Stories

Carol: “Second Nature has changed my life around!”

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Carol had spent much of her life yo-yo dieting, only to find this led to increased weight gain over time. In 2019 Carol received the terrible news she had breast cancer. Undergoing treatment took its toll on her energy levels, eventually leading to her putting on four stone. After finishing her treatment, Carol started with Second Nature and has lost all the weight she had gained, and more. More importantly, she now feels free of the diet cycle and is able to enjoy healthy eating without restriction!

A little about you

I’m Carol, an older mum of two boys and a house full of animals. I’ve always been a bit “plump”, though I wish I was as “fat” now as I thought I was in my teens! I’ve spent most of my life yo-yo dieting and trying just about every new one that hit the headlines. I’d lose weight for the first few weeks and then plateau and give up. I’d end up being heavier than when I started.

Getting started on Second Nature

This carried on for many years and I always got just a little bit heavier. Having children also increased my weight. In 2019 I was hit by the most horrible news – I had breast cancer. Depression and chemotherapy caused me to turn to food for comfort. As I was feeling so ill, I constantly relied on ready-made meals to feed the family.

I put on nearly four stone and really began to feel it in my joints. The medication I was on, as well as my weight gain, made movement painful and my joints screamed whenever I moved.

My treatment finished in February 2020 and we had a summer holiday booked for later that year. As a family, we are keen walkers and love walking on holidays. I asked my doctor for painkillers to help with my mobility and was instead referred to a physio. I was then referred to One You Lincolnshire, who signed me up to Second Nature.

I must admit, at first, I was sceptical. Why would these people make a difference to my life? I joined the programme in October 2020 and it only took me a few weeks to see how wrong I was!

“It was like a lightbulb had gone off in my head!”

I loved meeting the other people in my online group, as well as our lovely health coach, Jemma. With the support of the app and cookery book, I learned to cook again. I discovered many healthy recipes, which were really enjoyable and easy to follow. If I ever experienced any problems, I could message Jemma or my group. We all went through a lot on our journey together.

I learnt about habits, meal planning and mindful eating, and discovered how to avoid stress eating, which was my major problem. I also learnt about weight plateaus – this was new to me and helped me to finally understand the way my body works. It was like a lightbulb had gone off in my head! Now, if I think I’m not getting anywhere, I look at my weight loss chart. It has a few ups and a few level parts but overall it has gone consistently down over the last year. I have lost all the weight I gained during treatment, plus some more.

I have a goal to be comfortable in a swimming costume when we go on holiday this summer and there’s no reason I shouldn’t reach that goal now. I’m much more active and feel so much healthier!

“SN is all about your overall lifestyle and looking after your body”

What I like about Second Nature is that it’s not like the previous diets I’ve tried where I follow them for a few weeks and then go back to unhealthy eating. It’s all about looking at your overall lifestyle and looking after your body.

I don’t deny myself anything and it’s all about choices. When I’m in the supermarket and see a nice ready-made meal, I think “that looks yum, how can I convert it to a healthy meal for me?”

To be honest, I don’t really miss overly sweet foods. Eating a healthy well-balanced diet keeps me full and satisfied. I’m not a superwoman who comes home from work and whips up an amazing meal every night. When I cook a meal, I now make extra and freeze it. So, if I’m not in the mood to cook, I know there are always my own ready meals waiting in the freezer.

“I’m learning to like myself and put myself first”

I feel without Second Nature I would have been bigger than ever now. I want to thank the team for getting me off that awful cycle of failed diets and helping me to understand my body more. It has changed my life around! I’m learning to like myself and put myself first. I quit my stressful job and I’m now doing something I love – working with animals and spending more time with my family. Roll on that holiday this year!

You can read more Second Nature stories here.

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Woman holding phone with Second Nature

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