Maryborough Shiralee Night Weight Club members (back from left) Carolyne Neilsen, June Wheeler, Laurell Whittaker, (seated from left) Barbara Ryan and Gay Bazza have all got the same mind-set for a life change.
Maryborough Shiralee Night Weight Club members (back from left) Carolyne Neilsen, June Wheeler, Laurell Whittaker, (seated from left) Barbara Ryan and Gay Bazza have all got the same mind-set for a life change. Boni Holmes

WEIGHT LOSS: Shiralee Club helps with unwanted burden

FOR a whole $1.50 you can get the support and inspiration to lose weight and make some new friends.

Formerly named the Maryborough Weight Watchers, now Maryborough Shiralee Night Weight Club, started in 1969.

The name Shiralee means unwanted burden.

There were 30 people at the initial meet in 1969 and within 10 weeks it was reported on the minutes to 141 members.

Carolyn dropped her blood pressure medication which she took for 20 years just over two years ago due to losing weight and becoming healthy.

At the time I was changing doctors and I told him i was going to Shiralee and was trying to lose weight.

He asked me one day why I was taking the pills for blood pressure because the pressure is not indicating you need the medication.

So I weaned myself off them and haven't taken them for two years.

Carolyn has been a princess.

We have a graduation every 12 months and whoever loses the most amount of weight becomes the king or queen and the second biggest loser becomes the first prince or princess and third biggest loser becomes the second prince or princess.

We make a big fuss - giving them all crowns and tiaras and flowers.

It is the only night we sit down and eat whatever we want.

We also have incentives awards which are presented at the graduation.

June has been a queen.

Each week June organises a topic about our healthy eating program and inspirational and relevant information.

We hold a yellow credit card - tell how much grams of fat and sugar you can have per serve of 100grams

All information comes from dietician and doctors.

I have a pipeline to the dieticians.

I learnt a lot at the Wesley Hospital when my husband was in there for open-heart surgery. They held three lessons a week that you could go to on each floor and I would go to all three of them

I always to a refresher course at the beginning of the year - going through the whole program and then break it down - for example this week we will have fruit and dairy.

I bring along samples of what you should be eating and the quantities you should be eating

"It is all natural eating and portion controlled.

It is not a diet - it is a life change.

We eat everything from the five food groups.

We also learn about the new products that come onto the market

It boils down to, don't leave anything out of the five food groups, portion control, moderation, exercise and hydration.

The group have all ages and genders.

We have had three kings over the 48 years operating.

It costs you a whole $1.50 a week, and $15 membership and raffles at 20 cents a ticket.

each month there are guest speakers like Physiologist, dietician, cardiologist, emergency services, diabetes educator - there's is something there for everyone.

It helps encourage people to come each week.

Over the years we have found those who come every week and stay for the meeting have more success rate.

No one is ridiculed or put in the corner.

when the group first started if you put on weight you had to get into the piggy pen (a baby's play pen) and put a pig mask over your head and sing the song.

Here we are, here we are, the ones who ate too much by far, we ate all the biscuits the cakes and the bread, now look and see how our faces are red, so we are going to try yes we are, next week we will do better by far, we gain us in figure and when we're no bigger you give us a big hip hurrah

There was a song for the goodies but I don't know that song .

The idea of the pig pen was to shame you into not putting on weight but for some of the mature ladies is worked the opposite.

I would take three or four others with me and ended up in the pig pen and after the meet we got outside and went bugger the weight watches and went down to the Mimosa Cafe and had toasted sandwiches and a milkshake.


CHANGE: Maryborough Shiralee Night Weight Club members June Wheeler and Carolyne Neilsen.
CHANGE: Maryborough Shiralee Night Weight Club members June Wheeler and Carolyne Neilsen. Boni Holmes

Carolyne said she wouldn't have turned up the next time.

We have a prize pool - each member puts in 20 cents and the one who has lost the most takes the money home.

We also have encouragement awards for those who lose weight four weeks in a row and the goodie bin.

It also must be a healthy weight loss which is considered no more than 1.5kg for the week.

We have a princess of the month

we work on our food groups Barbara

If you eat the right food and you're moving you should maintain your weight.

June remembers when there was a notice in the paper to start a weight watchers club.

I drove up and down, up and down the street, will I or won't I go in and then I saw some lady go in that I knew, so I thought I'll go in

I was made treasurer which only lasted until the next meet, but I have been president twice including currently.

We have about 40 to 60 members attend each week.

It is a health factor, we are not on a diet, we all want to change to enjoy a long life secretary Barb

When you go you are with like-minded people - everybody there has a weight problem so no one will feel out of place.


Meets every Wednesday 6.30pm at the Baptist hall, 168 Fort St, Maryborough.

Everyone welcome. Phone Laurell 4123 1288 or Mary 4121 2330.

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