It wasn’t until sitting at the doctor’s office, when their GP uttered the word ‘obesity’ that Oceania and Alfie realised their problem was fatal.
“Our doctor and told us we were in the obese range and if we didn’t change our lifestyle we would be at risk of a heart attack by the time we turned 30,” Oceania said.
That was a turning point for the Western Australian couple now both aged 28.
“We had no energy and the fact that we couldn't run alongside our kids was heartbreaking.”
More than three years ago Oceania Stack initially weighed 100 kilos and was a size 18, and her partner Alfie was 160kg and wore a size 5XL. The parents of four were really struggling to cope day by day with their lifestyle.
“We were overweight, tired, we’d binge eat and had no energy. We napped daily and never got full no matter what we were eating.”
The pair were eating take away meals three times per week, suffered daily headaches, bloating and back pain caused by excess weight they carried.
“We were so embarrassed by our appearance we hardly went out, we swam fully clothed and didn’t associate with the outside world.”
Hitting 'rock bottom'
Then there came a point in their life when they felt like they had both hit rock bottom.
“We had no energy and the fact that we couldn't run alongside our kids was heartbreaking,” Oceania explained.
“When you wake up one day and think ‘enough is enough’ to snap you out of your habits, you know this life your living is just not right.”
The couple both comes from Aboriginal families and they noticed family, friends and people of the community were passing away monthly, even weekly from health related issues. It struck them that their health issue could be prevented.
“We were attending regular funerals to see our mob passing away from health problems that could be prevented and obesity playing a big factor is a path we want to avoid.”
After much research and a lot of discussion, Alfie and Oceania decided to try an Australian weight management solution involving meal replacements and protein supplements.
"It was like a dark cloud that hovered over us for so long had gone.”
For the couple, it was not just for weight loss, but a lifestyle change. It only took a week to see results set in, but the full time mum said that wasn’t just the reason they continued their health kick.
“It was things like waking up before our alarm because we got the energy shift, not napping during the day, not binge eating, minimizing bloating, headaches and back pains. It was like a dark cloud that hovered over us for so long had gone,” she explained.
The pair have lost 65 kilos between the two of them and dropped six sizes down.
“The fact that we have energy every day is a blessing and we know we never want the lifestyle we previously had because we feel better physically, emotionally and mentally.
Oceania now clocks in at an impressive 74 kilos and proudly wears size 12 clothing while Alfie is at 119 kilos and has cut down to a size XL in the men’s department.
Although they both had busy lives consumed by children, community and work, Oceania says people need to find the time to put their health first.
“All it takes is one decision to change your life. You may not think you need to now but what about in the future? Are you confident and happy with what stares back at you in the mirror? I used to be ashamed and I have a long way to go BUT I'm a long way ahead of where I was,” she said.
“This may not be for you but we have to look our for our own mob. We are happier and healthier then we were in our teens and now we want to help others feel comfortable in their own skin.”
By sharing their story the couple hopes to make a positive impact in other Aboriginal communities to help reduce health problems and to prove that you can make a change and live a happy, healthy active lifestyle.
People interested in changing their eating habits and lifestyle should consult with their doctor.