KENDALL BILLINGTON - Loss 29.0 kilos
QUEEN 2018 -2019 – DIV 1, 2 & 3
So I achieved a massive goal, losing weight and not only winning Queen of the Year at my Club (Melton), but also for Divisions 1-3 and everyone wants to know what it is that I am doing. I am not going to tell you anything new because let’s face it most of us have tried many of the diets and meal plans around. And there’s nothing new or special with what I do. But what I will do is share my story in the hope that you pick something up and it helps you along in your TOWN weight loss journey.
All my life I had been slim until my mid 20s. I had suffered with fatigue on and off since I was a child. I was always active. In 2003, I tried the soup diet and lost about 10kg, but quickly regained the weight plus more when going back to eating normally. In 2004, I tried celebrity slim and couldn’t get past day one with the fatigue. My weight slowly escalated and I couldn’t understand why. I was active. I just didn’t get it. So in 2006 at 100.7kg I joined Weight Watchers, and in just under 12months I lost 41.1kg. I achieved life time membership on 15th June 2007. This was also the same year my immune system started attacking my body, but I wouldn’t find this out properly until 2017.
So what did I do after all that weight loss, well with work stress and relationship issues I started binge eating chocolate on top of going back to my old ways of eating. During 2008-2015 I tried many times to lose weight by myself, but felt it extremely hard. I’d go through cycles of eating and exercising properly to binge eating, yo-yoing back and forth. In 2014 my partner passed away. He didn’t care whether I was slim or overweight. What he did say to me is if you want to lose weight you will, if not it doesn’t matter to him. In January 2015 a friend told me about
TOWN, where she had gone herself and I thought I need that kind of support. I joined Melton TOWN on 1st September 2015 weighing in at 97.1kg. Leading up to the end of 2015 I had lost 14.2kg, but over the Christmas/New Year period I fell off the wagon and started binge eating again. At the end of TOWN year 2015-2016 I lost 8.7kg, and came 2nd Runner Up and Division 4 Winner. Following on from this my health further deteriorated. By September 20th 2016 I had put on all the weight I’d lost, plus an additional 1.4kg. This was not my time.
It wasn’t until May 2017 that someone suggested getting my Vitamin D checked and I thought about my thyroid as I had been previously diagnosed with a temporary thyroid condition in 2013. I found out that I had Vitamin D deficiency with full blown Autoimmune thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s. The thyroid controls your metabolism, hormones and brain chemistry. I was put on thyroid medication in September and that’s when I decided to overhaul my life. On 14th December 2017, I weighed my heaviest at 108.2kg. I decided to go on the AIP (Autoimmune Paleo Protocol) in the hope of reducing my thyroid antibodies and putting the condition into remission and to get rid of my severe fatigue. I contacted my TOWN leader, Catherine Brincau, on 17th February 2018 to discuss returning to Club and that I would like to see how this diet went weight loss wise before re-joining. I had told Catherine that I was not coming back to Club for anyone, but I was coming back to win queen. On June 12th 2018 I re-joined, and I weighed in at 97.5kg, after losing 10.7kg by myself with the AIP. By October 2018 I had lost 12.6kg, but my fatigue had got worse and one of my thyroid antibodies had increased, so I decided to transition back to Weight Watchers as I had all of the menus from the 2006-2007 TurnAround program. I had no idea how I was tracking for queen with so many members doing well with their losses, but I realised that this was no longer important to me, it was the support and friendships that were. In December 2018 I was finally properly diagnosed with a rare form of Autoimmune thyroiditis called Hashitoxicosis where my thyroid swings from overactive to underactive all of the time, and just yesterday 6th June 2019 I received a diagnosis of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). Since childhood I have suffered with mental health issues. To get to State Night I planned myself out months in advance. Slowly gathering my outfit, booking in my haircut & colour the week before, slowly doing the beauty routines at home, getting a support worker to help take me to and from my hairdressers on the day to reduce my fatigue, to organising someone from Club to pick me up & drop me off at home to get the bus, and making sure I allocated rest days around all of this. Before re-joining Club I had already lost 10.7kg. By the end of TOWN year 26th March 2019 I had lost another 29kg at Club. At 67kg the top of my healthy weight range I absolutely love the way I look and my self-confidence is returning. Every day I meditate and do positive affirmations. In all I have lost a total of 41.2kg to goal & am sitting roughly 1.5kg under goal leading to 42.7kg loss. I have lost 7 dress sizes (AUS size 22 to 10) and 38.85% of body fat. This has taken me just under 17mths to achieve.
The three biggest things I can say that I have learned out of my journey are:
1. If you are struggling to lose weight or you seem to fluctuate a lot get your health checked over particularly your thyroid, because if this is not right you will struggle.
2. This is a lifestyle change not a diet. I am not going off track this time for anything.
3. Support was and still is vital to me in achieving my goals. Turning up every week to weigh in even if I’ve gained, the support is there. We discuss many things in our group therapies which could impact our food choices, weight and health issues. We regularly socialise as a Club, both in and outside of Club. We have a Facebook chat group & page in between Club. Our group tables help build our group bonds. We have a positive group at Club with every member actively participating. We continually lift each other up with positive discussions and messages. Melton TOWN is not just a weight loss group. Many of us have had similar experiences with our weight loss, but also health and family issues and we have a group that cares and is supportive enough to help navigate the difficult times. This is what makes us different. Thank you to our leader Catherine Brincau & the rest of TOWN members for the support you give me every week.
“You are a credit to our Club. I want you to know how very proud I am of you. You are doing exactly what you set out to do which is losing weight and aim to be queen.” “I'm very impressed that you are succeeding at what you set out to achieve, and you haven't wavered at all. I wish you all the very best, and I hope you reach your goal sooner than you plan.” From Catherine to me in January and February 2019
13/11/2018-12/03/2019 – No gains for 13 straight weeks; 15 weeks including Christmas/New Year period: with only 1 turtle
21/05/2019 – Reached Goal Weight (30.5kg total weight loss)
28/05/2019 – Started 6 weeks Maintenance
28/05/2019 – 2018/2019 Melton TOWN Club Queen of the Year (29kg loss from 12/06/2018-26/03/2019)
01/06/2019 – 2018/2019 TOWN Clubs of Victoria Divisions 1, 2 & 3 Queen of the Year
One of the proudest moments was representing my Club at State Recognition night. And then to win Division 1-3 Queen was just amazing. Walking down the red carpet hearing my Club cheering for me. Turning around & throwing them a kiss. Coming back to a standing ovation from all members. And taking the time to thank each and every one of them for their support. Catherine I did it! In four weeks’ time I will graduate. The continued ongoing goal now is graduate of the year. This has taught me if you put your mind to anything, you can do it. And so I will beat this fatigue. Michael I did it!
So what is it I am doing?
1. MEAL PLAN, MEAL PLAN & MORE MEAL PLANNING – I meal plan every day. Even on my bad days when I have to rest. I make my food and take my medications as planned and stick to it. I record exactly what I will be eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks for the day before I sort out breakfast. If I’m heading out & I’ll be out for lunch, I’ll prepare my lunch before I leave. I take snacks with me to TOWN after weighing in, before dinner, namely carrot sticks & aeroplane lite jelly. I cannot stress how important meal planning is. I create a shopping list from my fortnightly meal plan to stop me from buying the wrong things. Meal planning helps me eat the right amount & proportions of healthy foods, stay accountable, and have more control over my food choices & eating habits.
2. DRINK 2 LITRES MINIMUM WATER PER DAY – I have water first thing in the morning when I take my medication, Green Tea at breakfast & dinner, and water at lunch & dinner & at other points throughout the day. A water bottle goes with me whenever I leave the house. I only have one coffee for the day with my breakfast. I am going to be reintroducing fresh lemon tea in the morning to help kick start my day.
3. BREAK THE FAST – I always start the day with breakfast; this kick starts my metabolism for the day after slowing down and conserving energy overnight. This is the most important meal of the day.
4. REST – At the moment I still can’t exercise due to the severe fatigue. I have found by resting when my body is telling me to rest, it recovers slightly & I lose weight. Eventually I will be doing rehabilitation with an exercise physiologist specialised in chronic fatigue to slowly build up my exercise again. But in the meantime shopping & simple chores are enough for me. On Club days if I’m not well I force myself to weigh in if possible and don’t stay for the meeting and go home and rest.
5. RECORD MEASUREMENTS – I record the following body measurements every week: neck, biceps, forearms, chest, abdomen, waist, hips, thighs & calves. I have lost 223cm in total body measurements. I also record BMI, Body Fat Percentage, Body Temperature, Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, and Blood Glucose. I do this the first thing in the morning before Club & I also weigh myself as I started out weighing myself at home before returning to Club.
6. CONTROL PORTION SIZES – I use scales & measuring cups to do this
7. DO NOT KEEP TRIGGER FOODS IN THE HOUSE – For me that’s chocolate. There is no chocolate in my house, therefore it’s less likely that I’ll binge eat it.
8. TUESDAY NIGHT IS SPAG BOL NIGHT – As many of my fellow Melton TOWN members know Spaghetti Bolognese with Mushrooms is my favourite meal. So instead of having take out which I can easily get into the mindset of after TOWN by not wanting to cook, I make my favourite meal every Tuesday night with a curly wurly as a treat. This helps me keep on track.
9. PLAN AHEAD or COMPENSTATE FOR EATING OUT – When eating out I try to get the menu beforehand and work that into my daily meal plan. When eating out at State Night & letting my hair down, I ate lightly for breakfast & lunch and the next two days I reduced my calories or weight watchers points for the day. And drank plenty of water. I amazingly lost 0.3kg this week, week two of maintenance, after all of that food & wine.