My weight loss journey goes all the way back to my childhood. I am part of a life-long study group that includes all children born in the UK between 3–10 March 1958. As a consequence, at particular stages in our lives we are given medical examinations, tested and quizzed. At age 7, in one of these medicals, my mother was told I needed to lose weight. Looking back at the photographs at me at that age, I was only a little overweight: and yet being told I needed to go on a diet, lead me to believe I was fat. From the age 9–15, I swam with a competitive swimming club. I became slim and athletic, but I still thought I was fat. I ate a lot: but the swimming kept me slim.
In my late teens I studied nutrition as part of my Hotel & Food Management course. I enjoyed it so much, I considered studying it further. I didn’t then, but it has been a life-long interest for me.
In my early adult life my weight was more-or-less stable. I didn’t always eat (or drink) particularly well: but the level of sporting activities took care of my excesses. However, it was through sports that I learnt and experienced how food impacts on my body. In the very early hours of January 1987, slightly drunk, I made the first New Year’s Resolution I truly kept. I decided I would run in Singapore’s first ever Marathon (I was living there at the time). Singapore never does things by halves and so they hired a team of top Iron-man Tri-athletes and Nutritionists who held free clinics to participants. Being a total novice in running, I followed their advice to the letter. On the start-line, my body was literally fizzing with energy. This was far more than adrenaline or nerves: this was energy in my body from the exercise and eating programme I had followed, in particular the food I had eaten in the last 2 weeks before the event. I could feel it inside of me in way that was totally different from before.
But in the 1990’s my weight yo-yo’d tremendously. My divorce and dealing with emotional events in my childhood took me on a roller-coaster of feelings. I was running my own Graphic Design business which also had highs and lows. There were times when I was fit and slim through swimming and terrible, down-times when I became nearly 3-stone overweight. I instinctively knew that diets didn’t help, but desperation lead me to try many of them, including joining Weight Watchers. My interest in nutrition developed some more as I tried to understand what was going on in my body. Through the healing I became aware of how much my eating was down to emotional responses and habits formed in my childhood. I realised that my emotional state and my weight were intricately connected.
I began training to become a Life Coach in 2003 and one of the mantras is to ‘walk-your-talk’. And so I had to learn to love myself – just as I am – and begin to honour what I put into my body just had to change.
In 2009, was a real turning point for this was the year I discovered Clean Eating and also the concept of crowding out (if you eat more and more good stuff, there is less and less room for the processed/junk foods).
I was again drawn towards a better understanding of nutrition. I attended more courses, read dozens of books and experimented with my own body. What was it like to to switch to additive free foods. Frustrating at first for sure! What was it like to fast? Surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. I admitted—finally—that I am addicted to sugar and caffeine. Did I have intolerances to certain foods? Yes – wheat, especially when eaten as bread. What gave me energy? Wholesome foods. What made me sluggish? Caffeine – not initially – but the terrible impact it has on the quality of my sleep. It can so easily create a vicious circle of desire for the wretched stuff! And so forth.
Towards the end of 2009, I reached my wedding day weight – something that I had not experienced for decades. Would my wedding dress still fit me? Apart from being slightly tight around my biceps, YES it did—which after 28 years was pretty amazing. But then I looked in the mirror and I saw my upper rib cage protruding and my face was looking slightly gaunt and for the first time in my life I decided to put a few pounds back on!
Today, my diet is not always perfect and that’s OK – it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes I still crave sweet things – and that too is OK. I enjoy and eat too much of the wonderful food at Christmas time. I love Easter Eggs, meals out, birthday cakes and on occasion food that is considered to be unhealthy. I have learnt it’s not what you eat on one day that matters: it’s what you eat most of the time that matters. After 9 years of eating this way my taste-buds have changed. I don’t crave or want many of the so-called unhealthy foods at all – infact the thought of some of them makes me queasy. But of course there are some that I still enjoy too!
My weight stays within a few pounds of my ideal weight without trying. I am a few pounds heavier in the winter and less in the summer – and that feels very natural to me. And this is what I’d love for you to achieve too. You to find this balance of eating really well, feeling (and looking) amazing without ever having to diet again. I would be delighted and honoured to help you do what I have done.