From left: Amy Wheeler, 9, Natalie Wheeler, 39, and Zachary Wheeler, 7.
From left: Amy Wheeler, 9, Natalie Wheeler, 39, and Zachary Wheeler, 7. Renee Pilcher

'I haven't been this weight since primary school'

PEOPLE who have known Natalie Wheeler all her life no longer recognise her in the street.

"I have to go up to them and say, 'It's me, it's Natalie,' and they gasp, 'My God!'" Mrs Wheeler said.

The 39-year-old Kandanga Creek dairy farmer's dramatic transformation over the last year has seen her weight drop 50kg.

"I was huge," Mrs Wheeler said.

"Can you imagine another 50cm, 25cm on each side of me? That's how big I was."

BEFORE: Natalie Wheeler weighed in at 120kg.
BEFORE: Natalie Wheeler weighed in at 120kg.

When she was 120kg, she had trouble getting up in the morning, felt depressed and lacked energy.

"Your whole body's just telling you it's not right," she said.

A comment from her daughter was the final push for Mrs Wheeler to make the change.

"My daughter said to me one night, 'Mummy, why are you so much bigger than all the other mummies at school?'" Mrs Wheeler said.

"That was a sign to me that I had to do something."

But the call to action had already been whirring in the back of Mrs Wheeler's mind for some time.

"I've been a big person all my life, and I wanted to start doing something for myself," she said.

"I wanted to start getting in shape because my son is overweight as well, and he also has autism.

"I wanted to show James that it can be done."

She signed up for the Jenny Craig weight loss program on April 14 last year, and once she committed, she found losing the weight easy and rewarding.

"I really enjoyed myself," she said.

"Jenny Craig couldn't believe how devoted I was.

"I liked the program, and the food is just fantastic."

AFTER: Natalie Wheeler says she feels incredible after shedding almost half her body weight.
AFTER: Natalie Wheeler says she feels incredible after shedding almost half her body weight. Renee Albrecht

It took just 47 weeks for Mrs Wheeler to drop 50.8kg, and she's now reached her goal of 70kg.

"I haven't been this weight since late primary school, early high school," she said.

"I have to find myself. I don't know my body."

Mrs Wheeler said working on a dairy farm was her main exercise.

"It is very physical work, because you're standing milking cows for seven hours a day," she said.

Mrs Wheeler said while she ate well for her main meals before she turned her life around, unhealthy snacking had been holding her back.

"My snacks were bad," she said.

"When you've had enough of cows and everything, you want to eat chocolates or biscuits and stuff like that."

"I lost my sister in a car accident a year and a half ago, and you do eat for how you're feeling."

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