A pair of sisters have joined forces to shed an incredible 100kg between them after years spent struggling with overeating, weight gain and generally feeling ‘miserable’.
Slowly but surely, that began to change when Cathy Griffin, 44, convinced her younger sibling Kristy McClean to join WW (formerly Weight Watchers) with her.
At 142.7kg, mum-of-four Kristy was at her heaviest and facing surgery to treat pre-existing ankle and back issues that were so painful she was often left unable to move.
She tells Yahoo Lifestyle that she’d been unhappy about her weight ‘for some time’ and had in the past tried switching her go-to high-carb dishes like pasta for weight loss shakes only to end up back at square one.
“My sister Cathy was my tipping point,” Kristy, 40, says.
“I needed someone to push me and she had already joined [WW] and told me that I was going with her, no matter what,” she adds.
Cathy had found success with WW previously ago but caring for others in her life had seen her go ‘off track’ and lose focus of her own health.
“I realised I was more overweight than I had ever been in the past, which was my trigger to join,” she says.
The fact that the sisters’ parents had passed away at a young age was another reason that got Cathy through the door of her local WW workshop in Sunnybank, QLD, for the first time in five years.
“The same coach was there and she welcomed me back as if no time had passed. She even remembered my name,” Cathy recalls.
Kristy started attending workshops as well and pretty soon the sisters’ fast-food menu of pizza, KFC, Subway and soft drinks was a thing of the past.
In its place were healthy, balanced and filling meals packed with fruit, vegetables, eggs and skinless chicken breast.
One of Cathy’s favourite recipes on the WW app is a ‘Zucchini, Lemon and Ricotta Linguine’ but she substitutes in edamame pasta to make it even healthier while Kristy does the same for her fave, ‘Cheat’s Lasagne,’ by swapping beef for chicken breast mince.
The pair also introduced some gentle exercise into their lives, gradually increasing the intensity as they felt stronger and more confident.
“At the beginning, it was walking around the soccer fields with a friend of mine while my kids were in training,” Kristy says.
Then it was bushwalking in a local forest and, last year, the sisters started aqua aerobics, which they now do once a week.
Today, Cathy and Kristy’s are barely recognisable after losing 38kg and 62.1kg respectively so far, so much so that Kristy’s even caught her the attention of her kids’ little friends.
“I’ve heard them whisper to my daughter, ‘Oh my gosh, your mum has lost so much weight’,” she admits.
She’s also had to quash rumours that she’d gone under the knife to achieve her slimmed-down look.
“I think some people assume I’ve had surgery by how quickly the weight fell off, so I’m always pleased to explain that I did it in a healthy and sustainable way on WW,” she says.
Cathy’s fit and healthy figure has impressed her friends and family, including her 24-year-old daughter who has been inspired to join WW too.
Her confidence levels have soared, too, which saw her head to the hairdressers and cut her hair short, something she says she wouldn’t have done previously.
But the sisters’ transformation is more than skin deep, with both Cathy and Kristy reporting improved sleep quality and energy levels. Kristy also received the ‘wonderful’ news that she no longer requires surgery for her ankle and back issues.
Most importantly, their personal lifestyle changes have also had a positive impact on the lives of their loved ones.
“I think my children’s lives have changed for the better as well. I want to get out more, so my kids and I will take the dog for walks together now which we didn’t really do before,” she says.
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