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Hello Anna

I just wanted to let you know that since finishing the programme with you I have been able to keep slowly losing weight! I went out to buy some new work clothes this weekend and was over the moon to find that I have now gone down 4 dress sizes in the last 8 months since you started helping me. The habits of eating more healthily seem to have stuck and while I still have the odd indulgence for the most part I have found that my eating habits have definitely changed for the better. I am a lot healthier and confident since undertaking your programme. I used to hate cameras but I had my pre-wedding photo shoot last weekend and felt quite happy to have someone taking pictures of me for once.

I just wanted to say thank you very much for all the help you have given me. You really have made a huge difference. If you ever need any endorsements or anyone wants to speak to someone who has been on one of your programmes before signing up then please let me know. I am very happy to sing your praises!

Thanks for all of your help.

C. E. A – Worcestershire

Here’s another Distance Dieters success story, this time from Jen.

Distance Dieters Dieting Success StoryI had been overweight for a few years (size 20/22) and wanted to do something about it – especially as I had just been prescribed with a third blood pressure tablet to add to my daily routine – but I don’t believe in diets and thought it would have to be all exercise, which I just didn’t have time for.  When I saw Anna do a presentation about Distance Dieters I knew I had found what I had been looking for.  Anna was real and very pro normal healthy foods – no fads.  It was not about restricting your food intake, but more about making changes to what is eaten and when.  It was good to know that the same concepts would also be used for people that needed to gain weight healthily or just needed to have enough energy through the day.

It was clear Anna totally understood the normal food craving patterns and had experience herself – not the perfect angel most TV food experts appear to be!  However, Anna is the perfect example of what I hoped to achieve:  healthy and slim with amazing skin.  I was even more encouraged when I discovered the whole thing could be done over the phone – no public weigh in, just being treated like an adult.

I chose to do three rounds of the eight-week programme – at the end of each there was absolutely no pressure to continue, but I was enjoying it so much it was an easy decision.  After the first eight weeks I knew exactly how to manage my weight and could have chosen to go it alone, but I felt I needed that extra support of the weekly phone in.

Distance Dieters Successful DieterAnna tailored a programme for me – I had a friend join the plan during my first eight weeks and we secretly compared our plans to see if they were really tailored…and they were!  I had a lot more weight to lose so my programme was stricter.

The first week or two was a real adjustment to planning food for the day, but, before I knew it, it became second nature.  I could enjoy all the fresh foods I liked and I could eat loads – which is exactly what I needed to start with.

I looked forward to the weekly phone calls.  Anna had a really warm approach, but she also knew exactly when to stop me making excuses, which I did really appreciate…after I put the phone down!  Anna kept all the appointments made and kept them to time, so it fitted perfectly with my business.  Writing the daily food diaries helped keep me on track – I did chuckle when I’d had bits off the plan because I’d highlight them before emailing them, knowing Anna would spot them anyway.

I did choose to exercise through the plan – sometimes Anna felt it was too much – which I thought was amazing.  I do now totally get that it’s 80% about what goes in your mouth and 20% is down to exercise.  I found the exercise just put me in the right place to stick with the plan, plus there was less time to sit and watch TV – danger time for me with food!

During the 24 weeks I lost over four stone and stopped needing to be on any tablets for raised blood pressure. My clothes were a very comfortable size 14. I felt so much better and had so much more energy.

I always felt the test would be after finishing with the plan. It has been three months since I stopped my sessions with Anna and I’ve gone through a Christmas period – a real test!  Well all I can say is that I feel totally in control of my weight.  I have kept to the main principles of the plan, but absolutely enjoy foods not on the plan!  I just know I have to have a few days giving 100% to the plan principles if I’ve indulged.  And…I have lost a further stone, wear size 11 jeans and feel amazing.

Anna has helped me change my life and given me the principles to help me stay slim and healthy for the rest of my life – while still enjoying my food.

Jane from Banbury, one of our first Distance Dieters of 2011, shares her story with us …

Like a lot of people, I started 2011 with a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. I started the South Beach diet on January 1st well maybe the 2nd or perhaps it was the 4th to be honest!  It had worked for me in the past and so I dug the books out, did some revision into what I could eat on ‘Phase 1’ and set my sights on getting to my goal weight.

I met Anna at a Chippy Lippy meeting on the 5th January and found I could relate to what the Distance Dieter program could offer. I travel a lot with work and so can’t make regular weigh in’s. It really doesn’t motivate me turning up to a class of strangers to have the dreaded on the ‘scales moment’ to see if I have lost this week.

One of the other members of the group shared a bit about her experience with Anna which was useful. I listened with interest to see if this could make me less hungry, miserable and stressed than the South Beach, which was proving to do all three after only a couple of days! It all seemed to be quite straight forward and common sense really so the next day I gave Anna a call.

After an initial chat to explain more about the plan, I agreed to keep a food diary and we set a time for my hour consultation. All the contact is by phone, text and email which fits perfectly with my / everybody’s busy lifestyle 🙂

I have been following the plan for four months now and have lost nearly two stone. In terms of inches, it is about seven off my waist and six off my hips which means I can happily get in a size 12 in most shops. My BMI is heading towards the normal zone too.

All of this has happened in spite of my hectic lifestyle, some really emotional things in my life, an operation and the odd night out with the girls. It has always been about a focus on food which has suited me as I’m not a great exercise fan. I will take it up again – maybe next week ….

I think the biggest shock was at the start when I asked Anna how long this initial (very restrictive – or so I thought then) phase was to last. She explained that this was the basis for my eating habits for the rest of my life! Oh, I thought as Anna enthused over how one day we could add red peppers to the mix 🙂

As I mentioned earlier, I travel a lot with work and that also means staying in hotels. It is seen as the ‘done thing’ to socialise in the evenings and have dinner with colleagues and customers. A three course dinner – well we are away from home and so surely we deserve it – oh the wine list, well if we must!  This is one area that I was really stressed about as I worry about what people think and don’t want to be a ‘lettuce leaf and a tap water’ kind of girl! Anna guided me through menu options and made me realise it’s not being a pain asking for no potatoes but extra veg. I also found people were very accepting and supportive of the ‘new me’ but obviously took great pleasure in trying to tempt me with dessert! Meanies!

It has taken some thought and planning to achieve the results but it gets much easier and I now do it without thinking.  I’ve not been hungry and have been able to eat out without too much stress.

My whole attitude to food has changed. I think this is mainly because the plan offers a framework to apply to everyday life as opposed to counting points, weighing food or drinking shakes. With any other diet I have been on – and that’s a few – I am obsessed with food. While preparing one meal I’m working out what I am ‘allowed’ to have for the next or ‘saving’ points or ‘sins’.

This works for me as I don’t feel guilty and I have finally realised it is erm, just food!

I have also kept my weight loss plan to myself this time as I am doing this for me and seeing the pounds disappear is a much nicer reward than the praise of others.  I see my friends losing weight, on facebook but then it goes quiet.  I don’t have that pressure.

My tastes have changed as a result of the plan. I don’t take sugar in drinks now and things like chicken chow mein don’t seem nearly as appetising as a plate of homemade colourful stir fry. 

I’ve found it’s not the end of the world to have a treat now and again but have also seen the effects when I do it every day! The food diary helps you to stay aware of whether you really did stick to it 80% of the time and the calls with Anna are really helpful. A bit like going through your homework with a (nice) teacher – does that say a Twirl – not the words you want to hear! 

I have been out and partied, it takes a lot less to get me drunk now so I’m a cheap date.  I’m not sure if that is one of the benefits advertised 🙂

I have also had the odd wobble over weeks where I haven’t lost weight but I have concentrated on the positives of how much weight I have lost, that my skin glows, that I can get into  ‘that skirt’ and then got back on track the next week. The before and during photo’s have also helped motivate me, as a picture tells a thousand words!

I’m now looking forward to knocking my last half a stone on the head, ready for our long, hot British summer. I know which will come first!

Jane

Last July I embarked on my last ever weight loss campaign.  It didn’t last long.  Unfortunately, numerous events of a personal and business nature culminated in a stomach ulcer and the weight loss campaign was abandoned, yet again.

You may think that the weight would drop off.  In fact, only last week my consultant asked how much weight I had lost as a result of the ulcer.  It was embarrassing to confess that I have gained almost 2 stone.  A diet of bread, potator, pasta and rice, the recommended bland foods, accompanied by milky drinks aleviated the pain and discomfort but landed on my stomach and thighs! 

Fortunately, the stomach ulcer is now almost healed but I feel very down about the weight gain and started to panic as I hit the highest weight I have every been.  A quick email to Anna  for HELP and I am back on the programme.  Shopping done, meal planner done, food diary set up and photographs taken all ready to restart the final campaign.

I am attending a friend’s wedding at the end of the month.  I know I won’t be where I need to be by then but at least I have made a start.  A significant birthday milestone later in the year has also focussed my attention and will act as a motivator.  I am not prepared to go through another summer afraid to take off my jacket for fear of exposing my bingo wings and muffin top.

I have measured myself ready to monitor the loss of inches, especially around my waist.  With a family history of heart disease I cannot afford to increase my risks of developing any heart related illnesses. 

For the next week I will focus on losing the first few pounds.  Every pound lost is one more step to reaching my goal!  I have set myself a small initial target of 4lbs loss this week.  Let’s see what transpires.

Just 1 week away from completing my programme with Distance Dieters. It was great to have an in person validation of the change in my body shape from Anna last week although my weigh-in result this week was disappointing. It’s abundantly clear to both Anna and I that I’m super sensitive to processed/dense carbs. Consequently and despite all of the good habits I’ve learnt and put into practice, the weigh-in served to remind me that I must always be conscientious and mindful of what I’m eating. For me there can really be no let up and this is the way it has to be for the rest of my life because I’m absolutely determined not to undo all of the improvements in my health.

Talking of health, this week I had a review and update to my Gym programme. The health assessment shows that this year I have reduced my body fat percentage by 4%  and by 8% in the last  2 years! I’m delighted with this as it’s now within acceptable limits. My lean muscle percentage has also shown a significant improvement. Further confirmation, even though it’s not needed that working with Distance Dieters has been a complete success!

New wardrobe …… new me!

My journey with www.distancedieters.co.uk is nearing an end having started out in mid April. In the 24 weeks that have elapsed I have lost 30lbs or 13.6 kg’s, improved my BMI by 4.7 points and lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure. I have also gained much knowledge and new habits which I realise will need to stay with me for the rest of my life. Inevitably during a period of nearly half a year, there have been times when my routine has been interrupted such as holidays and business travel as well as times when the discipline hasn’t been as strong as it should have been. These last 24 weeks have after all been real life, my real life. As humans we are fallible and prone to error however throughout this period my motivation has never wavered and when I have had a minor setback then I have re-applied the new habits with vigour and bounced back on the weight loss journey.

As my weight has reduced my wardrobe choices have narrowed and yet I had deliberately chosen not to make any radical changes to it until the journey was over, or at least I had achieved my objectives. Last week however I succumbed, my clothes looked ridiculous and my wardrobe was full of items I was never going to wear again. My local Hospice shop now has five bin bags of my old clothing to sort through and sell and I have started to replenish the gaping hole in my wardrobe.

If ridding me of my old and large clothes (one pair of chino’s I bought in 1997) was cathartic then trying on some new clothes several sizes smaller was liberating and positively exciting. I’m now wearing sizes last seen some twenty years ago and I plan with all my energy and determination to never be heading back to the person I was on 12th April 2009. If any reader of this blog doubts or queries what www.distancedieters.co.uk can do for you, then take a look at the pictures below.

This week signalled the start of my continuation phase with www.distancedieters.co.uk and after 16 weeks working with Anna I’ve dropped 24 whole pounds! I’m thrilled and feel so different, that it’s actually difficult to articulate, needless to say the effort has been totally worthwhile and I’m convinced that there will be no turning back.

Reviewing my food and exercise diary with Anna  and notwithstanding the joy of weight loss I can’t help feeling that things are a bit ‘samey’ now. Routine has set in and it’s time to shake it up. On the exercise side, Anna has encouraged me to supplement my bike riding with some walks. The tempo of the walks is though they have a purpose but not a super high tempo, trying to tap into the fat burning zone is the goal. I’ve done this already since my weekly review and enjoyed it enormously.

On the food side of things, clearly after 16 weeks I know what I should and shouldn’t be eating so it’s a question of mixing up the ingredients and having some new recipes. Partly to relieve the routine, but also so that my body isn’t getting used to certain dishes. Fortunately Distances Dieters have an excellent online resource at http://distancedietersrecipes.wordpress.com/ which is full of delicious recipes handily categorised by meal type. I’ll be making good use of these lovely dishes as I move through the continuation phase and onwards towards my next goal to lose another 12 lbs.

For those readers who might be curious …… here is the before and after evidence.