69, dancing queen, living in Norfolk
Karen talks to us about her Second Nature journey, her determination to liberate herself from over 40 years of dieting and how she’s now hopeful for a future free of calorie counting, restrictions and internal criticism.
I’ve always been active. As a young child I used to dance tap, ballet, modern and contemporary until my teenage years when I began to concentrate more on my studies. But when I met my first husband on a family holiday in Spain, I kind of gave it all up for good. I remember that holiday quite vividly as I had been on a diet to make sure that I looked my best. But that wasn’t the first time I’d dieted.
“I’ve lived a long life of yo-yo dieting and been on every single diet I could get my hands on…”
After going to the family GP (mum was worried about my weight) at the age of 9, I was put on a diet. Ever since I can remember mum has been firmly in the grasp of diet culture (she’s 91 and still diets) and so naturally her experiences shaped my early interactions with food. From then I would restrict myself in the types of food I ate, I would even eat in secret and hide food. It wasn’t until I started my Second Nature Journey in 2019 that I noticed my taste buds changing because I began consuming foods that I’d not touched for over 20 years. I’ve gone from ‘food anxiety’ to ‘food love’ and still cook Second Nature recipes.
“Second Nature made me realise that I don’t need to diet for an occasion if I’m consistently prioritising my health…”
I’ve lived a long life of yo-yo dieting and been on every single diet I could get my hands on – often triggered by how I was feeling about myself at the time. Triggers included negative comments from my dad’s side of the family and dressing for special occasions. I was so entrenched in the world of dieting that I went from member to team manager at a well-known dieting company, hoping it would help me keep the weight off. Instead, my weight started to spiral out of control due to the pressure. After my dad passed away it became the catalyst I needed for change. I thought to myself “I’ve finally got to put myself and my health first”.
A couple of years later, I came across Second Nature and their science-based approach helped me change the way I felt about myself by freeing my mind of a lifetime of dieting thoughts. Second Nature made me realise that I don’t need to diet for an occasion if I’m consistently prioritising my health. I’ve lost 20kg, my mental health and sleep has improved, my skin is glowing and I feel the best I’ve ever felt.
It’s been a good few years since I finished the programme but I still very much practice the healthy habits I developed while on it. Second Nature has made me hopeful about a future free of calorie counting, restrictions and internal criticism.
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