Name: Samantha Anderson
Club: Fernwood Tuggeranong, ACT
Starting weight: 90.2kg
Current weight: 69.2kg
Weight lost: 21kg
How did you feel when you realised you were a runner-up?
[I was] very excited, I just wanted to tell everyone, but we were sworn to secrecy. It was very much unexpected [as] my only aim was to win the challenge at my gym, so this was beyond anything that I could have imagined.
What was your health and fitness like before you started the challenge?
Really bad, I ate a lot of takeaway and processed food. Fitness wise, I was lucky if I worked out once a week with my trainer. If I had an excuse not to go, I would take it.
When and why did you decide to take part in the challenge?
I decided [to take part] about a week before the challenge. On one of the rare nights that I actually turned up to training, my trainer Maddy suggested that I do it.
I must have told her about 10 times I wasn’t interested, but Maddy suggested I book in for a free session with the food coach. I only said “yes” so she would stop asking me about it.
The next night I met with my food coach, Margaret, who convinced me the challenge was the perfect thing for someone like me. So I signed up, [and] the rest is history.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey?
What this challenge did for me is unexplainable; I got my confidence back, I met so many amazing, strong women, and kicked some major personal goals.
Where did you turn for support?
I could not have done it without my wonderful husband, Dwaine; my incredible trainer and good friend, Maddy; my ever-inspiring, beautiful food coach, Margaret; and the girls at work, Dayna and Kelly.
What do you believe was the key to your success?
[It was] my competitive nature. After my first weigh-in, I decided I would try to be the club winner, and after every weigh-in, I became more and more determined.
What did you learn about yourself throughout the 12 weeks?
[I learnt] that if I set my mind to it, I can do anything. The only thing that is stopping me from succeeding is me.
I’m so glad I did the challenge; it has changed my life. I’m so happy and I feel like I’ve been walking on cloud nine since it finished.
What are your plans for staying on track in the future?
I plan on going to the gym daily and I know a lot more about food now, so I just need to make smart choices.