Helens Story

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What were you like before you enrolled on the ‘Take Control’ programme?

I have always struggled with my weight, since being a child. I had managed to control my weight in my 30s through diet and exercise but it had become a struggle in my late 30s. My exercise regime had diminished and I had lost focus. On top of that, I was struggling more with food and so the weight had crept back on.

I knew I had to do something about my weight and was feeling very down about it. However, it suddenly wasn’t as easy to lose weight as it had been when I was younger and nothing seemed to work.

Having had to watch my weight throughout my adult life, I tended to think of things in black and white terms – I was either being ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Being good wad associated with eating a very restricted diet of foods I didn’t particularly enjoy, and doing a lot of exercise. Being bad was associated with eating too much and eating foods which I enjoyed but which were high in calories.

I associated dieting with denial and penance for the times when I overate. When I was being ‘good’ I would deny myself foods I enjoyed. I would also bounce from one fad or crash diet to another in an attempt to lose weight quickly. As a result, I couldn’t sustain it and would fall ‘off the wagon’, I would then end up binge eating and putting any weight I had lost back on.

Why did you decide to enrol on the Take Control programme?

I was very depressed about my weight and I knew I had to do something different. I had been a member of a gym but didn’t particularly enjoy basic gym workouts and so wasn’t going.

I liked the idea of working out at home as I thought I would be more motivated. I also wanted a more bespoke solution and found your ‘holistic’ approach which included guidance over food and development of a personalised plan appealing.

What has changed since you completed the programme?

So much has changed, I don’t know where to start! Firstly, I’ve lost a lot of weight – Just over 4 stone in 8 months. I’ve decreased my body fat percentage by 15%, lost 8.5 inches off my waist, and 7.5 inches around my hip. I also feel much more knowledgeable about weight loss and what to do to keep my weight under control. I’m much more self-aware and understand my triggers.

As well as weight loss, I am very fit now and well-conditioned. My cardiovascular fitness is excellent and far exceeds anything I would have imagined. The training I do is enjoyable and varied as you’ve helped me discover a way of exercising that’s enjoyable and keeps me interested. I understand a lot about fitness and training now as well so I can come up with my own programmes.

Olivers relaxed approach has taken so much stress out of weight management to me. I used to think it was all about complicated fad diets and clever science. I would get blinded by the claims of the latest trend but now I think of things in a very basic way – calories in and calories out.

I also don’t think of things as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ now. I eat a healthy balanced diet which I actually enjoy. I no longer think of heathy eating as being penance or denial. I can eat what I want but, most of the time, I choose to eat healthier options as I enjoy them. You have also opened my eyes to tasty healthy food ideas.

How is your lifestyle different?

I live a very healthy lifestyle now with a balanced diet full of nutritious, healthy food, and regular exercise. I have never felt healthier. I’m never ill and don’t get coughs and colds when others do. I’m sure that is due to my healthy lifestyle.

My attitude to food has changed significantly and I make much healthier choices. I don’t eat processed food and try to always eat ‘clean’, fresh food. My taste for processed food has changed and I don’t enjoy the same things as I used to.

I am much more able to cope with changes in routine, such as holidays and special events. Where in the past I might have binged and then put on a lot of weight, I can now enjoy myself on holiday, eating what I want without going mad. I also don’t have the same feast or famine approach to eating. If I eat more than normal in one meal, I’m able to balance it out on the next meal rather than take the attitude that I may as well write the rest of the day off and eat even more.

I build exercise around my busy lifestyle as I enjoy the feeling being fit and heathy and enjoy the challenge of taking it to the next level. I don’t beat myself up if I’m not able to workout on a particular day but I do try and make sure I find time to workout at least 4 times a week, even if it’s just a short workout.

I’ve stopped trying every fad diet or lifestyle plan I read about and stick with my simple approach. It is a lot less stressful and I am more relaxed about maintaining my weight now. I don’t worry about it as much.

I feel in control of my own actions and my future. I have my own opinion and have become an expert of my own self.

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