My name is Jo and I have had a weight problem for as long as I can remember. I spent much of my childhood being ridiculed because of my size but this just made me more withdrawn, shy and obedient so that I didn’t “stand out from the crowd”. This continued all through my school life and I was known as “big Jo” at senior school. I first started going to slimming clubs at the age of 13/14 when my Mum took me to Weight Watchers and here began my battle with weight and the labelling of foods as “good” or “bad” and my constant battle with the little devil on my shoulder telling me to “go on, have it, you deserve it, you are feeling down, it will make you feel better”. I think I had tried every diet going and my Mum showed me an article about Lighter Life in 2004, I had put on another few stones in the preceding years following my Step-Father’s and my Dad’s deaths. Lighter Life was incredibly successful and I lost 12lbs in the first week, 4 stone 1lbs in the first 14 weeks, losing 8 stone 6lbs in total in just eight months. However, as soon as I started eating real food again back on went the weight. All through this time I still had the feeling of being a failure every time I put something “bad” into my mouth or gained weight, I didn’t recognise at the time that my relationship with food was at rock bottom. Within a few weeks, I had gone from 10 stone 4lbs up to around 13 stone but, I continued with Lighter Life for quite some time. When I first started Lighter Life I had no idea that I would be able to lose the amount of weight that I did and hardly recognised the new slim me. Since 2004 and being introduced to meal replacement diets I don’t think that I have eaten properly until meeting Sharon. I had been existing in a “feast or famine” state and was taking that to the extreme. Once Lighter Life became too expensive I turned to the Cambridge Diet. The first year I did this I again lost weight well, going from around 16 stone 7lbs back down to just over 11 stone, again this did not stay off and it started going back the other way. In September 2019 I had a real wake up call as a result of the way I had been abusing my body and had a serious constipation problem. I was in a lot of pain and frightened about the damage I had done or could do to my body. I sought medical attention and the issue was resolved however this left me scared to eat and ending up in hospital was a traumatic wake-up call. By early December I had seen Sharon’s advert in the Hadleigh Community News and I thought this is the help that I need and I made contact. I can honestly say that was the best e-mail I have ever sent! When I met Sharon we just clicked and she was horrified about what I had been putting myself through. Within a week I was feeling better about myself, I wasn’t constantly thinking about food (particularly sweets and chocolate) and I wasn’t hungry all the time. Sharon encouraged me to get more exercise into my day by walking, this has been pretty transformational and my Husband and I try to go for an hour’s walk two or three times in the week with a long walk at the weekends. This works wonders for both our mental health and also gives us the space to chat and be a couple away from the everyday chores at home.
I have been seeing Sharon for around 12 weeks now and I am on the cusp of losing 2 1/2 stone and I have to say that it has been easy. We use an app so that we can both track my food and look at the what is in my diet and balance out all my nutrients and minerals, and every week, we discuss different options and Sharon makes little suggestions and gives me options. It is so much clearer to be able to see my diet as a whole and think of it as energy and nourishment. I don’t know why I haven’t done this before as I feel so much healthier, I am eating a varied diet and can see the results. Sharon is a real motivator and makes me feel good about myself and encourages and talks through all situations and she is so easy to talk to, she offers constant support throughout and at any time. No way will I be going back to meal replacements, quick-fix diets they are just unsustainable and unrealistic, I know I still have a long way to go but I am taking small steps towards my diet and fitness aims and I am confident I will get there with Sharon’s help, encouragement and support. I’m so glad I found you Sharon and thank you.