The idea of a traditional slimming club never appealed to Ad. He felt he needed something he could focus on in his own time, in the comfort of his own environment. Following the Second Nature programme, he has now lost over 50kgs (8 stone)!
Where did your journey begin
My starting point was heading towards morbid obesity, Too many big business lunches and too much time sitting meant that I was getting out of breath simply walking about and reducing the time I was seeing and meeting with other people. I was increasingly sedentary, snacking alone and getting ever heavier. Not great.
I started Second Nature in August 2019, signing up on a whim, as I’ve never been attracted to ‘diets’ and the thought of meeting with others at a ‘fat club’ or being locked into a salad-eating lifestyle has always been particularly unappealing.
Why this programme?
Because it’s science-based, so no celebrity diet fads. No weight-meetings with people face-to-face with the social discomfort and awkwardness that brings. Particularly as a bloke, ‘diet programmes’ aren’t always so obviously welcoming or aimed at male dieters for a wide range of different reasons, but this has been one I could engage with safely at home and on my own terms.
The Second Nature approach particularly tackled hunger for me. My snacking went right down because I’m eating three healthy and filling meals each day. The ‘guidelines of what should be on a plate and to both eat and avoid are simple, so no calorie counting. I no longer eat zero-fat (and to me, unsatisfying) foods, I can still eat unprocessed meat and fish and can choose the sort of vegetables I enjoy eating to make a sustainable nutritional change I can work with long term.
It took around a week after starting to sort out a menu selection that worked for me and since then, it’s been fairly straightforward sticking to it without it actually feeling like a ‘diet plan’, it’s just what I choose to eat and now it’s habitual (or Second Nature, you might say).
Building up walking gently over a period of weeks has meant that instead of barely walking a few hundred steps each day, I now walk many thousands of steps each day and more importantly I feel so much better, physically and mentally.
Over the 12-week core programme, I lost two and a half stones (16kg) but have kept going with the follow-on programmes and have now lost over 8 stone (50kg) in total. I’m no longer ‘obese’ (or ‘overweight’), my BMI is now below a healthy 22. I’m continuing to maintain my weight and am still a member of the SN communities. It’s been great so far, but I’m far from being done.
I’ve enjoyed the regular articles, especially the myth-busting ones, discovering that I had believed (and acted upon) diet myths that did me no good at all.
It’s been great speaking with the health coaches, particularly with my group’s online coach Deepa. Always kind and non-judgmental support, whether I was pleased with weight loss progress or grumbling about a period of plateau.
The biggest difference I’ve felt since starting the programme is simply no longer dreading a ‘long’ walk across a car park or up a single flight of stairs. Having trained (and now completed) the ‘Couch to 5k’ running programme, I literally feel miles away from that person. I’m more energetic, more alert, and can get out and about meeting people again (after coronavirus) without feeling tired or self-conscious.
Some advice to your peers
If I can finish with my own advice to my peers, it’s that every week is a fresh week, any missteps are behind you. By keeping on & keeping on, following the process one day at a time, the weight goals can be steadily achieved as a by-product of eating healthily and moving about. Stick with it – it works and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.
You can read more Second Nature stories here.