I’m no stranger to battling with my weight. I’ve never been skinny and even as a child was told I had “puppy fat”, etc. I was hoping that once I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease that the weight would magically drop off once I knew how to manage it, but no such luck. Therefore, I’ve tried and tested many a diet in the hunt for the one to free me from my excess weight.
I successfully lost weight post-baby number two when I was to be bridesmaid for my best friend. I followed Weight Watchers Pro-Points plan back in early 2011, spurred on by the determination not to be “the fat one in the photos” – especially as the Bride herself has a lovely figure and my fellow bridesmaid is a skinny minny (don’t think she’ll mind me calling her that – sorry Squid)! I also took up Zumba a couple of times a week.
So after being measured for the dress and being shocked by what they told me, I asked them to make it a couple of sizes smaller as the driving force to get me to target.
It worked! My dress fitted – well actually it had to be taken in. I was the smallest I think I’d been weight wise in my adult life and probably in my teens, too. On the day itself, I was finally happy with the way I looked and my figure.
The problems came when I decided that, after achieving the results I wanted, I’d go it alone. Now, I’m not saying this is the case for everyone, but this is my story. Weight Watchers hadn’t taught me why I should or shouldn’t eat these foods, there was no magic formula that I could see that I could apply to everyday life and I found it tricky whilst being gluten free. So naturally, without counting the points (I had no online account to log and track it all in anymore) the weight crept back on.
In 2012, I decided to join my local Slimming World group and went on to set up the ‘Coeliacs Slimming World Group’ on Facebook in October that year – now managed by Lisa Trayler and a fab group of admins, with a staggering 5,804 members (on my last check). I was on a mission to get back to the weight I had been for the wedding – I did it once I could do it again. Plus, on first glance it looked like I could eat pretty much as much (gluten free) pasta, rice, potatoes, etc as I wanted!
Despite sticking to the plans and going to the meetings, using the fantastic support of the Facebook group, it didn’t seem to work for me. I even tried revisiting the plan by signing up online at a later date. I’d lose a few pounds here and there, but nothing would last. I loved the recipes and still use some of them today, but the plan didn’t work for me and I also couldn’t see how it would relate to everyday life, without consulting a book or online tracker to work out my syns, etc.
I also felt that WW and SW made me use more free from products, rather that hunting out naturally free from foods or scratch cooking.
Since my failed attempts at Slimming World I have tried to eat healthy and exercise where possible but my weight hasn’t shifted much. I then found Joe Wick’s, The Body Coach’s quirky YouTube videos…
Lean in 15 / The Body Coach
Drawn in by the transformation photos, Joe’s quirky personality, the “midget trees” and proper tasty looking food in the videos, I started researching the Lean in 15 plan. I have been cooking up the recipes, doing some of the exercises and looking at its whole ethos and think I’ve finally found… not the diet… but the lifestyle change for me. The emphasis is on naturally good-for-you foods, scratch cooking, but fast! Plus, upping your exercise in short sharp bursts, which I know is an area I need to work on more.
After starting loosely following the meals from Joe’s books, with the odd HIIT exercise, bit of MyFitnessPal calorie tracking, walking more and 30 day abs and squat challenges, I managed to lose 1 ½ stone before my 30th birthday (still 1 stone 10lbs away from where I was as Bridesmaid) in August 2016, but I felt good and looked so much better for it. Unfortunately, birthday celebrations and being asked if they were frisking two (at the airport, whilst patting down my tummy), followed by my holiday, derailed my progress. By the end of November I was slightly back under where I was that Summer…. but then Christmas! Oh the excuses!
17th March 2017 – Now Spring has sprung and I am positive about shifting not just weight but inches, by my Summer holiday. I have read the principles in of the books and finally think that I have found something that is both doable and can be maintained in my everyday life (with the odd treats and booze naturally). Yo-yoing aside, I have 33lbs (2st 5lbs) to go to get where I was in 2011 (8.6lbs to get to where I was August 2016). But more importantly than the scales I want to change my body shape and tone up. I may still sign up to Joe’s 90 day plan, but for now I am going to stick to the books.
The principles of the first stage of getting ‘Lean in 15’ is the Shift phase. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) exercises 4 or 5 times a week. All meals are high protein. Meals after HIIT are high carb, low fat and the meals the rest of the day or on rest days are low card, high in good fats (such as, avocados and nuts). You can have up to two healthy treats (see the book) a day, although I don’t feel at the moment I need these. I tweak the portion sizes of the meals, so that Joe’s quantities for two people, usually makes three meals for me, but this varies by dish.
Most importantly from a ‘Free From’ perspective is that Joe’s recipes are either gluten and dairy free in origin or can be easily tweaked to be so. I love how I can have a ‘Fakeaway’ Chinese and just use my gluten free soy sauce.
I am following Joe’s YouTube HIIT Videos, as well as Fitness Blender YouTube videos and Davina’s Fit in 15 DVD.
I think I can do this! Watch this space!