How I went from being 160kg to under 77kg
EIMEO resident Bernadette Badke is a new woman.
She has lost the weight of an average adult male and is one of two Mackay women in the running to win the national Weight Watchers Healthy Life Award announced in November.
Her weight loss journey started two years ago when she weighed 160kg after years of "mindless emotional eating".
"One day I woke up in the middle of the night and I just felt sick," she said.
"I decided then and there I needed to change something. I went onto the computer at around 2am and looked up when the next Weight Watchers meeting was."
By coincidence the meeting, a support group for overweight and obese people, was on the same day.
"I remember the exact date, it was June 13, 2012," Mrs Badke said. "It was the start of my journey.
"I set a two-year goal and I achieved it."
Perhaps a nicer memory was the day Mrs Badke reached her goal.
"It was July 20 this year. I stepped onto the scales and just screamed out of excitement," she said.
"I was waiting for the numbers on the scale to settle down. They came in at 76.5kg, my goal was 77kg."
She received even better news when her doctor learnt of her achievement.
"I had been on medication for high cholesterol," she said.
"Because of the healthy eating and exercising, I no longer need to be on any medication."
But her transformation didn't happen overnight.
Her first treadmill session lasted for three minutes. She was sore and exhausted.
"But it didn't bother me," she said.
The Mackay Weight Watchers support group gave her strength and Mrs Badke said it was like going to therapy.
"All the people were on the same journey," she said.
"They weren't the buff guys you would see at gyms."
Now, when the 54-year-old travels on a plane, she doesn't need an extension seat belt.
"I am happy with the way I look," she said.
"It's not about being perfect, it's about leading a healthy life and feeling good."
The next thing on the horizon for Mrs Badke is climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. She said it would represent her journey.
"I climbed and reached the top," she said.
"Two years ago I struggled to get out of a lounge chair.
"Look at me now."
Slept in until 9am
Ate whenever she felt emotional
Exercises twice a day
Wakes up at 6.30am
Cooks her own meals
Treats herself on Christmas day, her birthday and Easter.