Woman drops 10st after seeing ‘really bad photo’ with ‘simple’ diet – ‘it really helped’

Alison Hammond on weight loss with Adele tribute artist

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Julie is 55 years old gardener who only discovered health and fitness five years ago. Running and working out was something she avoided until she saw a picture of herself.

“I started my fitness journey after seeing a really bad holiday photo from 2016. I had been very unwell and after my recovery found I was about 25 stone and I knew I has to do something.

“I didn’t recognise the woman in the photo. I didn’t know her. I saw an unhealthy, hugely obese, unhappy woman who’d just recovered from serious illness. When it hit home that she was me I sat and cried for ages. It was time to sort myself out.

“A wonderful friend suggested we enter a local charity run. I agreed as I knew exercise is an integral part of a fitness journey.

“Both myself and my husband changed our unhealthy eating plan to a low calorie, portion controlled plan and I began training for the race by walking and running between lampposts in the dark as I was so ashamed and embarrassed at my size,” Julie explained.

“But taking back control of my health had such a positive effect. Making those initial changes started the ball rolling. It made me feel as though I could do this.

“Progress was good and my weight loss was dramatic at first. My running improved too. It made me realise I could do this,” she said.

“Fitness initially was just running short distances three times a week and lots of walking. In 2019, I joined a gym and discovered a passion for weight lifting. I’m also very active in and outside of work.”

Julie explained, however, a huge part of her weight loss journey was thanks to her diet plan.

“I have a strict but simple portion controlled weekly vegetarian meal plan consisting of lots of vegetables, Quorn products and potatoes or pasta. It was structured around six days on the plan with one day off.

“Portion control was important as was meal composition. We lost a lot of weight using this plan.”

Julie then decided to switch diets.

“I did a lot of research and discovered the Ketogenic plan. This is a low carb high protein plan. We started it in March this year. We both got to goal very quickly and easily. We are on this plan permanently to maintain good health.

“I also use New Zealand Blackcurrant supplements – CurraNZ. They help me train more often. I couldn’t manage without them now. Eating a healthy, simple balanced diet gives me so much energy,” she explained.

“I believe a health and fitness journey is a long term programme. A diet needs to be something that fits in to your life simply and easily.

“And it is a slow process. Be patient with yourself, reward your achievements with anything but food and find an exercise regime that you love,” Julie recommended.

“I now I weigh 13 stone 5lbs and am continuing my weight loss efforts. I ran my first Marathon last September on my treadmill and have done many running challenges during the lockdowns.”

Julie admitted her life has changed completely: “I feel amazing. I feel like a completely different person. As I was progressing through my fitness journey, so many positive things started to happen. I stuck to the eating plans as I’m a very disciplined person.

“My confidence in myself has grown immensely. I used to have IBS but this has stopped. I started studying again and changed careers. I run marathons and can deadlift my own bodyweight. My menopause symptoms have ceased since starting keto. Everything is so much easier when you look after your health.

“I know I can do anything I want to now.

“I think going to a beach would be much more comfortable now. I love being able to wear whatever I like. I even wore shorts outside this year. Something I would never normally do. New challenges are easy,” Julie explained.

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