Living with fibromyalgia meant that Pam had for many years, struggled to maintain her weight and the pounds started to climb on. This coupled with having to support her husband who had been recently diagnosed with type-2 diabetes – Pam knew she needed some support to guide her through this difficult time. After finding Second Nature, Pam’s weight is falling, she’s starting to feel herself again, and her husband’s blood sugar levels have returned to normal after following the programme as well!
I am a lively, active 70-year-old, who, for many years has been managing the chronic pain and fatigue condition Fibromyalgia. I have always been prone to weight gain. It seems I only need to look at a cream cake to add the pounds! My partner, Mike, has hereditary type-2 diabetes and is slim.
In July 2019, after 18 months of helping Mike deal with a new life-changing illness alongside the difficulties of managing his diabetes, I felt I’d lost sight of my own needs and was rather demoralised.
Second Nature popped up on Facebook. I quickly realised that it was a programme based on healthy eating choices, good nutrition, exercise, and coaching support which would suit me perfectly. It seemed to me that Second Nature was different because it appeared to encourage each person to look at their own relationship with food and to have greater self-awareness and understanding of habits and triggers for making healthy (or unhealthy) food choices.
The first 12 weeks was an amazing time. My weighing scales and steps tracker arrived with a cookbook that became my companion and friend (and still is!). I rediscovered the joy of home-cooking, of trying out new recipes, and I began to see my kitchen as a place of relaxation again. I felt well-supported by the 13 people in the chat group, all of whom started on the same day as I did.
The availability of the private message chats to our mentor, Yancy, was invaluable too. This was particularly important when I realised that the general exercise goals were unrealistic for me and I began to wonder if I was too old or disabled to take part after all. Yancy and I worked out a suitable goal based on my own situation, which stopped the negative thoughts and got me going again. Negative thoughts and self-sabotaging ideas were also addressed as part of the mindset articles, which also included relaxation tips.
I gradually lost weight and I now feel so much better. It is fun to see the visual tracking of weight, steps and sleep on the phone app which I use all the time. I have given up caffeine and cut right down on sugar. If anyone had told me before I joined OP that I would love PG tips decaffeinated tea (other brands are available!), I would never have believed them!
A few weeks ago I moved on to Sustain. At first, as many people do, I felt ‘all at sea’. This part of Second Nature opens lots of channels of information, as well as opportunities to join in with other chat groups (including General and Recipes). I’m still discovering things (and buttons to click) and I am now on the Nutrition course, having completed the Sleep and Stress courses. The articles, chat and coaching support on these courses continue to be very important to my sense of achievement and wellbeing. I’m still moving forward.
I love being on Second Nature. I’ve learnt so much, have never felt hungry and have lost weight without really having to try too hard whilst still loving my food, which is never boring. What’s more, I feel as if I’m back to being ‘the real me’ and Mike was told recently that his diabetes sugar count is now “within normal levels.”
Thank you, Second Nature.
You can read more Second Nature stories here.