Stories

Maxine: “It gives you the tools to change habits”

Maxine had tried every kind of weight loss programme you could imagine, and despite experiencing short-term success, the weight always climbed back on, and more. With Second Nature and the support of her health coach, Kirstie, Maxine has started to rewire her eating habits and develop a positive relationship with food! 

A bit about you

I retired from a career in IT on my 60th birthday, 8 years ago. I have always been overweight, sometimes bordering on obese and have tried every kind of weight loss programme over the last 35 years. I have usually managed to lose weight but each time I have put it all back on, plus more. I finished my second set of the Second Nature 12-week course in the middle of December 2019 and I’m now on Sustain Plus, which means that I still have the support of my health coach, Kirstie.

Benefits in both mind and body

What I have learnt from Second Nature is not to judge myself on the basis of the scales, that you can change habits and, as a result, I feel so much better. Physically I feel fitter, with more energy, better digestion, and I sleep very well. I’m beginning to listen to my body. Mentally, Second Nature has made me think about my feelings about food and has given me ways to deal with these feelings. I always had a very difficult relationship with food, probably because of childhood experiences of boarding school. I used to panic – if food was available, I had to eat it because it might not be there tomorrow. I used to comfort eat when I was down when I was tired and even to celebrate when I was happy! I still struggle with this but I have been enormously helped by Kirstie, who has given me ways to cope with comfort eating, such as waiting a few minutes, drinking some water or snacking on protein rather than bread and peanut butter.

The 12-week course gradually gives you the tools to change habits. I repeated the initial course because the first time through I was on holiday and away from home a lot. The second time through I was able to really focus and start to understand and give myself space to change. The Sustain courses I have done (including motivation, mindset, stress, nutrition, exercise), together with regular ‘chats’ with Kirstie and other people on Sustain, have built on that understanding and focus.

No counting calories, just real food!

I discovered Second Nature when it popped up on Facebook, prompting me to read more about it. I liked the fact that the courses, the articles and the advice from Second Nature are all based on scientific evidence. I would have been completely put off the programme by anything unscientific or irrational. With Second Nature I’m not counting calories, weighing food or restricting what I eat. I’m not being sold expensive processed substitutes for real food. The Second Nature recipes are all delicious using lots of vegetables, herbs and spices, which I love, and amazingly often include cream, butter and cheese, making meals tasty and filling.

I’m still a work in progress! I’d still like to lose a little more weight but I haven’t put weight back on and I have changed my eating habits and the type of food I eat. I am still struggling with doing exercise. I hate the idea of gyms, exercise classes, and fitness routines and tend to be completely put off by anybody telling me that I should be doing that sort of exercise. But with the help of Kirstie and other exercise-phobes in chats, I have learnt that walking, cycling, swimming, and gardening is just fine. And in the last few weeks I have begun doing yoga 2 or 3 times a week, something I never thought I’d do – and it makes me feel good.

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Marilyn Cattell
1 June, 2020

Brilliant Maxine, like you In’m a bit phobic about exercise. So it’s great hearing how you are handling it! 👍