Globe-trotting make-up artist Bernadette Fiser’s life sounded impossibly glamorous. The bubbly blonde’s talent had carried her from Dandenong, Victoria, all the way to the set of European fashion shoots for Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Marie Claire, but success came at a price.
As the make-up artist to stars such as Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and Virgin billionaire Richard Branson tells The Australian Women’s Weekly this month, she was so desperately unhappy she could barely look at herself in the mirror.
Last year, she decided to do something about it. The busy 52-year-old mother and professional designed a diet that helped her shed 30kg in 30 weeks.
“I spent my day making people look and feel fabulous about themselves but inside I was hating myself,” the Bernadette says.
“Some people have said that they assumed I was happy being large, but I was not.”
In January 2016, Bernadette weighed 130kg. A penchant for creamy treats and a hectic schedule meant her weight had ballooned. After her doctor told her she was morbidly obese, she knew something had to change. On photo shoots she would quiz models on what they ate and how they stayed slim.
She created a set of simple rules to live by, and quickly saw changes in how she looked and felt.
“I had to throw out all the rules of the past and just stick with something simple and manageable because I still have to go to work every day and look after my family,” she says.
“It had to fit with my day-to-day routine.”
Other mothers began asking Bernadette what her secret was, so she would send home sticky notes with her daughter, or email them her tips.
Bernadette self-published a mini-book of her advice and after it completely sold out, major publishers came knocking. The Little Book of Weight-loss was born.
“I needed something easy and real,” Bernadette says.
Her full story is in this month’s edition of The Australian Women’s Weekly, on sale now.