Dyana Brown has an incredible story. Challenged by sudden serious health problems, Dyana conquered her illness with a new recipe for her life; diet and exercise. She lost 50 kg, gained a whole lotta life and is now up for a national award for weight loss through Curves gym.
Dyana, you have recently lost a tremendous amount of weight, and it was all kick started by some health problems. Tell us about the beginning of your journey …
I gained an enormous amount of weight after I was diagnosed with a spinal problem, and the outcome was not good … in fact, it was inoperable. I was told I would be in a wheelchair in 12 months. I said OK! I tried to stay positive, and we moved forward.
My husband and I moved house for a new beginning, but within five years, everything started to break down in my body. My legs started to cause many problems. Toes. Hands. Cartilage. I couldn’t exercise, and so the weight piled on. I was getting more and more depressed. I had been a dancer when I was younger, loved theatrics and had a busy and wonderful social life, so when this all happened I began to lose my confidence. I tried changing my diet, I tried physio, but nothing would work.
After much reluctancy, I joined Curves in Taree. After one session, I decided that it was for me. It has done amazing things to my body, and right from day one I started to lose weight. I started to feel really good and to be among people again was such a pleasure. It had taken time, but within four years I had lost 50 kg.
> What would be your sneaky foods, and what have you swapped them for?
I never had a real big downfall. I was never a sweet person …. but cheese – cheese and wine.
Now I am on a low carb diet, and each morning I start with a protein shake. I have a tossed salad with all the lovely salad-y things. My husband and I love our food, and we love it fresh.
Combined with the gym, it motivates me and excites me and it really relieves the pain that I do have today. Sometimes I wake up and just feel a tremendous urge to get myself to the gym! And I never thought I would say that!
> Who do you think you would have been if you didn’t take the path you have taken?
I have no idea – because I was at wit’s end. Today, I have confidence back, so being in a wheelchair to do the strenuous things I love, like going to wineries and going shopping and enjoying life – does not bother me anymore! The gym has really halted what could have been a really bad case.
> What would you say to people who may be having health problems at the moment and are inspired by your story?
I would say, “Look after yourself! Get out there, exercise and enjoy life.” The reason I promote Curves is because it’s not only about losing weight; it is about gaining a healthy lifestyle.
> What would you say to people who would call you a Local Legend for losing so much weight and gaining a whole lot of life to inspire people?
Oh! I have never thought of myself as a local legend. I am now promoting exercise and good health, and I really want to pass that message on – if that falls into the legend category, then I am very flattered!
> Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Peter my husband; he is my rock. It is his encouragement that gets me to where I am.
And of course, the team at Curves!