Simple lifestyle change that turned teen's life around
DAYNA Pukallus was always the bigger kid growing up and was picked on at school.
It wasn't until she turned 18 that she decided she had to start loving herself for the way that she looked.
"I had always been the big kid so I got to a point where I thought I will never lose the weight so why hate yourself for the way you look now if that is how you are going to look for the rest of your life," she said.
After several false starts over the years when she accepted herself the weight started to fall off.
In a year the Kingaroy teenager has lost 39.6kg, weighing in at 126kg after her 18th birthday in July 2018 to 86.4kg today.
"Making that conscious decision to love myself for the way I was, was the best decision I had made to date," she said.
Dayna said there was a common misconception that once she lost the weight she would be happy, but that hasn't been the case.
"My biggest challenge, especially recently, has been staying motivated and continuing to love myself for the way I look now," she said.
"When you lose roughly 40kg in just over a year, like I have, your body has changed extremely and although you loved yourself for how you looked when you were bigger, you are now living with a new version of yourself that you are not familiar with and so sometimes loving yourself can be hard."
Her advise to others looking to make healthier changes in their life is to "love yourself."
"Don't do it until you can look yourself in the mirror and love the person that is looking back at you," she said.
"That is the hardest part of weight loss."
She trains at Conquer Fitness five times a week where she has learnt how to fuel her body with the right food and exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
She continues to set her sights on new challenges with the goal to carry the weight she has lost as a reminder of how far she has come and strong she has become.