Catherine spent the best part of 20-years trying various diets to lose weight, always seeing short-term success without the long-term improvements she was seeking. After joining Second Nature, she’s gone on to lose 3-stone, has seen improvements in her blood pressure, and is enjoying being able to move more freely now that her fitness has improved!
A bit about you
My name is Catherine Price. I spent the first 22 years of my career in the Civil Service but resigned in 2000 to start an assessment and development consultancy in partnership with my husband (we’ve been married for 38 years and have two grown-up daughters and a baby grandson). My career took an unexpected turn at Christmas when I was invited to work full-time as an associate minister for my church. It’s been a big adjustment to go into full-time ministry after a 40-year career in management and consultancy, but I believe I’m in the right place.
Finding Second Nature
I signed up for Second Nature (then OurPath) after 20 years of seemingly inexorable weight gain and low activity levels. Previous attempts at dieting had seen me lose weight initially and then yo-yo back to an even higher weight. I had reached the stage where I was frightened to do anything about my diet for fear of making things worse. However, by the summer of 2019, I had high blood pressure that wasn’t responding to medication. I was feeling unwell a lot of the time and was concerned that I was at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes. When I saw Second Nature advertised on Facebook I decided to sign up for it. I liked the fact that it promised a holistic approach – not diet alone, but also exercise, mindset, and motivation.
I took to the programme straight away because it wasn’t restrictive and it was focused on helping you make healthy choices, not just about food but also about lifestyle. The dietary information – especially about the relative impacts of carbs and fats – was a game-changer for me. I finally felt as if I had the right information and could make better choices about what I was eating. I love eggs, cheese, and yoghurt and it was very liberating to be able to eat them without guilt. For the first time I felt that I had an eating plan that I could enjoy rather than endure and that, because I enjoyed it, I would be able to stick with it for a lifetime. I have found the articles on different topics really interesting, and they seem well balanced and to take account of the latest research.
The pathway to success
I set myself an ambitious target – to lose 6 and a half stone and get back to the weight that I had been able to maintain for some years after I had my second child. Ironically, at that time, I was still trying to lose weight and get back to my pre-birth weight. If I’d simply concentrated on maintaining that weight, I would be in a much healthier state today.
I have been on the programme for around 8 months and have lost 3 stone in weight so far. My weight loss is much slower now but the overall trend is still down, and I’ve always known that I was in this for the long haul. Besides altering my eating habits, I’ve also managed to increase my activity levels. In most weeks, I do Second Nature workouts at home 3 days out of 7 and try to get out for a walk most days. This is a big breakthrough for me; I was bad at games at school and find gyms (and their staff and users) very intimidating.
Managing through the lockdown
Since the COVID-19 lockdown I’ve been trying to meditate for at least 10 minutes a day; I manage this about one day in two, so it hasn’t become an embedded habit yet. I’m still working full-time from home, but I did a lot of home-working when I was self-employed so this isn’t a hardship. I try to restrict my alcohol intake on four days in seven, but that has been tougher in lockdown, so again, I still have some way to go to make that an automatic behaviour. What’s now Second Nature is limiting myself to 3 carb servings per day, having a carb-free meal, taking little-to-no caffeine, and drinking plenty of water.
Now that I’m no longer travelling the country as a consultant I’m eating out much less, but even before my change of role, I’d become confident in making good menu choices when I was away and staying in hotels for work. I feel much better in myself. I enjoy the fact that I can walk upstairs at a reasonable pace without having to haul myself up by the banister! My blood pressure is finally responding to medication. Since I changed my diet, some underlying digestive problems like IBS and hiatal hernia are giving me very few symptoms.
Support from the health coach essential
My health coach, Tom, has been an invaluable source of support and advice. A key thing for me is that I’ve now gone past the point where, in previous programmes, I would have lost heart and given up. I have a long way still to go but I’m confident I can make it.
I have been recommending Second Nature to friends and family as a programme which can help you make much healthier choices and build lifelong good habits.
You can read more Second Nature stories here.