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Latifa: “Second Nature is the key you need to unlock the happier you!”

Latifa had been to every slimming club and tried every diet you could think of, but nothing seemed to provide her with the answers she was looking for. After being recommended to Second Nature by her sister, she was very sceptical that an online healthy lifestyle programme would be what she was looking for. Now, 2.5 stone lighter and with a newfound awareness of how your whole lifestyle impacts your weight and health, she is only looking forward!

From diet clubs to Second Nature

I always joke that I was born a size 14, that gives you an idea of how weight issues have ruled my life! I have tried many diets and joined many clubs, some have been successful, some I have walked out off after the first meeting. I was introduced to Second Nature by my sister and my initial reaction was that an online diet club wasn’t for me, I needed ‘real’ people to help me. But then I went away, read about it, completed the health quiz and was punching in my card details to sign up!

I found the first week really hard to be honest, not because I was hungry but because I couldn’t stop thinking about what I couldn’t have even though that wasn’t very much. The problem was I just hadn’t prepped enough and as the week went on, I continued despite the cravings and at the end of the week I lost 6lbs, that was the motivation I needed to continue. Week after week I lost something and at the end of the core programme, I was a whopping 2.5 stone lighter, never in my wildest dreams did I think that would be possible in just 12 weeks!

Embracing the challenges

It isn’t always easy. There are challenges along the way. The food part has been relatively easy to adapt to, the key is planning ahead and eating/drinking enough so that there is no temptation to pick at things, not easy especially when at work and colleagues leave goodies out for all to share. The biggest challenge has been finding exercises that I enjoy so that I keep it up and make time for it. I’m trying different things and have found some which I now do daily, and some which I do weekly. Another challenge is eating out. I didn’t for the first few weeks because it was making me so nervous, what would I choose from the menu? The reality is that it’s far easier than I had imagined. Most restaurants cater for healthy eaters these days and if not, Second Nature reminds us that it is OK to indulge in a little something ‘off-plan’ now and then but to do it mindfully.

The best thing about Second Nature has been the group and mentor support. The group chats really help with knowing that you’re not on this journey alone and others share your anxieties but also, through discussion, gaining a deeper understanding of the articles being shared each day. My health coach, Andrew, has made an effort to get to know me and he’s really approachable. Midway through I had a wobble and he got me right back on track with his words of encouragement. Just having someone to turn to when my confidence slips, or when I have a niggling question, is brilliant. Sometimes he’ll ask random questions about nutrition or exercise, which prompt discussions about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and I love the deep thinking that involves. I didn’t think an online health coach could ever be helpful, but I have been proved wrong!

Continuing to learn along the way, and no calorie counting!

Since beginning my Second Nature journey I’ve learned a lot. Some things I already knew but which hadn’t registered and some which I just hadn’t even thought of before. I now have a much better understanding of how ‘lifestyle’, and not just the food we eat, affects our weight and self-esteem. So the biggest change I am making is to my holistic lifestyle. For me the food part has been a little easier than expected, the exercise bit is sort of becoming routine, and I have recently started to focus on relaxation and stress-reducing techniques which I would not have attempted at all 6 months ago.

I sometimes worry about sustaining the progress I’ve made. I know it’s possible to reach my happy place, I just need to work on turning the steps I have taken into everyday habits. I am already wearing clothes I haven’t been able to for a long time and moving more fluidly without getting out of breath and that’s a fantastic start.

If, like me, you struggle with weight loss, give Second Nature a try. This plan is different from others as there is no calorie counting, no weight shaming, and you’re allowed CHEESE! So if you want to be equipped with healthy recipes, connected with others on a similar journey, and provided with daily articles on how to live a healthy lifestyle, then Second Nature is the key you need to unlock the happier you!

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