by Alison McAleese, LiveLighter Victoria Campaign Manager and Dietitian


LiveLighter is excited to introduce you to our newest healthy lifestyle champion – Andrea.

Andrea lives in Melbourne and has just signed up to LiveLighter’s free  3-2-1 meal plan   .

We’ll follow her journey via blog posts, videos and photos as she embarks on a healthier LiveLighter lifestyle.

So, let’s meet Andrea!

Andrea

Hi Andrea, welcome to LiveLighter. Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi everyone, I’m Andrea, a 53-year-old woman who had breast cancer almost 5 years ago.  After I finished my treatment I decided I should lose weight to reduce my risk of getting cancer again. I started Weight Watchers in January 2014 and lost 16kg. My oncologist and cardiologist were as happy about that as I was! I even took part in a fashion parade with Western Bulldogs’ Jordan Roughead as my partner. What a night!

In 2015 I had more surgery and had to rest for 6 weeks. I put 2kg back on but wasn’t worried about that. Fast forward to late April 2017 and I got quite sick and needed steroids. They made me incredibly hungry. I took them for 3 weeks and packed on another 4kg.

I tried to start Weight Watchers again but just couldn’t get back into it. I need to lose the weight because I have quite a few health issues. Some of my medications make it difficult to lose the bulges, but not impossible. I just need to work harder at it.

In May, I started working for the Cancer Council Victoria. Getting used to travelling 90 minutes each morning and night and working 8 hour days took some getting used to and I found organising meals difficult. Previously I was working 5 minutes from home.  

Sadly, I put on another 2kg, so 8 all together. I feel terrible. I feel guilty. I feel disappointed in myself.

What made you want to try LiveLighter?

When I found out about Live Lighter, I checked it out and decided to give it a go.  I offered myself up as a case study to help keep me on the straight and narrow. My videos and blog posts will tell the truth about my journey, warts and all.  It isn’t going to be easy.

What are you hoping to achieve with LiveLighter?

My first goal is to lose the 8kg I’ve put back on, then to reassess. Theoretically, I need to lose about 30kg to be in the healthy weight range. I’ve discussed this with my cardiologist and he thinks that’s too much. While an 8kg loss won’t make me slim, it will make me healthier which is my main goal. It will also keep my cardiologist happy.

How are you going with the meal plan so far?

I’m finding the LiveLighter program quite easy to follow.  The breakfast and lunch builders are great. I now keep Weetbix at work so I can have breakfast when I get there.  I can’t seem to fit it in before I leave for work at 6:50am.  I’ve tried some of the dinner recipes too and they’re not only delicious, but so easy and quick to cook.  I loved the fish and chips and the salad nicoise.  I’m looking forward to trying a lot more.  The lamb shank recipe is high on my list of ones to try.

What challenges have you faced so far?

I have a couple of challenges.  One is my husband eating chocolate and chips in front of me. Another is my lack of motivation to exercise but I’ll try to walk at lunch time and I’ll start taking the dogs for a walk at night.  Luckily I really do like eating vegetables so I just need to make sure I have them available to cook.

Last weekend I was in Canberra visiting my daughter and on Saturday I wasn’t living lighter. I ate chocolate, ice cream and chips. Ugh! Why do I do this to myself?!

On Sunday I ate better. I also walked for 40 minutes as part of ‘Clinton’s Walk For Justice’.

I’m feeling a bit more in control, although there’s a bag of cheese and onion chips looking at me. In the cupboard with you, my friend! Out of sight and hopefully out of mind. Most of all, out of my mouth!

To follow Andrea’s progress, like LiveLighter on  Facebook  , follow us on  Twitter  and subscribe to the  LiveLighter blog  . You can also show your support or share your experiences with Andrea via the comments below or by emailing  livelighter@cancervic.org.au