Marnie Benney once weighed 138.2kgs, would spend on average $450 on fast-food and drank 3 litres of coke everyday.
Marnie Benney once weighed 138.2kgs, would spend on average $450 on fast-food and drank 3 litres of coke everyday.

Fish and chips addict loses 70kgs

It's hard to fathom spending $450 a week on fish and chips, let alone drinking three litres of Coke Zero every day for nearly two years.

But this was a reality for Melbourne local Marnie Benney.

At the time, the then 47-year-old weighed 138.2kg - the heaviest she had ever been which was the equivalent to a size 30 - her diet relied heavily on not just takeaway food, but all things sweet and fried.

Between her and her partner, they spent a whopping $23,400 a year on fast food. They did this for close to two years - it was a life Ms Benney loathed.

"A classic couch potato and a massive emotional eater, living predominantly on chocolate and all things sweet or fried and washing it down with soft drink is an apt way to describe the old me," Ms Benney said.

Marnie Benney weighed 138.2kgs at her heaviest. A size 28-30.
Marnie Benney weighed 138.2kgs at her heaviest. A size 28-30.

 

"For me it wasn't so much that I was eating large quantities but more of the wrong food.

"I would skip breakfast and lunch and by the time I go home from work we (partner) would pick up takeaway which was mainly fish and chips, to Maccas and Chinese food."

The now 50-year-old said she hated herself for it, but couldn't find the strength or motivation to make a change.

"I absolutely hated everything about me back then," she told news.com.au

"I never exercised and always found excuses not to walk anywhere. I had tried several gyms, as well as personal training, pilates and boot camp previously, all unsuccessfully; never losing weight, improving my health or self-esteem issues."

It wasn't until her doctor told her that if she didn't make a lifestyle change, she would be "a heart attack or stroke waiting to happen."

 

Working long hours, she would always resort to takeaway, spending about $450 on fish and chips, to McDonalds and Chinese every week.
Working long hours, she would always resort to takeaway, spending about $450 on fish and chips, to McDonalds and Chinese every week.

 

Her fitness journey began when her doctor told her she was borderline diabetic and if she didn’t change, would have to self-inject insulin daily.
Her fitness journey began when her doctor told her she was borderline diabetic and if she didn’t change, would have to self-inject insulin daily.

"I knew what it meant and it was shock to me - the doctor said if nothing changed I would have to self-inject insulin everyday and that was a slap in the face," she told news.com.au

Determined to make a change, Ms Benney joined her local Vision Personal Training gym in Hawthorn, Victoria back in 2015 and has stuck with the same personal trainer, James Harris, to this day - a tough journey, but a life-changing journey, she says.

But even after joining the gym Ms Benney said she didn't realise just how unhealthy she was until she looked down at the scales.

"I was shocked to discover I weighed 138.2kgs," she said.

 

Marnie Benney with her trainer James Harris of Vision Personal Training.
Marnie Benney with her trainer James Harris of Vision Personal Training.

"When he told me to get on the scales the following week I was waiting for my partner because she would untie my laces for me as I couldn't bend over to reach them … as I waited for her, he realised what was wrong and without saying a word just did them for me.

"He did that every week for two months until I couldn't bend over and do it myself and that was such a huge thing for me - I absolutely loathed myself and nothing anyone could say would make me feel better about myself but he made all of it okay - the little things he did spurred me on."

 

The trooper went on to lose 70 kilos in 11 months.
The trooper went on to lose 70 kilos in 11 months.

 

The now 50-year-old has maintained a healthy lifestyle having run in the New York marathon and is in training for her the 100km ultra-marathon at Surf Coast Century in September.
The now 50-year-old has maintained a healthy lifestyle having run in the New York marathon and is in training for her the 100km ultra-marathon at Surf Coast Century in September.

 

She also participated in her first Spartan event last year.
She also participated in her first Spartan event last year.

Ms Benney who even refused to look in the mirror back, went on to lose an incredible 70kgs in 11 months - she said it was through food education, encouragement and support that helped her over the line.

At her biggest she was a size 30 and now she's a comfortable and happy size 10.

In 2016, the inspiring woman ran her first marathon in New York - running was something she had always wanted to do but couldn't because of her obesity and concern to cause injury.

In February last year she participated in her first Spartan event and this September will see her compete for the 100km ultra-marathon at Surf Coast Century.

 

The inspirational woman now weighs in at just 77.2kgs — she continues to train with Mr Harris.
The inspirational woman now weighs in at just 77.2kgs — she continues to train with Mr Harris.

"You have got to want to make the change - you can't do it for someone else but yourself," Ms Benney said.
"It's also important to get support - it doesn't matter where it comes from because there will be times when it's hard to stay on track and it's your support that picks you up."

"Mine are there for the highs and lows."

Ms Benney said she lives life to the fullest and has a new found love for herself.

 

Her diet consisted of fast food, soft drinks, chocolate and very little water.
Her diet consisted of fast food, soft drinks, chocolate and very little water.

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