In August 2020 Fiona decided it was time to change her life. In the space of 6 months (August – February) and with remote guidance (thanks to the internet!) from The Fit House, she has lost over 5 stone, regained her health and rediscovered her self confidence. We asked her to tell you more in her own words.
What got you started on this journey?
I have been unsuccessfully trying to lose weight on and off for 10 years. I’ve followed every fad diet out there – unsurprisingly nothing worked! I would lose weight but put it on again with interest. As a result, my confidence would take a knock – I would reach for the comfort food and not be able to stop eating.
Two things got me started on my “road to health”:
- I had a major life change when moved from Bath to Cumbria. I sold my house, quit my job and moved across the country with just my 2 dogs for company. It gave me the confidence that I could cope with massive change on my own.
- Simultaneously Frazer (my brother, owner of Fit House) contacted me to ask if I was ready to ready to rediscover the old Fiona (ie. fit and healthy, not obese – my words, not his). Without that text, I would never have started.
The move brought about a kick start in my self-confidence. It helped me realise enough was enough. I needed to sort myself out. I was mentally ready to do the hard work required to get healthy and fit again.
Can you describe your experience over the last six months
Weirdly, and probably because I totally bought in to the programme before I even started, I enjoyed the whole process.
- I increased my daily exercise gradually (I ended up walking 14,000 steps for 6 days of the week and 20,000 steps on the 7thday – achieving this through manageable increases).
- I sent photos of every item of food and drink I consumed.
- A weekly weigh in and target setting has become a way of life and one that I am continuing even though I am back in a healthy weight bracket.Frazer and I have worked weekly, often daily, on setting step (exercise) targets. We also looked at looking at my sleep patterns and old triggers which used to lead to comfort eating. We would also set weekly weight loss goals linked to the calories I was consuming and the exercise I was undertaking.
I noticed a difference in my mental outlook within weeks. Physically, the weight dropped off at a rate of 2-3lbs a week as my fitness and stamina increased.
I noticed a difference in my mental outlook within weeks.
One thing I noticed is that I never felt hungry, even at the beginning when I was consuming significantly fewer calories than I was used to. For the first time in a long time I was eating the correct proportions of protein, carbs and fats (and calories), to keep me healthy and assist in my transformation. I was also eating more frequently throughout the day.
How has the journey affected your life?
My self-confidence is back! I feel happy again, something I haven’t felt for a long, long time. I know that this is linked to exercise, knowing that my body is healthier and also feeling fitter and slimmer.
My self-confidence is back!
I can now walk for 3 or 4 hours without stopping. I feel fitter than I have done for years – sometimes I only finish a walk because my dogs have had enough!
I’m asthmatic and the improvements to my cardio fitness now mean I’m using my inhalers less.
I’m wearing a dress size which I haven’t worn for 10 years – I have dropped 4 sizes and am still surprised when I see myself in a mirror.
I feel in control of my eating habits, which I haven’t been for years. I know that if / when I want a ‘treat’ I need to review my calorie intake the following day to ensure I don’t spiral into an unhealthy eating pattern again.
I feel in control of my eating habits, which I haven’t been for years.
My skin is so much better – it has a glow to it rather than being sallow and tired looking. What girl doesn’t want fresher looking skin?!
My energy levels are sky high. I feel like a new person!
What have you enjoyed the most?
The most obvious answer is losing weight and feeling more confident, but actually it’s the fact that I can go out walking for hours on end with my dogs Smudge and Griffin. For the first time in a long time, I really enjoy being with them on their daily walks. Previously, I would feel aches and pains, get very breathless whilst walking and often give up within 15 minutes.
My energy levels are sky high. I feel like a new person!
What would you say to someone considering a similar programme?
If you start the programme with an open mind and you are prepared to be receptive to change then you will reap the rewards. You have to relearn how to be healthy and to do this you have to listen and take on board the weekly / daily feedback.
You must let go of the excuses.
You must let go of the excuses. The reasons for not going out for a walk, for not eating well, or for drinking too much when things go wrong. We get very used to trotting out reasons for our behaviours (I should know!) but you have to be prepared to wipe the slate clean and work hard. Sometimes it’s cold and wet and dark outside, but, if you want to reach your targets, you still have to get out there and do your steps!
I can’t recommend the Fit House enough. The support has been fantastic. Everything made sense as the journey is undertaken at a realistic pace and targets are manageable. It never ever feels unattainable or worrying.
Was there anything unexpected which you have enjoyed or discovered?
I genuinely notice if I haven’t been able to hit my step count for the day due to work commitments – I feel twitchy and am desperate to get out for a walk. This in turn has helped me relax in the evening. I have chronic insomnia and whilst it is not cured, the fact that I am now so active – and I am using my daily walks to get some head space – means that whilst I may not sleep at night, I am far more relaxed once I get to bed.
What things did you put in place to achieve these results?
I downloaded MyFitnessPal app to log my food intake which made calorie counting so much easier as I could see when I was close to reaching my daily allowance and could make changes to the food I was planning to eat.
I sent daily exercise and food diaries to Frazer this kept me accountable. I couldn’t have a “I can’t be bothered” day as he would know. I didn’t want to let either of us down – being accountable really helped to keep me on track.
We set monthly goals and each time the scales ticked down we set new goals, this kept me really motivated.