Client Relationship Manager Nadia Ribeiro, 26, recalls the moment that kicked off a health overhaul that would see her lose nearly 30 kilos.
In June 2010 I was 24 years old, and weighed around 90 kilos. I had been trying to lose weight ever since I was a kid, but due to a few medical issues, I couldn't get my weight under control.
My boyfriend at the time (now fiancé) was a real snow bunny, he and his family made trips almost every season. When I was eventually invited along, I was immediately anxious I knew there wouldn't be ski pants big enough to fit me. I made up some excuse as to why I couldn't go and my now family-in-law were hurt. They thought I just didn't want to hang out with them.
That situation got me to the point where I thought 'I can't put this off forever.' I didn't want to go through my whole life not being able to buy pants or show my knees. And I knew that someday I wanted to go to the snow with my fiancé and his family.
I decided to go to the personal trainer my boss was seeing, Natalie Carter (newoutlookfitness.com.au). Nat didn't want to talk about exercise or food at the start, first she wanted to get to the bottom of the emotional side of my health problems. When I was growing up, people always commented on how stunning my sister was and would make comments to me like "You're so pretty, if only you weren't so fat" or "It's hard with such a pretty sister isn't it?" I had never realised how much that had subconsciously affected my self-esteem. That was the first time anyone had ever linked my past and my emotions with my weight.
I started training with Nat. We exercised outdoors in the fresh air, doing a combination of cardio and weights. I used mainly my own body weight as well as medicine balls and kettle bells.
Nat also helped me to completely change the way I looked at food. I stopped buying any food items that said 'diet' on them and eliminated virtually all processed food. I ate a very natural, organic and clean diet lots of grilled chicken salads and veggie soups!
I've now lost 26 kilos and want to shed about five more. I've suffered a knee injury along the way which has slowed things down, but I haven't used it as a 'get out of jail free card' to stop I just do my weights sitting down on a bench. There's no excuse for not doing it!
I'm so glad I lost weight this way not on some shake diet. Those programs don't teach you anything about balanced eating as soon as it's over you just go straight back to your old habits.
Life is so much better these days. I'm just more confident. I used to feel ugly every day, but now people will give me compliments and it feels so nice. It's changed my relationship with my fiancé because I've come to realise that low self-esteem is not a turn on! Even though my partner loves me and has always told me I'm beautiful no matter what size I've been, a relationship is affected when one person feels crap about themselves. Now that I've got more confidence there's a different side to our relationship, it's more fun. We're getting married in August!
More CLEO health: Secrets of the super fit