Suzanne's challenge

"I've always known my weight was an issue but just couldn't do anything about it," says Suzanne, who has spent 20 years yo-yo dieting. In her teens and early twenties Suzanne's weight gain was gradual thanks to an active lifestyle but as her commitments grew so did her waistline.

"In my mid to late thirties (when I met my husband) I started to slow down and began to eat what he ate, at which time I began to notice my weight increasing and my clothes getting tighter," she says. Fatigue and joint pain prevented Suzanne from participating in the sporting activities she used to enjoy and soon she was buying new, larger clothes every few months.

Description: Suzanne

Suzanne Lyall, age 46, height 169cm, before 110kg, after 67.9kg, lost 42.1kg, home Mermaid Beach - QLD

Baby got back

"At the age of 39 I had my first child and was scared of missing the opportunity of watching my little boy grow up and also being a grandmother one day," she says.

As her little boy grew and became more active, Suzanne struggled to keep up with an adventurous toddler.

"My little boy started to get more active and wanted to do things outside but I could only play with him for five minutes before I was too exhausted to play with him anymore and went inside to sit down and rest," she explains.

"What prompted me to do something about my weight was a photo of me eating a piece of my son's second birthday cake and everyone laughed making remarks about how fat I was. I was already down about my weight. It basically made me feel worse."

Having tried every pill, shake and diet gimmick available Suzanne responded to an ad for a nine week weight loss challenge (WLC) with her local Vision PT studio. The transformation began with three sessions a week (two cardio and one weight session).

Suzanne's trainer encouraged her to write down what she ate and compared it to what her body type and metabolism could handle.

"Changing the way I ate was the first thing," says Suzanne. "I stopped eating pasta, breads, sweets and would substitute it with salads, fish and chicken. Within the first nine weeks I had lost 16kg."

Description: I stopped eating pasta, breads, sweets

I stopped eating pasta, breads, sweets

My slim-down plan

Setting achievable goals and constantly hitting them has been critical to Suzanne's success. "At my first goal session I told EJ (trainer) that I would be happy just to get down to 99kg. I actually did that in the first four weeks of the challenge and had to reset the goal to 95kg," she says.

A supportive and encouraging trainer was also key. "I stayed motivated by what I had achieved in the first WLC and by having a great trainer. He was my rock through this process as I didn't have a supportive husband through the first three challenges and I was determined to lose the weight."

Suzanne remembers how sceptical she was when she first signed up to Vision and is now an inspiration for newer members.

"New clients that take that first initial step get shown my before photo then introduced to me as proof it does work," says Suzanne. "I feel I have inspired many people to achieve their goals and they inspire the new clients that come along."

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