In just over a year, 17-year-old Madison has lost more than 24.5 kilograms, going from 112 kilograms down to 87.5 kilograms, thanks to some healthy adjustments in her eating and exercise habits.

My weight has been an issue for quite a number of years. When I was six-years-old, I became sick with Streptococcus A (a flesh-eating disease), which led to half of my left leg being eaten away, which limited my ability to move.

As the years went by, I gained more and more weight. When I was 15, I really started to notice it myself. High school is a hard place to be when it comes to body image because society has created such a stigma. I wanted to lose weight, but I didn’t know where to start and it was even harder because exercise was so limited with my injury.

My orthopaedic surgeon was also worried about how my weight was affecting my leg – all the extra pressure was putting strain on my knee, meaning he had to operate as it was slowly breaking down.

Two years ago, my family and I started to find help through dietitians and doctors at Queensland Children’s Hospital. The guidance I received at this clinic was the start of what I’ve achieved today.

First, we went through my daily routines to look at what I was eating, as well as my exercise. From there, we set up a diet and exercise plan and I started measuring my food and making sure my portions were the right size.

While this was happening, I found out my thyroid wasn’t working as it should, which played a big part in my weight loss. I then went on an even more specialised diet, which was monitored by my doctors. I saw results almost instantly so that’s when I had a big spark of motivation and I knew this was going to work. Once I started my diet, my exercise was walking, boxing and exercises at home. I exercised just about every single day.

At this point, I have been on my specialised diet for 22 weeks and have lost 20.5 kilograms. My life has changed a lot since losing weight – I have gained so much self-confidence and I have been able to enjoy life so much more. I don’t feel tired and unmotivated anymore and I am a lot fitter.

My main piece of advice would be to not give up, no matter how much you think nothing’s going to work – something will. It’s a work in progress though – nothing will happen overnight. If you give it your all, you will see results.