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Mellissa Hiscocks-O’Connell

NSW woman Mellissa Hiscocks-O’Connell, 54, reached more than 100 kilograms after the weight piled on following a bad injury. When a doctor warned her she could lose her knee, she knew she had to take action. Now Mellissa is at the healthiest and happiest she has even been - and even manages to walk more than eight km a day. Here, she tells Lifestyle News about her journey to health.

Q: How did you end up weighing more than 100 kg?

A: As a young adult, I was fit and healthy, playing a variety of sports and dancing. Being active was really important to me because it made me feel great!!

When I became a mum, I had little time to do sport and I started to gain weight. But my weight gain really propelled after I had a fall, severely injuring my right knee.

Sadly, it never healed completely and the injury stopped me from exercising and I continued to gain weight month after month.

Q: You said you have hypermobility. What is that?

A: Joint hypermobility means that some or all of my joints have an unusually large range of movement. As a kid I thought this was great!

But it also means I have loose joints which results in pain and stiffness in my joints and surrounding muscles. It also causes reoccurring injuries and sprains which prevents me from participating in high intensity workouts.

woman wearing black lace
Mellissa before her health journey

Q: Were you shocked by the doctor's verdict that you could lose your knee?

A: I was absolutely shocked! After having the first knee reconstruction I wanted to do everything I could to avoid having the second knee reconstructed. The pain and recovery was unbelievable.

Q: How did you lose 36kg, and over what period?

A: Just before I turned 50, I wanted to lose weight to be fit and fabulous instead of fat, flabby and 50.

In the first four weeks I stopped drinking alcohol, sugary soda’s and I cut out bread,. I started drinking lots of water and replaced breakfast and lunch with The Lady Shake and took up walking.

In the first 9.5 weeks I had lost 15kgs.

In eight months, I hit my goal of feeling fit fab and 50. In total I have lost 36kgs and have maintained my weight loss for four years now.

Q: How do you feel now?

I sleep better and have so much more energy than I used to have. I also only visit my osteopath monthly whereas before I was needing weekly appointments.

I love going clothes shopping now as I know I can buy whatever I like instead of worrying if it will fit me or look good on me.

I also used to catch common colds and would take longer to recover due to being unhealthy and carrying too much weight. Now I rarely get sick.

I am seriously living my best life and I really believe it’s due to my new, healthy and active lifestyle.

Q: What led you to walking eight kms a day?

A: Due to my previous injuries and needing knee reconstruction surgery walking was the only exercise that was manageable.

When I first started out walking, I would walk three to four kilometres every three days and as I continued to lose weight, I slowly increased the distance to seven to nine kilometres five to six days a week.

I get so much from being outdoors and enjoying the fresh air, it is such a huge benefit for my physical and mental health.

By slowly increasing the length of my walks and improving my fitness I was able to hike the Diamond Head walk, the Pink Pillbox and Koko Crater trail in Hawaii. This is something I’m proud of.

Q: Do you have any advice for people who want to undergo a weight loss journey?

A: For anyone looking at starting a weight loss journey I would say go for it, you have nothing to lose except the weight!!

The Lady Shake really helped me kick bad habits and start (and keep) new ones. I didn’t have to worry about squeezing all the nutrition into my meal plans because it has all it, if not more, of the good stuff you need for breakfast and lunch.

My advice for others is to take it one day at a time, set yourself realistic and achievable goals and don’t compare yourself to other people and their journey as we are all unique.

That said, what helped me the most was my support network. Yes, you have to lose the weight on your own, but the journey shouldn’t be a lonely one.

Just as you prepare your meal plans for the week, also make sure you’re meeting with others who are going through the same thing.

If you don’t want to be part of a group, consider going on your weight loss journey with a friend or be totally up front with your loved ones so they support you on your journey from the get go.

If you focus more on your health than your appearance you will feel better in yourself, have more energy to be more active with your family and it will result in you feeling more confident in yourself.

You can get very caught up in not making enough progress quickly enough, so it is important to celebrate your wins no matter how small.

If you set achievable and realistic goals, you feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride when you achieve them.

Losing weight gives you such a better quality of life and allows you to engage in activities you enjoy with less physical limitations.

woman at beach

Q: Apart from the weight loss, what other changes have you found?

A: On top of sleeping better, rarely getting ill and improved mental health. I now plan lots of adventures and holidays, as I have a lot more self-confidence and want to live well.

I also now go on regular walks with my son, and we enjoy quality time together in the great outdoors.

Q: How are you going now?

A: I truly wish I had found the Lady Shake years before I did! It’s not so much the product but how it allowed me to change my eating habits and diet perspectives.

I used to think eating three meals a day was too much when in fact it’s vital to lose and maintain the weight you want.

I am now on the other side of 50 and through menopause but it hasn’t stopped me. I am truly living my best life and love being able to inspire others on their weight loss journey is truly amazing.



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