I am so lucky to have the most wonderful husband who takes time every day to tell me that he loves me and that I look perfect to him. But for me every time I looked in the mirror or saw a photo I could not see what he saw. All I could see staring back at me was this big unhappy woman……despite the big smile she was faking for the photographer.
I wasn’t always big, but due to a period of ill health, ongoing problems and the medication on which I was put the weight just piled on. I was worried not only about the excess weight but the fact that our family has a history of heart disease. I lost my both my parents too soon and a brother at the age of 41. It was time to do something about it.
I joined a gym in October 2013 and although I am now what I call a ‘’fitty’’ I just could not shift the weight. It was the food element that I struggled with. I had tried every diet going from Weightwatchers, Slimming World, Atkins, Juicing……even starving myself!!!!! Like most women I would lose a few pounds feel great then pile it all back on plus more. I was so disheartened and felt like I was condemned to be stuck as a heavy weight forever.
That’s when things started to change, I spoke to Juls on my 47th birthday and from our conversation I knew straight away that things were going to be different. I was so excited.
Pulling up outside The Body Retreat for the Mid Week Weight Loss Retreat I felt both anxious and excited but once I had introduced myself and seen how friendly everyone was the anxiety soon faded. Once we had got to know one another a little it was time to get down to business.
My 5 days flew by; despite my fitness there were still things to be learnt. I had been working my body too hard and not fueling it correctly. All the rubbish I had drummed into me over the past 20 years about diets was thrown out the window. It was like somebody telling you straight common sense facts for a change. You hear it and see it for yourself while there. Yes admittedly the first time we sat down to dinner I thought I was getting a starter sized portion, which was a shock I can tell you, but you soon learn to eat what your body needs……not what your brain wants.
The behaviour and nutrition workshops where a real eye opener and were great as they helped me see how I could make it work once I got back home to the ‘’real world’’, with tips on how to make the recipes husband proof so that we could sit down and eat the same things. The sessions helped you realise why you ate like you did, the reasons behind your poor choices, maybe the fact that your hormones are out of balance.
I decided to come with an open mind to The Body Retreat and decided to give it my all, I tried different foods some of which I thoroughly enjoyed like the Baked Cod and Ratatouille others not so much like the Thai Prawn Soup but even then they said you can change the prawns for chicken so I’m still happy. The food was so tasty it proved to me you can eat healthy and still enjoy meals full of flavour that don’t have to be boring and bland like…..‘’rabbit food’’. It wasn’t long before I realised that my tummy had started to tell me when it had had enough food something it hadn’t done in years.
For me though the best bit was probably just having some ‘’me’’ time, a few days R&R away from the pressures that everyday life can bring. Having time to swim, use the sauna and to sit in the hot tub and chill. The chance to have a massage or treatment with the lovely Pippa, just what you need after a full day before you fall into bed.
I was delighted to find out on the final day when we were once again weighed and measured that I had lost 7lbs and a total of 9 inches 4 of those coming off my waist.
I had opted for the 4 Week At Home Programme to help keep me on track when. So before I left the Retreat I had 1-2-1 with Julie who took me through my plan. We decided what exercise I would be doing at the gym and that I was to only weigh once a week so I didn’t keep focusing on the numbers on the scale as it isn’t all about that. I would have a review at the end of the 4 weeks.
The first week at home was great, I just pretty much replicated the week on the retreat trying out the recipes for myself, when I weighed I had lost a further 5lbs. I was over the moon.
Week two was good; I tried out some new recipes and found them all just as tasty. I also adapted some other foods that I used to eat by making them healthier. Swapping bread for rye bread instead.
By the middle of week three I had hit a rough patch, I visited the doctor who once again messed my medication around, I felt tired, washed out and really low. I only lost 1lb this week. This is when you can just give up and start gorging on rubbish, but the Skype call from Julie came just at the right moment and she kept me on the straight and narrow.
So week 4 came and when I weighed myself I couldn’t quite believe that I had managed to lose another 5lbs. Hooray I hear you say……that’s exactly how I felt.
When I went back to The Body Retreat for my final weigh and measure they couldn’t quite believe the person who walked through the door. I know I looked and felt like a different person. I managed to lose a total of 17lbs and 17 inches, 7 of which came off my waist, in just those short weeks the results had been amazing. I was thrilled after all this time my body was beginning to react the way I wanted it to.
Do you know what the best feeling is though; it’s when your husband says he has the woman he married back. That just gives me the encouragement to carry on this journey and see it through to the end.
I am looking to the future and the future is bright, although I still have health problems I am stronger both mentally and physically and know I can cope.
My daughter is going to make me a ‘’granny’’……I am going to be a ‘’glamorous granny’’ and she is intending to get married in 2016, watch this space I am going to be a ‘’yummy mummy’’ of the bride. I know I can make it happen now.
I can honestly say that my time on The Body Retreat has changed my life. I now have the knowledge and tools to reach my goal. All I can say is thank you once again to Juls and Julie for sharing the secret with me. Love you guys xx