Mum’s divorce sparked 70kg weight loss. Photo / Supplied
A Gold Coast mother-of-one who weighed 143kg has gone on to lose half her body weight after ending her seven-year marriage.
Melanie Arnold-Stemm found herself at a crossroads with her weight during her seven-year marriage.
But the day after she ended that relationship in November 2015, the 30-year-old from the Gold Coast embarked on a life-changing journey.
“I hated looking in the mirror, but also, I put myself in that position due to what I was going through mentally,” the mother-of-one told news.com.au.
“I felt ugly inside, and made myself ugly on the outside as well.”
In November 2015, Arnold-Stemm said she stumbled across a Facebook group showing posts about women who had turned their lives around by changing their eating habits.
“It was the day after leaving my marriage that The Healthy Mummy’s private support group popped up on my Facebook feed. I joined, and saw all these posts by women that were filled with support,” she said.
“It was there and then that I decided to delve deeper and start my adventure.”
Arnold-Stemm, who weighed 143kg, told news.com.au that prior to her 70kg weight loss, she would consume five sugar-filled iced coffees a day and a “monstrous portion” of pasta and takeaway for dinner.
“I would often have more than one of these plates,” she added.
She said she also chose to sit out of a lot of things and wasn’t active “in any way, shape or form”.
“I was unhappy with all facets of my life.”
But that all changed after she tweaked her lifestyle habits which she said had enabled her to find the person she had lost a very long time ago.
“[It was about] doing it for me, instead of for other reasons — there was no ‘revenge body’, no ‘doing it for my child’, or any other reason — it was purely me wanting to be me again,” she said.
“Once I started feeling beautiful and happy and worthy of this life, it gave me the drive to succeed further and further.”
However, like starting anything new, she came across plenty of challenges during her journey, including plateaus which she tackled by changing things up every few months.
“I am the worst person to hold an exercise regimen, I don’t have one, I don’t want one, because truthfully I get bored,” she said.
“Instead, I do things I love to do whenever I can, like kayaking and playing with my daughter, so that way it’s not a ‘chore’.”
Her diet today also looks very different, with a mixture of protein, greens and carbs, at a portion customised to her goals.
She said she can also now walk outside with confidence and a smile on her face.
“I am happy, I can walk out of the house with next to no effort, and not be bothered with how other people see me, because it does not matter,” Arnold-Stemm said.
“If you are happy within yourself, it conveys to others.”