In her mind, Jo was at the point of no return, she’d given up all hope of losing weight, of feeling well, and being back to her normal self. Then, after finding Second Nature by chance, Jo decided to give it a go, what did she have to lose? 8 months later, Jo has lost nearly 6 stone, food is no longer her enemy, and most importantly, she has her energy for life back!
Starting out with no hope
I never thought I’d be this slim again! I had given up on ever being able to lose a significant amount of weight. I was morbidly obese and extremely unhealthy, fatigued and unhappy most of the time. I hated the diet industry and saw all diets as a way to make money on the fact that most people will gain back whatever they lose. I do not know what I was at my heaviest as I never actually weighed myself, I couldn’t face it.
I felt so ill and was so scared of having a heart attack due to my weight that I would crawl up the stairs. Walking a few hundred yards exhausted me and caused chronic pain in my back, knees, ankles, and feet. I refused almost all invitations to go out anywhere because I had so little confidence socially and hated being the biggest one in the room.
There is a common conception that fat people love ‘their’ food. In my case, it was the opposite. I hated all food. I hated how food controlled me, how I was constantly hungry and nothing satisfied me, and how I was out of control with food. Like any addict, I hated the stuff that imprisoned me.
So before I discovered Second Nature, I began calorie counting and after a month weighed myself and I was 21st 10lb. I continued calorie counting and lost just over a stone in six months. Weight loss was painfully slow and discouraging. A doctor told me it would be tough to lose as I have an underactive thyroid, I nearly gave up at that point.
From calorie counting to Second Nature
Then by chance, I stumbled upon an advert for Second Nature. The only thing that attracted me was that it said ‘NHS approved’. But even then I didn’t trust it; after all, the NHS guidelines had not been helpful to me up to this point. I signed up in desperation, but felt flat and had no hope as I did so. I simply didn’t believe they could help. I soon discovered that I was very wrong!
Before you start with Second Nature, you’re given a preparation plan. Things like preparing your kitchen, seeing how the healthy eating will work, a shopping list to buy, sample menus, this was all very active and really helped you focus on the ‘big start day’. But of course, and cleverly, this was also helping to prepare me mentally for the journey I was about to embark on. For me, it was like prepping to climb Everest as I had such a long way to go!
The first 5 days you follow a reset plan, this is so useful and helps power wash away your cravings! You also have a health coach who is a registered dietitian or nutritionist. No silly ‘in house’ qualifications like other slimming clubs and organisations but a degree and professional registration in nutrition or dietetics.
This support for me was invaluable, and exactly what I needed. My health coach, Simi, truly was someone I could trust and would respond to my questions very quickly. She held my hand as I learnt all about the process, my relationship with food, and changing my beliefs on what healthy eating is.
Backed by science
Each day you get an article about either psychological matters, food and how it reacts inside our bodies, when you are ready how to start exercising, forming good habits and dispelling old ones, how to keep your motivation strong and so much more. These aren’t the usual rather condescending information that you so often see, but written to an intelligent audience based on scientific research.
Now I know what happens inside my body when I eat certain foodstuffs and make my decisions based on proper facts. A calorie is not a calorie! No wonder I didn’t lose much weight just counting calories! The Second Nature plan is not a diet either, it’s a full package educating you in a holistic and rounded way that ensures this way of eating is sustainable for life. Exercise slowly became a big part of my life.
From movement to exercise
At first, I would just walk ten times around my decking each evening, then I was ready for the Second Nature workouts, which start gently. I now have joined my local gym and do spinning twice a week, circuits, core workout, netball, yoga and I’ve even learnt to swim, so do that twice a week. I’ve started up a local walking group and we walk together most weekends and I’m doing the 1000 miles in one year walking challenge. I enjoy riding my bike and use weights at the gym whenever I can fit it in. I’ve gone from being in acute pain after a few hundred yards to loving exercise!
Nearly 6 stone weight loss!
8 months later and I’ve lost 5st 11 pounds with Second Nature! Today I am down to 13 stone 12. That’s a total loss of just under 7 stone! I don’t feel my body is where it wants to be yet, but I’m not that far off anymore, and that feels great.
So, how do I feel today? Well, most days I have more energy than Tigger! I bounce around with joy and feel great both physically and mentally! Life is wonderful! I feel totally in control of my eating, and no longer have guilt over any foods I eat. This is a huge step for me, I know I can now eat treats, eat out socially and never go back to my old negative thoughts of “that is it, you’ve blown it now, you really are weak and pathetic, another diet ruined”. Now I thoroughly enjoy every mouthful of treats and all foods and know they won’t set me back. Food no longer controls me. I no longer hate food, I love food!
Tips for anyone thinking of joining the programme?
To all who are either starting out or already following the Second Nature plan, I’d say make sure you really understand the plan, reread the core plan book from time to time, and make sure you read all the articles properly when you have time, as these are so educating and change our way of thinking. Finally, check your portions often. Especially your carb portions, as it is very easy to guess wrongly on these, and of course we always guess more rather than less.
So weigh out your complex carbs, or get a CarbSpoon, which I find a godsend and use every single day. Most of all don’t be where I was any longer. Don’t give up hope. There is an answer, and Second Nature has the secret key we have all been looking for! You can do this!
You can read more Second Nature stories here.