Mellissa O’Connell, 54, Narellan, NSW, shares her incredible story.
Hobbling along the shore, I tried my best to focus on the stunning view.
“Let’s go back to the camp site,” my partner George said, noticing my limp.
I sighed. It was 2018, and we’d come to Shoalhaven Beach, NSW, my favourite place in the world, for a holiday, but it was impossible to ignore the grief both my knees were giving me.
I knew it was down to my weight.
Raising my little boy Joshua as a single mum, I’d found myself time poor, and while he was always well fed, I’d often ended up ordering fast food for myself.
Then, one day at work, when I was 29, I tried moving a filing cabinet down some stairs when I tripped and broke my ankle.
Getting around on crutches was extremely difficult, and as the weeks rolled by, I put on weight.
After that, I accepted myself as a bigger woman.
Then, in 2008, I reconnected with an old friend, George, 43, who I hadn’t seen for over a decade.
I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but George, a doting dad, made me feel so comfortable.
Despite all the years that had passed, it was like we’d never been apart and we married in 2012.
As more time passed, my weight increased causing mobility problems.
Then I tore a ligament in my knee just from walking and needed surgery.
Now, we were on holiday in Shoalhaven, and I realised something.
I’ve got to do something about this, I thought.
I’d been ignoring the seriousness of the situation, but I couldn’t continue.
George and I had a holiday to Hawaii booked for the following year and there was no way I could enjoy it in my condition.
As luck would have it, on the drive back home, I saw an ad for The Lady Shake, a meal replacement program.
The timing was perfect!
I happily started adding the morning and lunch shakes to my diet, while still able to enjoy a regular family dinner.
In the first month, I lost six kilos and found myself with loads more energy.
I also started going for walks and doing weights exercises.
Within 12 months, I’d lost 30kg!
“You look amazing,” George said.
When it was time to fly to Hawaii, I was better than I’d ever been and was able to hike to Koko Crater with George.
After the trip, I continued losing weight and got down to a size eight.
I was such a success story that I was invited to do an underwear photo shoot for a newspaper to show off my successful weight loss.
To my surprise, I even made the front page!
“My beautiful cover model,” George beamed.
Josh is so proud of me and always congratulates me on all I’ve achieved.
Now, four years on, I’ve maintained my weight and feel better than ever.
Looking back, I wish I’d done it sooner, but I hope my story inspires others to take control of their life.
I can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead.
For more on The Lady Shake and how to ‘shake back your life’, visit the ladyshake.com.au.
Plus! Check out some delicious healthy meal ideas at the ladyshake.com.au/blog/recipes/