Thursday, 3 February 2011

My Fitness Story... - Sharron

Welcome to another episode in the My Fitness Story... series. Today's guest contributor is Sharron, who doesn't have a blog but who does tweet and is lovely with it. Sharron has decided to talk about the time she followed the Marine Diet in order to lose weight fast, a fact complicated by the fact she is a vegetarian and the diet prescribed eating steak! Sharron's experiences will probably chime with many who have desperately looked for the magic bullet that will deliver substantial weight loss over a short timespan. 


Over to Sharron to tell her story.....



Me and the Marine…

I started the Marine Diet purely for quick results, and to kick start me on a strict healthy eating regime.  I had never wanted to be a size zero (good job) or a Marine come to think of it (actually wanted to be a Charlie’s Angel but that’s another story).  My goal was to fit into my clothes comfortably and not be conscious of hanging out of or over what I was wearing.  I’m not hung up on how heavy I am, weight was never a driver other than being the numbers on the scales to indicate my progress.

A work colleague explained she was being considered as a bone marrow donor, but had had to lose weight quickly to meet the criteria and had been given the Marine Diet.  This was a two week diet of grapefruit or eggs every day for breakfast and a concoction of other foods to be eaten strictly at each meal which included the delights of cottage cheese, steak and spinach.  No changes were to be made as the diet relied upon a chemical reaction to help you shed the pounds.  No tea or coffee was allowed and definitely no alcohol.  As my colleague had done so well with it, I was very motivated to get started and enjoy saying goodbye to the stone I would obviously lose in the next two weeks.  I knew it had worked for her and that the strictness would stop the naughty grazing habit I’d got into.  Walking through the kitchen had become almost impossible unless I had something to nibble on.  Naughty I know and I was glad of a remedy!

So shopping I went and packed up my fridge with all the necessary ingredients – well sort of.  I don’t think they expect Marines to be vegetarians so some meals were not quite exact but as near as I could get them (how do you substitute steak?).  I also gave myself some leeway in attending a friend’s birthday gathering at the weekend and enjoyed a visit from the wine fairy.  The diet had not been easy, I had become a diet bore and felt less than healthy with headaches and constant tiredness.  After the two weeks I had lost an amazing 12lbs despite having to tweak it and my little cheat.  I had regained regular meal times again and lost my picking and grazing habit.  My clothes fitted much better and I found things in my wardrobe that I could wear again (and some things I could but common sense told me not to as some fashions just don’t come round again!).

As the diet was only 2 weeks long (strict orders not to do for any longer), I tried to keep my new eating habits but without a plan to follow (I’m not daft but I do like a plan), I soon drifted into my old eating habits.  The fridge witch started throwing olives and cheese at me again, and the wine fairy had repositioned herself to my shoulder so she could whisper ‘pinot’ in my ear.  Eventually the lost pounds were ‘found’ again and my hard work was all undone.  All of that boring talk of grapefruit and spinach, enduring those nasty headaches whilst I went cold turkey from lack of caffeine and proper food, and the looking at a plate of food and thinking “let’s just get this meal over with” – all for nothing.

I have realised since then (I make it sound like it was a light bulb moment, not so unless the light bulb was at one end of the Chunnel and me at the other) that long term weight loss is not so easy or quick! It’s unfortunately about lifestyle changes.  I’ve learnt to look at my diet and choose the good things to eat.  I’ve also learnt that exercising regularly is important and doing this with a friend or two is much more productive for me (I admire people who can drag their ass to the gym or go for a run without someone chasing them up – how do they do this?).  Whilst all this is about as riveting as taking the Christmas decs down (much more exciting putting them up), it does work.  Slowly slowly catchy monkey…  Don’t worry about trying to catch the Marine, he’s a bit of a devil.

I'd like to thank Sharron for sharing her story with us today. Although she writes humourously about her experience, she makes an important point - weight loss is for the long haul. Trying to lose a stone in two weeks is not only hard work (and can be dangerous), it rarely stays off - largely because it doesn't teach you to adopt new habits in that length of time. In fact, because crash diets can mess with metabolism, the danger is that you'll put it all back on fairly quickly - and with added interest.

If you'd like to tell your fitness story, please get in touch with me, either on Twitter or via the email address on the About Me page. Please feel free to share your experiences via the comments below if you prefer.
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