Sammy Power spent half her life overweight and then everything changed when she went from size 24 to 12, writes Helen Goltz

“Junk food … look at it like drugs, learn to hate it. It’s keeping you in a place you don’t want to be.”

A funny thing happened to radio personality Sammy Power – overweight, out of her career, going through a bad breakup and on the wrong side of fifty; Sammy’s life got better.

“I had given up my career (radio) to come up and help mum run Jan Powers Farmers Markets but I was directionless, lost and drinking too much,” she says.

“Exactly one year out of my fiftieth I stopped drinking and smoking and started eating healthy food. My life changed.”

Physical perceptions

“I used to think I looked great. I tried so many times to lose weight but I liked the partying life,” Sammy says.“It is virtually impossible for me to lose weight and drink … all good intentions go out the window with a hangover. So I stopped.”

Known as a very funny lady with a ‘big’ personality, did the weight and humour go hand-in-hand?

“Well I’m 62 kilos now and I’m still hilarious,” Sammy jokes. “It’s just different jokes.”

Childhood weight

As a child Sammy was always the ‘big girl’.

“My sister Astrid was born three months premature, you can imagine how small she was. When mum was pregnant with me they did something to keep me in there and I came out like a number 26 turkey,” Sammy says.

“I was always called the ‘big girl’, but I look at photos and I was normal. What you believe, you become. I always pull people up for the way they talk to their kids.”

Losing the weight

Sammy says having an obsessive personality helps with weight loss and control, but she’s had to make changes.

  • Lists: “I write goals and lists and lists of the lists… kilos I’m at, where I want to get, how much exercise I’ve done, what I’ve eaten.”
  • Adapting your social circle: “All of my friends were huge partying drinkers and it was just too torturous to go out,” she says. But discovering yoga made all the difference. “The people I have met through yoga are wonderful and interesting. Sixty kilos down!”
  • The food itself: “No processed food, all fresh food from the market. I could have whatever I liked as long as I made it myself.”
  • Support: “I’ve learnt I can’t do it alone, I have a fabulous trainer in Ex-Bullets captain Simon Kerle. He is amazing at keeping me on track.”

The psyche of being thinner

“I’d love to say I’m circling the moon with joy, but it’s a funny new world to navigate,” Sammy says.  “People treat you differently when you are thinner.

“I think I have body dysmorphia because if a man looks at me, I presume I have spinach in my teeth or my skirt is tucked into my undies.”

Words of wisdom

Sammy is the first to admit it hasn’t been easy.

“Be realistic… it is going to take time,” she says. “If you can’t afford a trainer find a friend who will walk with you, throw out all the junk food … look at it like drugs, learn to hate it. It’s keeping you in a place you don’t want to be.

“Your life can change in a minute and you are in charge.”