In an ideal situation, once you’ve lost 100lbs in weight (just over 7 stone / 45kgs), you keep it off. In fairness to me, I did pretty well for five years, holding myself at around a UK size 14, down from sizes 24/26. Then, a triple whammy of horrible things happened in 2016 and my old friend depression reappeared. As what and how much I eat seems to be umbilically linked to how I feel, over the course of 4 years the sizes in my wardrobe gradually rose again to a 16, an 18, a 20, 22 and finally, a 24. It was a sad and dispiriting place to end up. As I’m sure many of you also experience, my inner voice became one of derision at my return to a place that I had once escaped from. But, before all that, there were bright shining years of success and I want to dwell on those for a moment.
In 2010, I was formally diagnosed with sleep apnoea after spending time at a sleep study centre at Papworth Hospital. My breathing was stopping eight times an hour and I was constantly tired. This resulted in two things: Firstly, that my ability to drive was immediately taken from me. As the condition has been a contributory factor in several major road traffic accidents over the years, the DVLA list it as a condition that means you must not drive until it’s addressed. Secondly, I was issued with a CPAP – (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, which brought a new level of misery to sleeping. The mask fits over your nose and mouth, enabling a continuous stream of air to keep your airway open. The comparisons to Darth Vader are justified.
I endured it for four months until I finally faced the reason why I had sleep apnoea in the first place – my weight. I took decisive action and went to see a friend, who was a Consultant for the 1:1 Diet from Cambridge Weight Plan. Up until that moment all previous attempts at weight loss had been via more familiar routes. I had always shied away from losing weight in a way that took out conventional food. But, with my health compromised, I decided that enough was enough and in November 2010 I got serious about it.
How serious? Well, Christmas Day happened just a few weeks later, but I didn’t eat anything other than what was on my plan. While everyone was tucking into Christmas lunch, I sat at the table with them and had my Chocolate Mint bar! Likewise, a few months later over Easter and also my birthday in April I stuck resolutely to plan. Why? Because I could see myself changing before my eyes and that was a motivational boost to keep going. Unlike conventional diets where I would achieve a weight loss of 1/2 or 1lb a week, I was regularly seeing a loss of 4lbs.* Also, it was so easy to stick to. After years of battling with food, it was extremely restful to use a plan that was clearly defined and had no wiggle room.
After 5 months, I was re-tested at the sleep centre. My sleep apnoea had gone! That didn’t mean I gave up on my weight loss, I kept going, finally getting to goal after eight months* on plan. For the first time in my adult life I was the correct weight for my height, I was buying size 12 clothes, I had so much confidence and energy and I felt amazing! The icing on the cake was being nominated for Slimmer of the Year!
When somebody loses a lot of weight, a lot of focus goes on how much they’ve changed physically, but there are also changes within themselves. In geology, when the land has been forced down by the weight of ice during a glaciation and it later melts or retreats, the land bounces back again in a process called isostatic rebound. For me, that describes how I felt. Being fat kept me down, not just physically, but mentally as it limited what I thought I could do. With the weight removed, my confidence and ambition bounced back and I started to do things that I would never have thought I could. The change in me was profound!
Those bright shiny years were enjoyable, up until life events overwhelmed me and my health started to suffer again through depression and excessive eating. Four years later, to find myself almost back at square one was disheartening. But, there’s no law that says that once you’re down, you have to stay down, so I made the decision to return to the 1:1 Diet from Cambridge Weight Plan and do the work again. I’m nearly two months in and I’m making great progress. Knowing how easy it is to stick to, I’ve chosen the same plan again and I have the same commitment to getting the job done. This time, if you go to the Find a Consultant section on the company website, you’ll see someone you recognise… Can I help you make the changes in your life that you want to see? Get in touch.
* This weekly weight loss and this timescale was particular to me. Everyone’s weight loss journey is unique to them.