Years in a high-pressure job in the City of London took a toll on Lucy. Raised in Spain with the Mediterranean diet, her weight slowly crept up as she opted for convenience foods and succumbed to a sedentary lifestyle. Lucy now feels she is leading a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled life; but her journey is not over.
I’m Lucy, a 32-year old Londoner since 2005, part Spanish and I grew up in Barcelona on the Mediterranean diet. In Autumn 2018, I stumbled across Second Nature while mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. I had been dieting on and off, trying to lose weight that I put on after my time at university (in London) and starting working. I work in the city of London in a job where I am in the office for a good 50-60 hours a week.
My weight had crept up over many years of sedentary lifestyle and of a diet where my Mediterranean diet had been replaced unconsciously by a diet where I frequently had carbs three times a day as a main meal (cereals for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and maybe pasta for dinner), high on processed foods and sugar. Looking back, I don’t know how I didn’t realise there was anything wrong with my diet!
Several things immediately attracted me to the programme: first, it was connected to the NHS, which gave me a strong sense that it was not a gimmick and that it was something I could trust. Second (and as a “millennial” I have to comment on this!), the fact that it had an app with such an easy to use interface. And third, that the programme provided a group chat and direct access to a qualified nutritionist and mentor.
The first week of the programme was hard – I remember it well as there was a massive McMillan Cancer Support bake sale at work that week, and without the support of my group I do not think I would have made it through! But it is definitely worth it, and you will make it through the first week and into subsequent ones.
If you follow the plan, learn from the daily articles (so insightful and relatable) and share your struggles and successes with your group, you will make it. I no longer have the sugar cravings that I used to and I can get through the afternoon without a second or third coffee (I still have one in the morning, but I build it into my plan and I love it so I feel good for it!).
It has been a journey since I started last autumn. I’ve been on a two-week holiday to America and had Christmas and several birthdays during that time period, and have still managed to lose over a stone, which I am very proud of, and I have kept it off too. Oddly though, I think the most important thing I’ve learned on the programme is to be kind to myself, and that is something that I didn’t expect from it. I feel much better overall – I sleep better, I am more active, and I have been doing daily meditation which has helped in so many ways.
My mentor has been amazing as has the group, where I have shared my pains and gains, as well as my successes and losses and they have shared with me too. I feel stronger and more empowered over what I eat and how I do it – I am much more present in the now than I was before starting the programme. And I know there will always be someone there to help me if I need it, whether it relates to food and weight loss, or to anything else.
My journey hasn’t ended – I am enjoying the Sustain community, the new courses and challenges, and I love the sense of being understood by others on the programme. I am human, so I don’t always follow the exact plan rules (I enjoy the occasional almond croissant for breakfast for example!) but I know that it’s about making overall healthy choices and so I allow myself those indulgences with not even a drop of guilt.
Second Nature has exceeded my expectations – in the last ten years I cannot think of a time where I have been for such a long stretch of weight loss without putting it back on, or a time where I have learned so much about myself and ways in which to live a happier, healthier, and longer life. To me, the programme is about so much more than weight loss – it truly is a way of life, and a much happier one, so I can wholeheartedly recommend you go for it!
You can read more Second Nature stories here.