How one photo changed this woman's life forever
CASSY Dickerson's inspiration to lose weight and get healthy came after being sent a photograph.
The photo came from a friend, who had taken snapshots of Cassy and her daughter at the iconic Cedar Creek Falls about three years ago, and it should have been a treasured experience, but she was horrified by what she saw.
"The photos were beautiful, but I wasn't. When she sent them to me I just though 'oh my god!'," Cassy said.
Years of sacrifice for her family and working a high-stress job had taken its toll, but it was also a turning point.
It was those photos, and how her clothes fit, that motivated this mother of three to lose weight and keep it off.
She has lost seven kilograms (from 75kg to 68kg) but, more importantly, she has changed the shape of her body.
"It took a while for those scales to fully drop. You don't think you're getting a result," she said.
"It's about how you feel in your clothes. When they (women) come into the gym I tell them not to look at the scales."
So how did she do it?
At the time of the Cedar Creek photo shot, Cassie was a commercial property real estate agent right in the middle of Mackay's property downturn and her levels of stress were "very high".
She started attending Anytime Fitness Mackay, working out to relieve the stress.
"In commercial property you are always on the go and it's a very stressful job; and with the downturn it was hard to make a living," she said.
There also were times she was acting like a "taxi service" for her two sons and her daughter. The gym was an opportunity to get some "me time".
"Women have to make sacrifices. Women have to get their life back and say 'this is important to me'," she said.
It worked, and she loved the "me time" so much that three years later she is working at the gym and studying to become a personal trainer.
"I probably don't train as much now, working at the gym, as I did before," she said.
Her life has become an inspiration to her friends and family.
She now gets up and starts training at 5.45am with two others.
"A neighbour and another friend, who have been inspired, train with me and we go for a walk around the block in the morning to warm up," she said.
"My 16-year-old son and 15-year-old son are used to it as well and they get up as well and train on the home gym," she said.
But Cassy said the biggest motivator was Anytime Fitness Mackay and her trainer Hugo van Rooyen, who worked with her on her training and diet plan.
"You have to maximise your workout. He (Hugo) really knows what he is doing. I really felt comfortable with him," she said.
"I like working the big body parts like my legs. I will weight train but I will also ensure the heart rate stays up.
"I lift as heavy as I can in between - it's active recovery."
She said it was the best way to maximise the benefits of the workout when you had a busy lifestyle.
Now Cassy is happy to pose for a photo with her daughter.