Vik first joined the Second Nature programme to help her lose weight while waiting for a hip replacement. Her first 12 weeks of the programme went really well; she met her weight target easily and noticed significant improvements in her energy levels, mood, and digestion. Then came the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020. The stress of the pandemic, lockdown restrictions, and caring for other family members took its toll and Vik decided to take a break from the programme.
After receiving her hip replacement in December 2020, Vik decided to come back to Second Nature and give the programme another try. 6 months later, Vik can’t believe the changes she’s noticed in her overall health and wellbeing. She’s now easily walking 4 miles/day, her heart rate and fitness levels have improved, she has much more energy, and is more than half-way towards her weight loss goals!
I first started Second Nature when I was 66 and waiting for a hip replacement. The pain was slowing me down and I was aware that carrying extra weight wasn’t helping. Having already tried Slimming World calorie counting and even the fasting idea (that lasted two days!), I wanted to find something that would really help me change my eating habits.
I’ve always been active. I was a primary school teacher for 32 years, then a university tutor for 8 years, so I was used to being on my feet a lot. Until I retired I had always managed to cook a good evening meal every day. Then, after retirement, I got into some very sloppy habits.
My first 12 weeks of the programme went very well and I met my weight target easily. I felt much better, had more energy, and better digestion. Then came the first lockdown and all the complications of never knowing what would be on the supermarket shelves. I was the only member of my immediate family able to go out and was collecting shopping for my daughter and her family as well as my own, and I became thoroughly fed up with the whole thing. The stress of the pandemic situation, worrying about other family members and having to restrict my walking all piled up and I decided to take a break from the programme.
Just before Christmas 2020 I was offered the chance to get my hip replacement at (very) short notice as a lot of people were cancelling, and I jumped at it. While in hospital, I was told I was anaemic and had Vitamin D deficiency. I had put back on a lot of the weight and wasn’t feeling fit at all. I was constantly tired and even short bursts of activity left me exhausted. So, as soon as I was off the crutches, I decided to get back to Second Nature.
The difference in my general health and fitness has been dramatic! I’m now easily walking at least 4 miles a day (my dog has lost his lockdown lard as well!), have much more energy, and my resting pulse rate has dropped from 80 to 74.
Weight loss has been slower, but I’m more than halfway there now. One of the best things, especially this time round, has been the support of my health coach and my utterly brilliant group! Living on my own, it really helps to have that backup if you’re feeling a bit low, or think maybe you’ll scrap the planning and pop down to the chippy!
I’m much better at eating vegetables now – I put spinach in nearly everything, which has fixed the anaemia – and I love the recipes. I really enjoy cooking, so it’s great to find new recipes as well as being able to cook my favourite chillis and curries.
Even though I do love carbs like bread and potatoes, I’ve found it fairly easy to change my habits to include less stodge. I love roasting vegetables to go with my SN meals, and half a plate of roasted peppers, tomatoes, carrots, onions, and parsnips is a fair swap for spuds any day! There’s no need to feel hungry either because the meals are very satisfying.
I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying my walking now, or how good I feel about myself as I clock up the miles! At 68 years old, I have topped the steps leaderboard of my group almost every week. If Second Nature can make such a dramatic difference to me, it can surely do it for younger people.