Bracken Ridge swapper’s new lease on life 10th September 2012
Standing in a fitting room, Bracken Ridge mother-of-six Tracey Hoffman experienced a defining moment that changed her lifestyle and spurred her on to shed 20 centimetres from her waistline.
In Tracey’s words, she was ‘fat, fifty and about to become a grandmother’ and she knew, with every fibre of her being, that she did not want to buy the size 18 jeans staring back at her.
Tracey was one of 60 Swappers that completed the 612 ABC Brisbane Swap It challenge this year. Five announcers led teams of 12 to win by losing centimetres from their waistlines through small physical activity and nutrition swaps daily.
The 12-week challenge saw Tracey swap her way back into a pair of size 12 jeans, and she is now urging others to make swaps for life and tackle obesity and largely preventable chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
“When I started the 12-week Swap It challenge on April 23, I was battling constant fatigue and had a waist measurement of 106 cm,” Tracey said.
“I heard about the challenge on the radio, and decided that it was about time I did something for myself. I was worried that I could be at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes or another chronic disease.”
“The main thing that attracted me to the Swap It challenge was the fact that it’s not a diet program, and doesn’t require an expensive gym membership. It’s about making small swaps that you can fit into your daily life.”
Tracey’s family supported her every step of the way, with her 12-year-old son encouraging her to swap driving for walking with the family dog for 40 minutes, twice a week.
“That was literally the first step. From there, I made the decision to make a swap every day. I started swapping my second cup of coffee in the morning for a green tea and reducing my portion sizes. I then stopped eating the kid’s leftovers, and on the advice of a nutritionist – swapped white bread for sourdough bread.”
“Over the 12 weeks, as I got more active, I tried things I wouldn’t have had the guts to try before, like boot camp and Zumba – which is actually a lot of fun and a really good laugh.”
With a new spring in her step, Tracey is looking forward to welcoming her first grandchild into the world as a healthy and fit grandmother.
“I am really proud of myself, not just for losing 20 centimetres and 13.5 kilograms, but for sticking to the Swap It challenge. It’s been such a great journey for me,” Tracey said.
Queensland’s peak diabetes, heart, nutrition and cancer bodies support the national Swap It, Don’t Stop It campaign through their Queensland Non-Government Organisations’ Swap It Program.