time, I do stand-up paddle-boarding and I LOVE taking care of myself! But the BIGGEST change was to stop putting myself last, and make myself a priority in my own life because I AM WORTH IT!

What area of your health was your biggest concern

High Blood Pressure,Arthritis,Anxiety,Depression

I had a hip replacement in 2010. My weight loss before & after means I am SUPER fit now & my Dr is shocked!

Since losing weight, what areas of your health have improved

Sleep,Arthritis,Shortness of breath,Anxiety,Depression,Stress levels

How long did it take before you noticed a difference to your health

I became more mobile within the first few months but now my entire life is different. I could barely walk at one point - now there is NOTHING I can't do! My depression & anxiety have lifted, and my whole body is 100 times healthier than it used to be. I really care about myself & my fitness now when before I had such a low sense of self-worth that I just didn't bother. I will NEVER feel that way again - ever!

Why I think I'd make a great ambassador

It's taken 12 years of never giving up on myself to get to where I am today and here I am at 42 years old raising a gorgeous child on my own, happier than I've ever been and with my whole future ahead of me - all because Weigh Watchers helped me to overcome everything that life threw at me and stay focused on losing weight & getting healthy. I am incredibly passionate about inspiring others to decide they are worth it, and never give up. The message I want to convey as an ambassador is that it doesn't matter how long it takes, or how far you have to go, just take that first step. And I want to be honest about this whole process - I'll get into a bikini & happily show the world what a REAL body looks like after major weight loss & a baby! I am just like everyone else - and if I can do this, so can they. I want to empower, inspire, support - that is my purpose, and I want to give back to WW for all they've done to help me change my life.

My top tips

1) Be honest with yourself. The mental battle is the hardest part so you HAVE to be honest about what you eat, when you eat, why you eat. You have to be stronger than your demons - the ones that tell you that you can't, that it's too much work, that you aren't worth the effort. Knowing yourself and being honest with yourself is just as important as what you eat and how much you move. Losing weight is as much a mental battle as it is a physical one.

2) Never give up. It doesn't matter how long it takes, I'm proof of that! Look at how far you have come instead of how far you have to go, and only focus on the next small step rather than the whole overwhelming journey ahead. If you'd told me a year ago that I'd be doing 3 Zumba sessions a week & loving it, I would never have believed you. And YOU don't know yet what you can do - just take it a step at a time & don't give up on you because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

3) Drink water and lots of it. Water will help you in so many ways - keep you full, keep you regular, help your body function. boost your metabolism. Make it a habit to never leave the house without water no matter where you are going. And always have water close by - I have water bottles in every room of the house, kept full from a filtered water dispenser that I refill daily with 2 litres of water. If I don't refill it with 2 litres, I know I haven't drank enough that day. Simple!

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