Stories

Anita: “The biggest change I have noticed is my relationship with food”

Anita: “The biggest change I have noticed is my relationship with food”

Before starting the programme, Anita found that stressful situations would trigger unhealthy habits which would have a negative impact on her mental health. She decided to sign up to Second Nature to help change her mindset and move away from her “all or nothing” approach. Since following the programme, she has noticed a really positive change in her thinking, and her relationship with food. She now lives life to the full and is able to enjoy the activities she loves!

A little bit about you

I’m Anita, a 47 year old mum and full time nurse in Critical Care. I’ve always tried to look after my health but sometimes life gets in the way. I’ve found that the times I need to look after myself the most, ie when I’m stressed, I go “off the rails”, eating the wrong things, avoiding exercise and also drinking more alcohol. This unfortunately has a knock on effect on my mental health. I’ve been on antidepressants for 2 years now, and the pandemic has certainly taken its toll on my health.

I’ve never joined a weight loss group before as I always felt I could manage. The thought of being weighed in front of a group, and the negative feeling this would bring also made me feel anxious. I’ve previously tried keto and, while this worked well to shed weight quickly, it only reinforced my “all or nothing” mentality. I saw some communication in a work email about this psychology based online weight loss support programme. I thought I’d give it a go and try and get on top of the “all or nothing” attitude to healthy lifestyles that I’ve always had.

“I have more energy and can do the fun activities I’ve wanted to do for a while”

The biggest change I’ve noticed since starting this programme is my mental health. I feel my relationship surrounding my diet is healthier…without the negative attitude attached to food and my weight. Before, I would take a black and white approach, but I’ve now changed my mindset, in that I think more in shades of grey.

I choose to make healthier low carb choices because I feel healthier. I have more energy and can do the fun activities I’ve wanted to do for a while, like paddle boarding. I used to want to wait until I was the ‘ideal’ weight before doing these activities, worried by the way I looked. Now I feel I will get there by doing the activities I love and enjoy. It’s not a race and I shouldn’t put my life on hold until I reach unattainable ideas of perfection.

“Second Nature encourages reflection and acceptance.”

Second Nature is different to any other programme I have undertaken, as it doesn’t demonise any food. It encourages reflection and acceptance. Rather than thinking “I’ve slipped up, I’ve failed”, and stopping, it encourages you to realise and accept that these things happen. I now know I haven’t failed, I just need to make healthier choices next time.

The app is really helpful having everything within it including the chat support groups and steps leaderboard. My favourite thing is the meal planner. Once you plan for the week you can create a shopping list, which saves so much time and waste!

What advice would you give to those thinking of starting the programme?

I would tell other members starting out to set realistic goals. Allow yourself to enjoy the process of eating lovely food without concentrating on the scales too much. Trust that your body will get there in time. Include all the family in the whole process. It makes the lifestyle change a lot more sustainable.

Try to complete your journal and gratitude every day, even if you are feeling low. Looking for the positives in the world and in yourself is more valuable than you can imagine to help make positive lifestyle changes that last.

You can read more Second Nature stories here.

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Woman holding phone with Second Nature

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