Donna’s Story

Hey there, I’m Donna Richards, Body Confidence Coach, international speaker and author of “I Want What She’s Having NOW!”, and for over 7 years I was desperate to lose weight, hated my body and couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. Now that I’ve overcome this struggle, I’m passionate about sharing the practical tools and resources that I still use myself in the hope that it helps you improve your own body confidence, health and life.

My backstory and how I got here…

desperate to lose weight
I couldn’t wait to get home after another cold and rainy 12-hour day of working with my father on the dairy farm to have something to eat.

But this wasn’t just anything to eat. This was the beginning of my usual ritual of coming in after work and eating my way through the evening until it was time to roll myself into bed.

This is what I did for over 6 months as I put on a whooping 70lb, 30kg or 5 stone! I was emotionally eating my way to obesity at an alarming rate.

When I look back I realise it wasn’t just my weight that was a problem, I was spinning out of control in all areas of my life. I didn’t care what I ate because I had so little respect and love for my own needs and wellbeing.  Even though I was desperate to lose weight, I was drinking, smoking and eating myself into an early grave.

I realised – after I’d stopped weighing myself, looking in the mirror or bothering to get out of my overalls at the end of the day – that I was in deep trouble. I was devastated by how quickly I’d let myself go, but I didn’t know how to get motivated to start caring about my body again.

So I did the only thing I could at the time – as any good Kiwi girl would – and made a huge lifestyle change. I packed my backpack, got on a plane and moved to Australia.

Moving countries is a fresh start, a bit like a kick-start.

My whole lifestyle changed: from the warm weather of Cairns, to commuting to work by bicycle, to eating fresh food more regularly. They all made a big difference. Until this point, I had carried weight for over 7 years and was unable to lose it. I was so desperate to lose weight that I tried everything: starving myself, counting points, counting calories, going to meetings, buying replacement shakes and bars, loads of different diets… but it wasn’t until I changed both my lifestyle and my mindset that my weight slowly but surely came off.

One of the biggest changes I made was to “quit dieting”. I was so sick and tired of beating myself up all of the time that I decided to just surrender, to just live my life as a “Fat Girl”. But once I stopped beating myself up so much and being so desperate about my weight, I started to make some small but pivotal lifestyle changes and my weight began to come off.

Over an 18 month period I shed my 70lb/30kg of weight and haven’t looked back since. That was in my mid/late 20s, and I’m now in my late 40s.

My new passion: behavior change

desperate to lose weightAs my weight came off, my interest in how we change our behaviors and how we can motivate ourselves started to grow. I was working as a waitress at the time, but I began studying psychology and behavioral change. I was fascinated with how successful people in any area think and behave. This learning and study led me to the beginning of my corporate career in training, motivation and accountability.

I then spent the next 20 years teaching over 50,000 people in 15 countries around the world how to change their behaviors to get the results they want. I have trained people from CEOs of companies, to flight attendants of airlines, to Korean businessmen (who love to do Karaoke!).

About 2 years ago, after noticing my family still desperate to lose weight themselves, I decided to combine my personal and professional experience to help people become the healthiest version of themselves by changing their habits and behavior. That’s when we started our business, Donna & Tora.

Nowadays, I help health-conscious women transform how they feel about themselves so that they can upgrade their health, feel body confident and have the courage to be their best.


  • Neurolinguistic Programming Certification
  • Leadership Coach (The Leadership Circle)
  • Behavior Change Specialist (Life Styles Inventory, Human Synergistics)
  • DISC Behavioral Profiling
  • Conflict Resolution Training


Professional Biography

desperate to lose weight

For over 20 years, Donna has inspired, engaged and motivated people from around the world to be their best through her experiential trainings, elite coaching and  stimulating speaking engagements. Her corporate clients include BMW, Harley Davidson, Standard Chartered Bank, Qantas and many more.

Her brilliant book written with Tora Cullip “I Want What She’s Having Now!” is making headlines throughout the world, as “The Four Agreements” for weight control. Their book is a no-nonsense, related call to action for people wanting to lose weight and become their healthiest version of themselves, both inside and out.

Donna has had her own struggles with weight and now teaches others how to win their own battle, though the innovative Mindset, Motivation and Metabolism approach to living a healthy, happy life.

Donna currently lives and works in the United Kingdom but still calls Australia and New Zealand home. You can connect with Donna through and her Facebook Fan Page or follow her on Twitter.

Questions for Donna? Please fill in your details on our contact page.