It should have been a day of celebration, but as Anna Van Dyken watched her son Ethan struggle to cross the finish line at his school sports day, the Perth mum was shattered.
“Watching Ethan huffing and puffing across the finish line long after his school mates, I felt like the worst mum,” Anna, 43, says. “When Ethan cried because it was so embarrassing, it broke my heart.”
That night two years ago, Anna wept to her delivery driver husband Rodney, 42, knowing her own weight had spiralled out of control. Unable to walk without losing her breath, Rodney, who weighed 120kg, had to tie her shoelaces.
“Ethan was 79kg, too much for a little boy. I was to blame and I felt so ashamed,” she reveals.
Anna knew they needed drastic action, so the next day she went to a Weight Watchers meeting in Southern River, WA.
“When the scales registered 141kg, I fought tears,” she admits.
Back at home, Anna cleared her pantry of junk food, providing healthy alternatives. “I always had a pot of soup on the go for Ethan to snack on,” she says.
Together, the family got active. After school, Rodney took Ethan to the park to play footy or basketball.
Now the super-fit family have lost an astonishing 101kg – with proud Anna ditching 50kg alone and winning the Inspiration category in the 2013 Weight Watchers Healthy Life Awards.
At 85kg, Rodney’s diabetes has disappeared, and Ethan, now 63kg, has discovered a passion for sport.