As a police officer, Raymond Terrace’s Jacinta Wann was living the dream, doing what she loved most by serving her community, protecting the vulnerable and trying to make a difference.
However, after just six years in the force, Wann’s ambitious career came to a crushing halt when she was medically discharged, suffering from depression and diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“It was devastating to leave a job I thought I would have for life,” the 43-year-old said.
“To make matters worse I soon began to gain weight ... leaving the force had become a long, drawn out process and it was taking a massive toll on my health and fitness.”
Faced with a life spiraling out of control, Wann said she eventually turned to a friend who told her about the Weight Loss Coaching Works program.
“The program focuses on three aspects: diet [eating real food predominantly fruit and vegetables], accountability [having trust in yourself and being a team player] and fitness [regular walks prior to breakfast each day].
"The point of difference for me was the fact that you weren’t left to your own devices. There was a support person to guide you through the program every step of the journey.”
Within 27 weeks Wann had lost 22 kilos and just as importantly she was able to manage her anxiety attacks.
Wann said that she was so amazed with the turn around in her life that she wanted to help others who have been through similar experiences and have struggled with weight gain and mental illness.
She became a personal trainer and opened her own centre at the revamped Raymond Terrace Squash and Fitness complex.
“Raymond Terrace has a high rate of obesity and my mission is initially to reassure those people who have issues with their weight or are suffering from depression that there is support for them and they can recover.
“We have people from all walks of life attending the sessions, singles, couples and families. I am also passionate about seniors strength and stability. It can be one of the best decisions you make to reach your health and fitness goals.”
Last Sunday week the Port Stephens Street centre conducted a successful fun day, featuring a barbecue and demonstrations ranging from Wann’s training facility to yoga and squash.