They call me a gym junkie now

The only downside to Leah Flaxman’s 30-kilogram weight loss is how much money she has to spend on new clothes.

“I bought a size 12 pair of jeans at the start of winter and I’m a size 8 or 10 now. I’m not going to buy new ones because they were expensive but I have to wear a belt with them. I’m always pulling them up,” she said.

Leah from South Windsor stands at just 152cm tall, and 18 months ago weighed an unhealthy 94.9kg. She now weighs 64.8kg, and is fitter than she has been since childhood.

Leah before and after she dropped 30kgs


Leah, 49, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2012, nearly two years after she developed gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with her youngest child.

“I ended up having to inject insulin twice a day. Since I’ve become fit and lost weight, I’m off insulin and just take metformin. That was a big relief. Life’s a lot easier without having to prick yourself all day.”

Leah said the starting point to her weight loss was receiving an email about Beat It.

“I’d spent 20 years as just a mum,” she said modestly. “Everyone else came first and I took a backseat to the kids.


“I decided to do something for me. I wanted to do something so that the kids would look up to me.”


Her five children are proud of what Leah has achieved. “They call me a gym junkie now.”

She attends the gym five or six times a week, but that’s not how she started.

“Before Beat It, I’d never walked into a gym in my life. Beat It is great because it’s personalised to help you. Everyone gets their own program to suit their health and fitness level.

“My group ranged in age from me as the youngest to someone who was 90. Everyone was so encouraging and positive.

“It was a great experience for me.”

Leah says she has never been on a diet in her life and if she wants to eat something, she’ll have it. As she started getting fitter, she started reducing her portion size.

Through one of the Beat It sessions with a dietitian, she was advised to eat five times a day.

“I found that a hard adjustment. I’d always eaten three times a day and would have a big meal at night. Now I’m not as hungry because I eat smaller amounts five times a day.

“It’s helped me reduce my portion size.”

Leah’s first goal was to lose 5kg, so she would weigh less than 90kg for the first time in years.

“Beat It helped me set small goals that I could achieve. You feel so good when you see the numbers on the scale getting smaller.

“There’s nothing like weight loss to help with your mental health.”

Join our community of over 33,000 people living with diabetes