Thursday, 28 July 2011

My Fitness Story... - Penny

My guest post contributor today is Penny, who describes herself as "writer, blogger, vlogger, mother, wife and arts practitioner in residence at AlexanderResidence. My background is in teaching drama and film. My blog is a creative filing cabinet to reflect on the ups and downs of life with small children, and where life permits, life beyond them." Penny promised to write me her story. It's not a tale of a huge loss, but it's familiar to many - the story of an amount of weight that seems to creep back again and again. Here, she tells how she tackled and finally got to trips with it, thanks to something that has been creating a bit of a stir in the blogging world for a few months, the Slimpod. 

Enough of me, here's Penny's post which she has chosen to call:

How to lose a stone, four times

Due to various life events - stressful job, wedding , kids, bereavement - I have needed to lose a stone four times over the last decade.  The slightest bit of stress, rather than hijacking my appetite, generally sends my hand absentmindedly to the fridge or cupboard.  I remember raiding the biscuit tin feeling like a huge release after a long day at school. Bagels and peanut butter at Waterloo Station on the way home from a hard day on teaching practice fulfilled a similar function, and whining kids send direct signals to my brain to eat.

There is no way on earth you will get me to count calories, to eat diet food or to attend weekly meetings.  I know it works wonders for some, but it fills me with images of being patronised, by Fat Fighter Majorie in the little Britain sketch, of feeling miserable and deprived, and then returning months later when the willpower once again runs out. 

Before my wedding, and after my second child, I worked with a personal trainer to lose the stone. It sounds indulgent, but I did the maths and it works a lot faster, and works out much cheaper in the long run, than paying  gym membership.  In three months I had the result I wanted rather than a year's standing order to a gym I would never visit (partly because everyone at my local gym is miserable).  Most importantly, it worked.

Jacquie my trainer, taught me to workout at home, which is a lifesaver when you have kids and a husband who works away lots. Jacquie’s sessions have the power to transform an area of the body overnight.  We also brainstormed loads of ways to pack in healthy food each week.  I've mastered hula and attempted boxing and she's inspired me to run 10k and take up yoga again.  Both of which are great for clearing the mind, which I have discovered is perhaps the most important reason to exercise for me. 

I was doing very nicely until losing my mum knocked me backwards in  January.  Wham!  The extra stone was back. I picked up the fitness fairly easily, I will never let that fall aside again for longer than a week or two since Jacquie’s training.  It’s ingrained.  But the comfort eating was harder to crack.

Talking to my husband about giving up smoking, which he did years ago, with the Alan Carr Easyway, made me think there must be a missing link.  The Easyway removes the need for willpower, - don’t ask me how, my husband doesn’t talk much about what happened that day in a meeting room in Wimbledon - but it removes the belief that you are ‘missing out’.

And then Thinking Slimmer got in touch. It was all rather fortuitous. Sandra explained I would need to listen to a ten minute track each night, using the techniques of word weaving.  After a month of listening each night, I had lost 5lbs with very little effort.  I admit, after that my life was chaotic, and I didn’t follow it very diligently.  I was kind of playing with it, testing it out I think, seeing if I could trust it.  I’m cynical about weight loss; who isn’t?

But when I started playing it again, I noticed more weight came off, another 2lbs.  When I forgot it for a week, the weight loss stopped.  Now I absolutely believe it is the missing link, that if I follow it properly, it will do the work for me,  lose the other half a stone.  More than that, I think it is gently convincing my mind to do the work I was trying to get my body to do alone, and making permanent changes.   It’s been great not to think about food, not to feel guilty, to feel really motivated to exercise and to be excited about cooking once more.

Goodbye stone, this time it’s forever.

I must admit, I was very interested to read Penny's account. I have been thinking of having a go with the Slimpod myself as I feel my own progress has stalled recently. I certainly can see the benefit in this approach - my husband is a qualified hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner and would have used similar techniques successfully with some of his clients. I've followed a lot of the stories of other bloggers as they have tried the product, and shared their stories on their blogs. 

Thanks to Penny for taking the time to share her story today. A stone may not sound a lot to many people, but any extra pounds can have a big effect on your wellbeing, both physically and emotionally. And so often, the battle with weight starts in our heads - we all know what to do to lose weight but it's the actual doing it and the battle with our minds where it can easily fall down (and where many programmes can fail). 

Feel free to share experiences, as always, in the comments below. My guest posters really do appreciate the messages of support they get from readers.

If you would like to share your fitness story, then please contact me on Twitter or email me on the address on the About Me page. All contributions are really appreciated so do get in touch, even if you feel yours is not a worthwhile story. If it's a personal experience, it is. Do please join in - or ask your friends if you know someone has a story to tell, even if they don't blog.

Thanks for supporting My Fitness Story... and do come back for another guest post next week.
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