This is a story of Kate. A 33 year old devoted wife and mother of two who made a very brave decision to change her life. Kate and I used to work together during my “other life” working for the local Council. Kate is and always was a kind hearted girl that would do anything for anybody without question and had a gorgeous smile and sparkle in her eyes but behind that sparkle that we all saw, there was an unhappy person. Kate decided she wanted to live a healthy lifestyle for herself and her family and lost 54kg. Yep 54 kilos! She put in the hard yards – completely changed her way of eating and she started moving. Not exercising – she liked to calling it “get moving”. At first “get moving” to Kate meant not sitting around the house and moving when she could. This involved walking, playing with the kids or even something as simple as parking the car in one spot and walking around the town to each spot she had to get to. From there “get moving” went to real exercise which Kate had not done for a good 6 years. The more weight that came off the easier exercise became.
Kate learnt so much about how your mind plays a big part of what you eat, how much you eat, what you can achieve when exercising and that her mind kept telling her “You Can’t” but she fought back and said “Yes I can”. Kate also had to learn a lot about herself as a mother because in the past she had never put time aside to look after herself (like many mums), for what ever reason – too busy, always put themselves last, feel guilty to the kids etc. She now knows how important it is to invest that quality time to look after yourself because your family reap the rewards of a healthy mum and wife.
Kate’s goal posts are forever changing, she still has things she is working on and feels there is still more to her fabulous story. Her aim now is to get to under 70 kilos and she is only .6 of a kilo off that so she is pretty happy with that although just for a small challenge she wants to get to 68/69 just so she can ditch the 70 something. She started off at 124.9 so 70.6 feels amazing! She has joined the local running group Gippsland Road Runners and can now comfortably run 5kms and her aim is to run 10km. Her words “From there – who knows. It’s something you get addicted to but for the first time in her life, it’s a good addition”. Kate likes to point out that it is not all about what the scales say, the most important thing is living a healthy lifestyle. The scales have just been a massive motivator for her personally, but now her focus is all about healthy lifestyle and enjoying life and not over indulging like she used to.
So this is where I came in. Kate approached me for a family photography session for her extended family. She always hated looking at photos of herself because in the past they had always reminded her of the truth of how unhappy she was. She had taken a few happy snaps in recent times and was starting to become blown away at seeing photos of herself wondering if that was really her. She always looked so happy and healthy. This step of getting professional photos was HUGE but she was ready. I asked Kate if she would like to spend 10 minutes at the end of our family session to celebrate her amazing transformation with me taking some photographs of her own her own. I have been so inspired by her journey and I think other women and especially mum’s should see and celebrate with her how far she has come. She was excited and jumped at the chance to step out of her comfort zone once more and do something totally wow.
We had a great family session – I saw lots of love in her family – her mum and dad, her sister and husband and of course her ever supportive husband John (who I must say has transformed his way of living too) and her two gorgeous children Sophie & Archer. We wrapped up the fabulously fun family session and everybody went back and waited by the car while Kate and I took a little bit of extra time. If Kate was nervous, I couldn’t tell – her smile radiated from deep within her and she embraced this foreign activity. I did show Kate a little sneak peak from the back of my camera of my favorite shot at the end and she was a little taken aback. She had spent so many years hating photographs of herself that she is still learning to like them and had an automatic negative reaction. I assured her later that it is a common reaction for women – not many of us have the confidence to respond positively to a photo of ourselves. When I provided the photographs to Kate in an online gallery that she could look at in the comfort of her own home, it was a different story and I will let Kate tell you more about the feelings that overcame her at that time more so below.
I am so glad that Kate took the time out for herself to not only become the healthy and happy person she truly deserves to be but for also embracing her transformation and indulging me in a little celebration of her achievements and here are some of the images that do just that. I hope that she inspires other women that they can do the same – not only to live a healthy and happy life but to also get in front of the camera (a topic close to my heart). Mum’s need to exist in photographs and you’ll see me harp on more about that in the weeks and months to come. And I am not in any way sense of the word saying you have to lose weight like Kate did before you have photographs taken – I am I am simply so proud of and inspired by Kate that I thought it was worthy of a celebration. Do something for yourself and more importantly your family to smile, be happy and get in the picture.
Thank you Kate for giving me my WOW moment in realising that I can give something special to someone with my photography. Loved every minute.
Here’s to Kate!!
Here are a few words from the gorgeous girl herself.
Ok so when I started my lifestyle change I was classed as category 3 morbidly obese (who knew there was different classes of morbidly obese) and my BMI was 40. Now I’m classed as 2kgs overweight and have a BMI of 25.9. A lot of people shrug off the BMI saying its crap and to a point I can agree but that really motivated me to get where I am today.
But in saying that…..to be honest my favourite thing would be I’m living life now and not just existing anymore and that is the best gift I have given myself, my family and most importantly my children. I brought them into this world and they deserve the best from me. My husband loved me at my worst and he can now enjoy me at my best. It has also blown me away how many people have said to me that I am an inspiration – this TRULY blows me away. People I once (and still do) look at to inspire me, now are inspired by me. What a beautiful moment that is to me.
So to end this story…. that my friends is why you should never give up on your goals and your dreams no matter how big or small they will be. You only live once so look after and believe in yourself. I don’t want to waste another moment of my unhealthy ways holding me back.
Also from the bottom of my heart I want to say a massive thank you to Kellie. She truly has a gift and she has given me a present I have longed for a very very long time – to look at a photograph of myself and love it and can proudly say I look beautiful in, thank you x
Love Kate x