How Dubai mom lost 27kg after a battle with depression

The incredible journey behind Janet’s ‘before’ and ‘after’ pics. This is more than just a weight loss story.

Dubai resident Janet Antelmi always worked as a volunteer helping people with mental health and depression. She never thought that it could happen to her. But it did. After giving birth to two children, the 32-year-old Australian national suffered from depression for three years. To be a better role model for her kids, she went to a doctor for treatment. Apart from treating mental health, becoming physically strong was also her priority. Janet started going to the gym, joined local running club and was monitoring her diet. Using various physical exercises and a positive mindset, Janet proved that illnesses, weight gain, and other life challenges like motherhood, grief, postpartum should be no obstacle to feeling good about yourself. Scaling down from 96kg to 69kg was not an easy journey but a fulfilling one indeed.

Currently committed to a running challenge called the #eid2eidchallenge, Janet is running 5 K every day for 57 days.
After finding her groove back, Janet has made many new friends in the fitness community, but she still has those days when she struggles. But not like before. “Depression literally controlled my life for 3 full years. I was always tired, constant crying, and feeling useless.”
Janet is a full-time mother who supports charities around the world. This is her story.

“I suffered from depression during and after both pregnancies and moving to a new country did not help as I left all my family back in Australia. I was seeing a Dr who said I was clinically depressed and needed to go on medication as it was ongoing for 3 years. That’s when I said, ‘No. I need to do something about it as I did not want kids to see me like this and I needed to be strong for them.’

before and after image of a woman

Used exercise to transform her mindset – and her body

Embarrassed and socially awkward to be around people, I started in my very humble apartment complex gym. My comfort was dropping my son at nursery and taking my daughter with me to the gym. What followed was changing the way I ate and following an eating plan. Once my daughter started nursery, I signed up to a local gym. Gym classes became my safe place. I became addicted to the classes and the people I built bonds with. I finally started to feel like myself again.

This year I promised myself it was my year and I have completed any challenge put in front of me. I was never a runner and completed my first ever spartan race which included a 5k and a 10k run as well as an 84k bike ride. Straight after this, I jumped into a running challenge called the #eid2eidchallenge where I committed to running 5k every day – where I am currently on day 52.

Overcame depression with the help of personal training in Dubai

My challenges will always be ongoing, I have bulging discs in my back which causes numbness in my legs some days and this can last sometimes for weeks. There are days I can wake up and I can’t walk due to the severe pain. It is frustrating but I have learned how to deal with it. Another frustration I think is common among people on this type of journey is not recognizing your achievements. Some days I look in the mirror and see no change and then every other day I’m like oh yeah I look different but it’s not good enough. I think that’s the hardest thing I struggle with constantly.

before and after image of a woman with her kids

Embraced running and healthy food swaps
My family is in Australia and they were proud of me but I think they were more worried about my mental health than my weight. Throughout this journey, I have met amazing people who were super supportive and encouraging. People at Fitrepublik and my amazing group at 5:30 run.

Message to those who are suffering

Never give up and it’s ok to ask for help, we all have to start somewhere. It is your journey no one else’s so go at your own pace.

To learn about Janet’s runnign club, click here

Read more about the charity that Janet is supporting, HERE

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Arti Dani
Arti Dani is a journalist by trade, a travelling runner with 5 international marathons, one ultra-marathon under her belt. 100 push-ups a day is a simple job for her, even though she's still working to perfect her headstand skills.
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