How to lose weight: Gold Coast woman shows off 100kg loss

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SHARI Ware used to wake up every morning with a sense of a dread.

The Gold Coast mother knew that when she put her feet on the ground for the first time each day it was going to be so excruciating she’d cry.

But it wasn’t only the acute, physical pain of stepping out of bed that would bring her to tears. It was that it would also jolt her awake to face another day as a morbidly obese person.

At her heaviest, Ms Ware, now 42, tipped the scales at more than 180kg.

“That’s as big as a baby elephant,” she said.

“My biggest issue was mainly that I used to eat too much of rice, pasta and bread.

“I ate them more often than is healthy and my portion sizes were way too big because I loved those foods so much.”

Ms Ware has since turned her life around, shedding at least 100.5kg, over three years.

“I didn’t want to be alone anymore and I didn’t want to leave my daughter without a mother at an early age,” she said.

The hardest thing about being morbidly obese was “the embarrassment and shame”, according to Ms Ware.

“I once apologised to my daughter, [now 22], for the embarrassment I felt I caused her,” she said.

“She told me I wasn’t an embarrassment and that she loved me no matter what, but I felt as if I was a major embarrassment to all of my family, [by] not being able to participate in life [and] not being able to run around and be active with my daughter.”

The shame Ms Ware felt about her weight controlled many areas of her life: She rarely posed for photos and subsequently doesn’t have any showing her at her heaviest; she avoided social occasions where she “might not fit” on chairs or in confined spaces; and her highest weight was never recorded because she couldn’t bring herself to step on the scales.

“My highest official measured weight was 170.2kg, however, by the time I found the courage to get on a set of scales at that point, I had already lost a significant amount of weight,” she said.

“I know that I would have been over 180kg at my biggest.”

Ms Ware’s battle with the bulge dated back to her childhood and was the catalyst for the high school bullying she became a regular target of, she said.

“Travelling home on the bus one day I had to stand in the aisle because all the seats were full,” she said.

“There were some kids from another school sitting in the seats either side of me, who spent the whole bus ride calling me names and pulling threads in my pantyhose.

“By the time I got off the bus I had tears streaming down my face, my pantyhose were ripped to shreds, and I had the horrible things they had said to me ringing in my ears.

“When I got home I was sobbing so hard, I couldn’t speak and it took a while for my mum to calm me down and tell her what happened.”


Ms Ware’s incredible transformation came after she decided to “make one change at a time starting with nutrition”.

She started the process in 2010.

“The first week that I decided to stick to 1200 calories was the hardest week. I was hangry!” she told

“For a very long time, I didn’t feel as if I could enjoy social occasions fully and still lose weight, so for the most part, I avoided them when I could.”

Her determination quickly started to pay off as the weight melted away.

In the first year she lost 10kg, followed by 50kg in the second year, and 35kg the next.

“I lost the last 5.5kg in the first quarter of 2013,” she said.

“On a daily basis nowadays, I eat lots of fresh vegetables, some fresh fruit, lean proteins and healthy fats.

“Now those [unhealthy foods I used to eat] are ‘sometimes’ foods for me.”

According to Ms Ware, the most important thing she learned about weight loss was that “not only is it important to have strong ‘whys’ but also to identify and counteract your ‘why nots’”.

“If your ‘why nots’ outweigh your ‘whys’, it will be much more difficult to release the weight,” she said.

Ms Ware’s dramatic weight loss left her with “a lot of excess skin” which she later had surgically removed.


Ms Ware has managed to maintain her lifestyle since reaching her goal weight several years ago. She exercises 5-6 days per week and “works on [her] mindset and self love every single day”.

“I continue to educate myself and continue to makes changes one at a time to create a healthier life,” she said.

Last year, she started her own business, Why Weight Loss Institute, where she helps others wanting to lose weight as a neuro-linguistic programming practitioner — which she also refers to as a “weight loss mindset mentor”. And she’s written a self-help book, Fat To Fabulous — Diet Free Weight Loss For Real Women based on her weight loss journey, which shot to the number one bestseller in its category on Amazon after she self-published it last week.

The main message is that weight loss is “not all about nutrition and exercise”.

“They are important, but the most important thing is what is going on in their head,” she said.

“We have all kinds of stuff going on in our subconscious that we are not even aware of sometimes, but the subconscious mind is so very powerful.

“If you have belief that it is possible and you have belief in yourself and that you are capable of succeeding, then absolutely anything is possible.”

And she’s living proof of that. She’s no longer afraid to “go anywhere” because she “won’t fit”. When she looks in the mirror, she “loves” what she sees. According to her, she now feels amazing both physically and mentally and is more open than ever before to finding love — although isn’t in a rush.

“I no longer worry about being an embarrassment to anyone, including my daughter,” Ms Ware said.

“And I wake up every day with joy instead of dread because I no longer cry out in pain when I put my feet on the floor for the first time.” | @Megan_Palin

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