Stories

Paula: “This is what quality of life is about”

Paula had tried every diet possible without long-term success. Knowing that she needed to make her change to get the quality of life she was seeking, she decided to give Second Nature a go. Now feeling better both physically and mentally, Paula knows this isn’t just some ‘diet’, it’s a lifestyle. *A stock image has been used*

A bit about you

My name is Paula and I’m currently on Second Nature Sustain. I say currently, but I know now that I’m doing this for life. I’m not following a diet but a healthier way to eat that facilitates what I want to do in life.

I’m 57 and have been on every diet plan known to man – sensible or not (I’ve even been a well-known weight management group leader). For most of my life, I’ve had a very unhealthy relationship with food and it has dominated my happiness and relationships. I can honestly say that I have always been good at losing weight but very, VERY good at putting it on.

A new year, a fresh start

I made my mind up that in January of this year I had to change. I was so very unhappy I didn’t even want to go to the hairdressers as I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror. I already have some pre-conditions and my dad and others in my family have type 2 diabetes, so I knew this was stacked up for me. I’m an active lover of the outdoors; walking and cycling, and I wanted to keep that but being overweight and unhappy was affecting this also.

My overeating is very much tied to my mood; sad or happy I’ll eat! I enjoy healthy foods but who goes for cherry tomatoes when they’re comfort eating, like many others I’d deny what I had eaten, hiding the evidence and even resorting to putting it in next door’s bin!

Finding Second Nature

Fed up and miserable, I looked into the Second Nature programme. I liked that it was evidence-based, aimed at reducing the diabetes risk, and sounded doable. I went for it! I’ve lost weight steadily but the most important aspect to me has been the support. I’ve learnt that this process is long term and that making the odd mistake, or falling off-plan is a learning opportunity.

Weigh-ins used to be an emotional time for me, but now it’s so easy. I’m learning that weight naturally fluctuates and that it’s not a heinous crime to put weight on, it comes off again.

What benefits have you seen?

Apart from a healthy steady weight loss, I feel so much better following Second Nature. I have buckets of energy and my sleep has improved. Others have commented on how well I look and that my skin is glowing. I do love my clothes, and in the past, I would follow very restrictive diets to fit my outfits for about a week and then never again. Now those clothes offer a pleasant surprise as they’ve begun to fit. My emphasis has shifted to being healthy physically and mentally.

The changes to my life by joining Second Nature have been significant. I really enjoy cooking now and planning healthy meals (I’ve also found shopping online helps reduce temptation). I understand what I’m eating and what it does for my body and mind. I’m now much more mindful of what I eat, how full I get and also my mood and its relationship to food.

As you can tell, I’m absolutely sold on Second Nature. It has been the best investment in myself I have ever made. My hubby also loves it; it’s improved marital harmony as my overwhelming emotions around food are settling substantially and he doesn’t feel as if he needs to hide behind the sofa when I’ve been on the scales.

Transferrable into everyday life

Importantly I feel confident now in the sustainability of the programme and can easily maintain it in my life. Eventually, I will lose the weight I want to lose and will keep it off.

About 3 weeks ago I was on holiday in the French Alps, I cycled to the top of Alp D’Huez; one of the Tour de France iconic mountain climbs. This was the first time I have felt comfortable around food on my holiday and it was liberating. To me, this is what quality of life is about and I can’t thank Second Nature enough.

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Write a response

C
28 December, 2019

Your story resonates with me so much. I think you’ve convinced me this is for me and I hope to have the same success! You sound like you have achieved freedom from food and weight obsession and that the weight loss and enjoying your clothes again were welcome by-products! Thank you. Your piece of writing is so interesting and inspiring.