Growing up in a large Greek family, home cooked meals were always what brought Olga Babatzanis' family together. But as Olga's metabolism slowed with age, her relatives became increasingly critical about her weight – often calling her ‘fat’.
The constant criticism wore on Olga’s self-confidence and as the kilos continued to pile on, the HR worker no longer recognised the woman looking back at her in the mirror.
She was desperate to regain her self-esteem after tipping the scales at over 147kg, Here. she tells Lifestyle News how she lost an incredible 70 kilos.
Q: Tell me what it was like growing up in a Greek family?
A: Growing up in a Greek family was, and still is, loud! I'm one of four children and was lucky to have plenty of family around whilst growing up, including all four grandparents.
We would gather together for various occasions such as Christmas, Easter, birthdays and name days. At these gatherings there would be an abundance of all the yummy Greek food.
Q: At what age were you when you tipped the scales at 147kg? What was your reaction?
I tipped the scales at 147kg in my mid to late 30s. I knew that my weight had crept up over the years and was ashamed as to how big I had gotten, especially when I jumped on the scales at my first meeting with my 1:1 Diet consultant.
Q: How did you lose the weight?
A: I lost just over 70kg over around a three to four years - reaching my goal just before my 40th birthday - with the help of The 1:1 Diet. I was on a calorie controlled diet where I would I would replace meals with their products.
At the beginning I was on 800 calories per day (4 products per day or 3 products per day and 1 x 200 calorie meal).
The products range from shakes, smoothies, porridge, bars, soups to ready made meals. I would also see my consultant Marianne on a weekly basis where I would get weighed and we would discuss how my week had gone.
Marianne provided the support that I needed during this journey. She was there for me whenever I needed her and provided the guidance that I needed to assist me in achieving my goals.
Over time my calories were increased and a product would be replaced with a balanced meal, fruit and yoghurt – which is what I mostly eat today.
Q: Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to undergo a similar transformation journey?
A: Any weight loss journey is not easy, but I have found that anything is possible as I never thought that I would have achieved the weight loss that I did.
I would highly recommend The 1:1 Diet for others looking to make a change. Having a consultant who had gone through the journey themselves and who was there every step of the way is crucial.
Q: How do you feel now after losing such an incredible amount of weight?
A: I feel happier with myself. I am no longer self conscious wearing clothes and don't hide myself with baggy clothes. It has given more confidence in life. I have more energy now and am enjoying every aspect of life.
Q: Do people still recognise you?
A: People still recognise me but a lot of them who haven't seen me for a while are shocked as to how much weight I have lost and how different I look.
A lot of family and friends are happy about my achievement and are proud of me.