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This is Simon’s story…
The infamous ‘Dubai Stone’ was supposed to take a year, right? Not with me it didn’t. I realised coming towards the end of 2015 (and 18 months in the sandpit) that I was the heaviest I’d ever been, the most tired I’d ever been and, to be blunt, suffering with terrible digestion and IBS symptoms going beserk.
I’d embarked on the ‘Biggest Loser’ competition at the school where I work the previous spring and lost a bit of the excess weight, only to pile it (and more) back on afterwards. With a family history of blood pressure issues and diabetes problems and the fact I was stomping on towards my mid-forties, it wasn’t just a choice, but more an essential imperative that I sorted my act out.
I knew I needed to get some guidance to make a lifestyle change that would hopefully be long lasting – in fact, permanent. Having worked closely with Heidi as my Head of Department when she was teaching, I understood her commitment to nutrition and healthy living and felt it would be a good fit for me to steer me through the journey ahead of me.
At the time I started the six-month programme I signed up to complete with HeidiJonesCoaching I was led by a lot of bad habits and, it turned out, making excuses for them:
I rarely, if ever, exercised or played sport. I always loved sport as a kid – couldn’t get enough of it at school. In the school teams for footie, badminton, basketball and clubs out of school – a real ‘Sport Billy’ in fact! I still love participating (rather than going to a gym), but used my busy schedule and lethargy as a reason not to do it anymore.
Then, came food. Blimey, I love food. And I can’t leave any. (And I can’t leave any on my wife’s plate if she’s finished, nor in the pan if it’s not all been served up!) I always remember being ‘positively encouraged’ to finish everything on my plate as a kid and it’s been my downfall – a real a tough habit to break. You see, the trouble was not only the types of food, but how much – portion control is still something I need to keep checking myself on.
Simon’s transformation during his 6 month health coaching program.
Changes haven’t been enormous. For me, it was always going to be about ‘marginal gains’ and slow progress that added up to help me achieve my goals. I’ve made a point of making time (no excuses!) for jogging 3 -5 times a week (starting very short distances and now up towards 6km each time) and got back into playing football with colleagues at work. The irony is I used to get tired by sport and exercise, but more and more lately I’ve noticed it has energised me and given me extra energy, not less.
Keeping a food diary was a revelation! I’ve also got into the kitchen a lot more and made real changes that have positively affected me both in terms of weight gain and also for digestion and IBS symptoms. Smoothies are a regular part of my diet, as is switching dairy out in favour of coconut or almond milk (which I love the taste of anyway!). I’m certainly following Heidi’s mantra of ‘counting nutrients not calories’ and the effect has been gradual, but overwhelmingly positive, and I’d like to say (and this is the key thing for me) sustainable and, hopefully, permanent.
I have very recently had a blip on my weight-loss during a short trip to Sri Lanka, which I’m pleased to say I’ve been able to reverse quickly and healthily using the skills and discipline I’ve picked up from Heidi over the last 6 months. It’s a great feeling to be complemented on how well you’re looking and I’m loving slowly-but-surely improving my times/distances when jogging and in turn knowing my health is improving.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Heidi’s Health & Nutrition Coaching. The crazy thing is, often our fortnightly meetings wouldn’t be filled with pieces of enlightened wisdom or magic ‘silver bullet’ quick-fixes (although there were some of those too!), but mostly a nudge of re-direction or forcing me to re-evaluate or challenge my perception or an excuse I might have made. It really is tailored mentoring that responds to your circumstances from someone who’s been there and done it (successfully) that Heidi gives and it works!
Moving forward I have some short and medium-term goals. First, and most important, is to keep on with my food and exercise regime as part of my normal daily life. I want to achieve my Target Weight (another 10lbs to go) and maintain my good gut health (I need to just remember how crappy I felt when I didn’t do the right things for myself). Furthermore I want to push myself too and am looking to take part in some medium distance races (maybe even a 10km!) and to join a colleague in some events for a charity he runs.
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