Well this is week 2 in the 52 weeks of passion, in case you missed the details; I am interviewing people who have had a Good Life Crisis, people who have decided to choose how they will live their lives and are following their passions as a result.
It is not about the richest people or the most successful people, it is about real people who are living lives they have designed.
This week we took some time to interview Annette Sym on her dramatic life change through health…
Where did it all begin?
Annette: My Good Life Crisis was back in 1989, after a day at the beach with some friends and family. A friend had taken a photo of me in my swimsuit and when I later saw the photo I was devastated: the photo showed every bit of my 100 kilos.
It had been a really nice day at the beach, but now all I could see was a very obese woman who was unfit, unhealthy and very unhappy with herself. I cried that day – in fact I sobbed and had the biggest pity party for myself…
But after the tears and pity party were over, I made an important decision that would change my life in ways that I could never have imagined.
I decided at that moment that I would never, ever go on a diet again – “Hello…do you think they were working? No way!”. Instead, “I just want to be healthy, to feel well and bounce through the day with lots of energy” so I decided to become a healthy person from that moment on.
My biggest mistake was trusting that dieting was going to help me lose weight. All it ever did was make me fatter.
How has your Good Life Crisis changed your life?
Annette: Before deciding to change my life, I was at my lowest of lows. I had no energy, I was uncomfortable carrying around 100 kilos and was constantly sweating. I hated myself! But now…I love everything about my life and I feel so lucky to have the life I have.
I lost 35 kilos in 20 months and have been in my healthy weight range now for 19 years. I am fit and fabulous and have found my passion in life and my purpose: to help others learn how to be healthy and to cook fabulous low fat food that they love to eat.
As a nation we have major health problems with obesity at its highest, diabetes at plague proportions and our number 1 cause of death is from heart disease – I hope to help change this so that we can all live long and healthy lives!
What was the most important decision you made?
Annette: Without a doubt, it was to stop dieting and to just be healthy. When you say the word ‘diet’ the first 3 letters are ‘die’ and that’s what dieting feels like – that you have no life and you may die younger than you should!
But when you say the word ‘healthy’ the first 4 letters are ‘heal’ and that is what I did – I not only healed on the outside, but also on the inside.
What is the biggest challenge you face today?
Annette: On a personal level, it’s a challenge keeping up with all that I do and making sure that I have quality time with my beautiful family, especially my little granddaughter.
In terms of my career and passion for helping others turn their lives around, I’d love to have my own television show where I could show-case how to be healthy. I’d also like to take my message abroad to the UK and continue to grow my business offshore.
How did you get through the hard times?
Annette: Having an absolute belief in what I do. I am so passionate about showing the world that low fat healthy food can be fabulous and is also very easy to make. I have been there and done it so – really – I am the proof that this really works and if I can do it, anyone can!
All it takes is commitment, belief and having a positive attitude to your success.
My proudest moment is the fact that I have maintained my healthy weight range for so long! We can all lose weight – but keeping it off is the ultimate goal.
What advice do you have for others who want to make a big change?
Annette: See the big picture and know what it is you’re working towards. I wanted to be able to get out of a chair easily and to be able to buy anything that I wanted in any dress shop. Have your desires at the forefront and know what you MUST do to achieve this.
Be committed and focused on your goal and let nothing stop you from achieving it!
What do you wish you knew when you started?
Annette: Probably how good it would feel to be healthy and at my ideal weight. I couldn’t see this in the beginning…I was just lost in the fog of the fat. If I knew then how great it is to be the ‘healthy Annette’ I probably would have started this journey much earlier on!
Annette Sym has a passion for helping others and has self-published a low fat cookbook series, Symply Too Good To Be True.