I love food.
I love baked Camembert and steak pie and Magnums and rum cocktails.
I’m active but I’m greedy. If there’s a packet of Oreos in front of me, I’ll hoover half of them and don’t even get me started on Kettle Chips…
Last Wednesday I got a fright. My jeans had been feeling a bit tight, so I booked into a spin class and thought I’d jump on the scales in the gym.
I nearly burst into tears right there next to the kettle bells.
I was 2.5kg (5.5lb) over my maximum weight. I have a 2kg(4.4lb) plus or minus range I try to stay within – and here I was miles over. How had this happened? I realised it was pretty simple. I’d been eating like a pig.
So after blasting that spin class, I did what any woman does. I got straight on Whatsapp and wailed to my girls.
“Do you want my help?” Dionne – the London-based nutritionist and personal trainer – asked.
“YES!” I shouted.
Being the wonderful supportive friend she is, she immediately sent me details of the cleanse* she normally charges a lot of money for.
“It has to start with your gut health,” she explained. “You need to clear out all the crap, get on top of the cravings and change your eating habits for good.”
Christ. I read through that pack with growing dread.
On the list of foods to enjoy, I was pleased to see:
steak and chicken
On the list of foods to avoid were – well – everything else.
“I can cut out everything but coffee,” I texted back, but she was adamant. I was desperate. I said I’d do it.
Oh dear lord the headache. It started later on Wednesday and I swear it didn’t shift until Saturday morning. It was so bad that I called Dionne on Friday night and said I wasn’t sure I could carry on. She was sympathetic and said I could adapt it as long as I stuck to the golden rules:
8 glasses of water a day
no processed foods
no carbs after 2pm
Thank god I woke up without that headache on Saturday or I would have probably quit in a spectacular orgy of Cadburys and Costa. As it was I drank my peppermint tea, gave myself a pep talk and carried on.
The turning point
Sunday was a huge challenge because we went to a family barbecue. My mother-in-law is a spectacular cook and hostess, all my favourite things were on the table in front of me – tortilla chips, Desperados beer, big floury rolls, ice cream… But I abstained. Ok, I had four tortilla chips. FINE it was eight. But old me would have scoffed the bag and washed it all down with beer, so I’m still calling it a win.
I woke up on Monday and I didn’t crave coffee. I was astonished, then smug. I posted it on Instagram and everything.
Last night I went out for dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen for ages – I drove, I drank a virgin Mojito (apple juice, lime juice naughty) and I had steak and salad for dinner. I had one small glass of red wine and savoured every sip. The next day was the weigh-in, I gave myself the wine for making it that far.
The weigh in
So this morning I headed to the gym and those scales. I told myself not to hope too much. 1kg would be great, a sixth of my goal weight loss before our summer holiday. I stepped on and held my breath. Oh. I’d lost 500g. No, wait – what’s that first number? I actually gasped.
I’d lost 2.5kg. That’s five and a half pounds. In a week.
I’ve lost a third of my goal weight loss in one week.
I am so damn proud of myself.
So what’s next?
Well – I have created some good habits and I’m going to Spain in seven weeks, so I’ll be damned if I stop now. Dionne (who was super proud) said I could reintroduce fruit a week today. One portion a day – and berries are my friend. Meantime I’m happy to avoid the coffee and I can stay on the wagon. I may introduce a sandwich at lunchtime – but I can do without carbs at dinner time. I think I’ll bring yoghurts back for my afternoon snack. Oh – and I’d better do my measurements for a truer reflection of my transformation.
Genuinely – I feel fantastic. I feel in balance – neither full nor hungry. I’m so proud of this willpower I’ve discovered in myself. I feel strong. I’m totally motivated – this works and I have a holiday at the end of it. If I do have a wee cheat, I enjoy every morsel of it. It’s a good lesson for life. You should try it.
*The Cleanse is tailored to each client – Dionne knows my medical history so could confidently recommend it. She’s a nutritionist, not a dietician, so always has a consultation with the client before suggesting any programmes.