Weightloss

Reporter: Belinda Wilkinson

Two Perth parents are proving that with gutsy determination and a few key weight loss secrets, it's possible to beat the fat...no matter how big you are..." It's just such an achievement that I never thought I'd be able to do. "It's hard to believe Jenny Alexander use to weigh in at a hundred and twenty kilo. "I couldn't play with my kids, I was always tired, grumpy, really grumpy and basically sick of missing out on life." But in just nine months, Jenny shed a staggering fifty kilos...dropping from a size 22, to an athletic looking 12."I put on a lot of weight when I had my first child, and that was about 8 years ago, and I never really took it off after that...I could start breakfast with chocolate if I felt like it otherwise I'd have white bread with peanut butter or nutella...I like my family pack of hot chips and I could eat that several times a week and family block of chocolate every night and I'd be looking for more...you wouldn't be content with one block of chocolate? No, I'd think that went too quickly"

Eight cups of coffee with condensed milk every day and for dinner, pasta with cream and cheese. But that was the old Jenny and this the new....triathlon Jenny. Exercise has made all the difference to Jenny's weight. She says it's vital .even if you need to start with baby steps...they're not a waste of time..."I started exercising I started walking around the block and that was it and I was so proud of myself." And of course small regular meals packed with fruit. vegies, meat plus homemade bread and popcorn for snack.....But her real secret weapons are something much more simple....they may seem very strange to some, but they've been the absolute key to Jenny's success ....a photo of herself at her fattest ...plus an apple..Both which she takes everywhere....

"You find you can't walk up a flight of stairs or if you do it take you 20 minutes to get up the stairs because you've got to stop and rest every two or three steps." Unlike Jenny, Laurie Anderson still has a long way to go even though he's already lost a third of his body weight. Twelve months ago, Laurie weighed in excess of 300 kilo.....doctors never knew exactly how heavy he was because there aren't any scales that go that high. "People are very good at deluding themselves you can look in the mirror and I can still see the skinny person underneath, I don't see the fat person there, I don't see it."

At nineteen, Laurie was a state champion rower...winning the Kings Cup in 1973. But after a back injury four years later, he was forced to give up his favourite sport and settle for sideline coaching instead. Some people say those who are obese have no one else to blame but themselves what do you say to that? "It's usually wrong...it's certainly they're the person that's done it but do you say to a person that's addicted to alcohol it's your own fault you've done it."

Finally after listening to friends that his condition would eventually kill him, Laurie decided to get help. Doctors put him on a program called Life Choice, where most of his meals are replaced with nourishing shakes and nutrient bars. "I can recognise that I don't want to eat that much and that's been the biggest turn around I can't sit down there and eat what I use to eat, because it just physically doesn't feel comfortable." And because his body's signals were often mistaking dehydration for hunger, 'water' is now his biggest secret. "Now I try and drink first which is why as soon as we finished here I'll go in and have a drink, so that I don't feel like I've got to go out and eat something. "

Eighty kilos down, he's got another hundred and twenty to go. "I get up and I think goodness I can walk out the front, walk out the back I can do this I can do that, I couldn't have done that twelve months ago...I'd like to be sort of another 50 kilos lighter this time next year." Jenny says "You have to make a conscious decision that you want to do it, because until you really make the decision you're really only going to do it half way so stick to it be competitive to yourself."