Former Australian tennis champion Jelena Dokic has revealed how she was driven to lose 45 kilos after she lived off an unhealthy diet of burgers, fries and sugary foods ‘every day’ after retiring from the sport.
The World No. 4 turned to junk food as a way to cope with her retirement after an injury abruptly ended her career in 2014.
The 36-year-old said she struggled with her ‘normal life’ after hanging up her racquet – as her weight tipped the scales at 120 kilos at her heaviest.
Before and after: Former Australian tennis champion Jelena Dokic has revealed how she was driven to lose 45 kilos after she lived off an unhealthy diet of burgers, fries and sugary foods ‘every day’ after retiring from the sport (left at her heaviest, and right after weight loss)
The 36-year-old has been showing off her incredible body transformation (pictured currently holidaying in Croatia)
‘I ate junk food every day and it got to a stage, that was what I was eating, was completely opposite to what I was used to eating as an athlete,’ Dokic told The Sunday Telegraph.
‘I had bad and unhealthy habits. Burgers and fries were regular food for me – I ate them daily. Then I had a sweet tooth. I would eat anything that had sugar in it. I was eating so much sugar. It wasn’t good.’
She said she struggled to adjust to her ‘normal life’ after announcing her retirement.
‘I was also no longer training seven hours a day – I was living a normal life. I was used to eating a big amount of food to fuel me to compete. It was a big adjustment going from being a professional athlete’s life to “normal life” and I struggled,’ she said.
But determined to get on top of her weight once and for all, Dokic has since made a remarkable transformation after embarking on a weight loss journey.
Since becoming a Jenny Craig ambassador in January, the former athlete has lost almost half of her starting weight, crediting the portion sizes and vast meal options on the diet as her saving grace.
Progress: Dokic shared this composite photo on Instagram earlier this year to show how her body has changed over five months. Pictured left to right during her weight loss
Dokic debuted her 45kg weight loss (right), crediting a specific diet for helping her shed fat. The 36-year-old (pictured left in 2018), who used to be the World No. 4, turned to food as emotional support when she retired from the sport in 2014
How does the Jenny Craig program work?
The program delivers prepackaged, low-calorie meals and offers one-on-one support from a consultant at the very beginning.
The goal is to remove the guesswork about what to eat and thus make weight loss simple for customers like Jelena.
The consultant provides exercise plans to follow week-by-week and after you’ve lost half of the desired weight you can transition to home cooked meals.
A typical Jenny Craig plan provides 1,200–2,300 calories per day, depending on your gender, age, activity level and weight loss goals.
Dokic regularly shares gym selfies and images of her meals to Instagram, keeping herself accountable while still enjoying her post-competition life.
‘Wake up and go and do a workout,’ she said in her motivational post to more than 26,000 of her Instagram followers.
‘The longer you wait, the longer you hesitate and the longer you think about working out and exercising, the harder it will be to find motivation,inspiration and the will to exercise.
‘You have to find and create your own inspiration, motivation and the will to break a sweat. Create your own path.
‘So get up, make it and create it.You will thank yourself for it and your body and your mind will thank you for it. You will feel great and once you start it will be hard to stop. Go get it.’
Speaking to the Sunday Herald Sun earlier this year, Dokic said she’d hoped to slim back down to her playing weight of 66kg within six months.
‘I was thrown into retirement not knowing what direction I wanted to go in,’ she told the newspaper publication.
‘I wasn’t prepared – that’s where my weight gain started.
‘When you’re a professional athlete, you’re in this bubble that’s not reality – everything is done for you… training, food, travel, management, so going back into real life was very different.’
Dokic regularly shares gym selfies and images of her meals to Instagram, keeping herself accountable while still enjoying her post-competition life
What are some of Jelena’s favourite meals?
- Roasted vegetable pizza
- Quinoa and chia grain mix soaked in coconut milk and topped with pumpkin seeds, berries and shredded coconut
- Butter chicken
- A bowl of berries and grapes as an afternoon snack
- Cold pressed juices
- Chilli con carne with salad
Jelena said her battle with depression, glandular fever and a thyroid condition also contributed to her weight gain after it affected her metabolism.
But joining the weight loss program has ‘changed her life’ with the focused plan and preparation key to keeping the weight off.
‘I didn’t know what I was in for when I first tried the program but very quickly I discovered just how easy and convenient it is and just how tasty the food is,’ she wrote on Instagram.
‘I love the fact that my food portions are all set with almost no prep time and more than 70 menu items to choose from without jeopardising my weight loss.
‘My favourite part is having my own consultant who I get to see once a week and who supports me every step of the way. That support has been life changing.’
She and her boyfriend of 16 years Tin Bikic are planning to get married and start a family together in the near future.
In 2017, her book Unbreakable shocked the world after she revealed explosive details about the horrific abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her father during her career.
The former World No. 4 turned to food as a way to cope with her emotions after announcing her retirement in 2014 (pictured at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur in 2011)
The teenage star’s career peaked when she made the Wimbledon quarter finals in 1999 and semi finals in 2000, followed by the 2002 French Open quarter finals
The tennis legend said the worst beating she ever endured was after losing early on at the 2000 du Maurier Open in Canada.
‘It was a really nasty memory that will stay with me forever… I ended up fainting,’ she recalled. ‘He beat me really badly.’
The Croatian-born athlete alleged she was whipped with a leather belt if they had a bad training session and her shins were kicked with heavy dress shoes, often leaving her bruised and bloodied.
The teenage star’s career peaked when she made the Wimbledon quarter finals in 1999 and semi finals in 2000, followed by the 2002 French Open quarter finals.
After years out of the top rankings she made a comeback in 2009 to make the quarter finals of the 2009 Australian Open.