Big loss, win for Glenice
GLENICE GRAY, 44, from East Lismore, may not have won any cash prizes, endorsement contracts or be recognised in the street yet, but she is certainly a Northern Rivers weight-loss champion.
She has shed 124 kilos and lost more than 200cm off her waist in a titanic battle to win her life back.
Obese from childhood, Glenice weighed 118 kilos at age 18 and became unable to control her weight after giving birth to her first child at 24.
Glenice, a childcare assistant, remembers her days of binge eating as a nightmare.
By 2002 she was at her biggest at 196 kilos.
Glenice said she was in denial for a long time and paid the price of not taking responsibility for her own destiny.
"I had just one blue shirt because I could never get any clothes to fit me. I was hiding in that shirt and I felt that I wasn't that big," she said.
At 35 years of age, separated, battling with depression, high blood pressure and morbidly obese, Glenice was so unhappy that she realised her life could not get any worse.
So, 18 months ago she decided to do something about it - and today she is a new woman.
Having gone from a size 46 to a size 12, she kept her big blue shirt to remind her of her massive win.
She's been quick to emphasise that if she can do it, anyone can, and that at this time of the year, when many New Year resolutions are broken, it is focus, persever- ance and setting achievable goals that will allow anyone to succeed like she did.
Today Glenice is a happy woman with an active, healthy lifestyle.
Proud to admit her current weight is 72 kilos, she talks about her new goals: "I go out singing now, I love karaoke! It is like I've been born again. I just have this new lease on life, and now that I've done it I want others to lose weight too.
"I am able to go up there and talk to others. I am starting a walking group on Saturdays. My doctor is very happy because my blood pressure is completely normal and I am a healthy person. I have extended my life by 20 years".
One of her biggest challenges for 2012 is to gain her driver's licence. Unable to fit in a car in the past, Glenice is ready to gain a new independence that not long ago seemed like a distant dream.
Glenice still has days when she's feeling down: "Sometimes I still think, 'Why me? Why do I have to be on a diet? Why do I have to watch what I eat?'
"It is something I will always have to keep under control. But more than diet, I see this as a life change."
But then there are those days when she feels invincible, like the day she flew to Perth and was able to use the plane's toilet. She was so happy she asked a flight attendant to take a picture.
Glenice acknowledges the support from family and friends to achieve her success.
Grazed all day
Only ate fast food
Snack: Hot chips
Drank half a bottle of wine a day
Never went out
Shy, unable to socialise, and unhappy
Breakfast: Cereal, fruit and skim milk
Lunch: Salad and crackers
Dinner: Meat and vegetables
Snacks: Raw carrots
Bread-and-butter plate size portions
Work out daily
One or two alcoholic drinks a fortnight
Happy, in control and glowing
124 KILOS equals...
138 cheese pizzas (900g)
496 average steaks (250g)
708 chocolate cupcakes (175 g)
3263 plain donuts (38 g)
9920 potato chips (12.5 g)