Real life weight loss: How I lost 38kg

“I feel confident in my clothes”


When volleyball and golf fan Deana Custer left high school, she weighed in at 68kg – but it’s when she started beauty school in September 2005 that her weight began creeping up.

Working two part-time jobs meant she couldn’t find time to exercise or cook. Junk food took its toll, and at her December 2006 graduation she carried 91kg on her 162cm frame.

She got a job as a hairstylist, but the irregular hours had her eating takeaway between clients or skipping lunch and overeating at dinner. She put on 11kg in three months.

“I was ashamed of letting myself go that far,” she says.
●●● The change

Because Custer stood all day at work, the extra weight made her feet and back ache. But worse was the blow to her self-esteem.

“In the beauty business, you have to look the part,” she says. “And I didn’t.”

When her scales hit 102kg, she’d had enough. “I knew I was the only one who could change my body.”
●●● The lifestyle

Custer cooked chicken or fish with vegies for dinner and ate the leftovers for lunch. But three years later and only 14kg lighter, she realised she had to conquer her fear of the “punishing” gym.

When her boss agreed to join with her in January 2010, she took the chance. One step class later, Custer was hooked. “I didn’t know exercise at the gym could be fun,” she says.

In the next 10 months she doubled her weight loss and began running a few days a week. By December, she had run eight 5km fun runs and a half-marathon – and she weighed 64kg.

●●● The reward

Custer can now power through even the longest days. “I’m free of back pain, and my energy has shot through the roof,” she says.

She’s so proud of her new size 10 figure, she tries on clothes just for fun.

“I feel good in anything I wear,” she says. “I have way more confidence than I used to.”

Custer’s tips

Find a 5km fun run “Most are walk-run, and crossing the finish line is the biggest high. It’s what encouraged me to continue running.”

Trim your slice “When I crave pizza, I make my own wholemeal crust and load it with vegies.”

Set mini-goals “I aimed to lose 5kg at a time. That way, my overall goal seemed less daunting.”