I joined Marcelle’s group programme in January 2016 after a friend recommended it to me. I had been steadily gaining weight since the birth of my 2 children 11 years ago and was a stone and a half over what I was happy with. I felt demotivated and all my efforts to lose weight failed.
I had been trying to lose weight by quitting sugar, which was beginning to help me feel better but I felt like I needed support and motivation to actually lose the weight consistently.
Initially it took a while to start losing weight, just getting into the habit of a new way of eating and cooking was a challenge – but I was enjoying learning to cook in new ways and using new ingredients. I have always loved food, cooking healthily and experimenting so this was enjoyable for me.
I quickly learned that I loved to eat cakes but there was a different way to bake and still enjoy healthy cake. My mid-morning coffee and healthy cake is still part of my new ritual and a great pause point in the day.
After a few weeks I started to lose the weight. I felt less hungry and definitely did not crave food so much. Soon after I was able to drop some of the snacks and only have them when I really needed them. Soon I was losing weight slowly and steadily – it felt a very natural way to do it. By the early summer people began to notice and comment on how well I looked, which was really motivating and kept me going. I would so recommend the slow pace and if you can afford to commit yourself for an extended period of time the weekly sessions and body composition readings were essential to keep me motivated.
I have lost close to a stone and a half in just under a year and I feel stronger and more confident every week, in my ability to keep the weight off. I think one of the strengths of the programme is its emphasis on learning – one of my core values. To feel like I have learnt about nutrition and a better way to cook has kept me motivated and I feel like I have got real value for money. Its not just about losing weight, its about feeling better, more focused and being able to achieve more with your life. It’s about rewiring yourself, an education and one that I can share with my family which it is also impacting. I have 2 very sporty boys who need to know the value of nutrition, a son with a history of allergies and a husband who struggles with gut problems who I have also been able to help through the programme.
You can’t force anyone to change, but Marcelle told us that they would start to copy, and sure enough they have. My husband has made quite considerable changes to his diet and health and my sons – definitely my 12 year old - are more aware and starting to talk about healthy eating in a positive and knowledgeable way….sometimes!
My main challenges have been learning to socialize differently as so much of our lives revolve around food and drink. I am learning to manage heavy social weekends with boost days and a lighter approach to eating during the week and I can see that once I am at the point of maintaining my weight this will be easier to do. It is challenging while you are trying to lose weight consistently, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I still find chocolate hard to resist and potatoes still a favorite – but I am now more aware of how to work in the things you love as treats not staples – and you love them all the more. My peppermint and liquorish tea along with a couple of squares of 85% dark chocolate in the afternoon or evening have become one of my luxuries, along with a lovely glass of wine with some cheese or a filet steak. I think I have seen the benefit of appreciating the finer things in life and just not having as much of them – Less is more.
Some of the most important changes in my life over the last year, that I know will now stick with me are:
Walking every day – I love walking my youngest to school at least 3 times per week – I either run home or do my chores in town on the way home. This makes me walk for an hour a day. Time I cherish and now strive to protect.
I have developed my love of running – again cherished me time where I think - I have developed a mantra of ‘I get a lot done while I run’.
I also try to walk or cycle wherever possible instead of using the car.
I have tried to incorporate exercise into family life, hiking with my husband and the boys when we have precious time together – not just eating and drinking. I have started the park run with my youngest boy and often go cycling with them in Richmond park - or wherever we are - when they are on holiday.
Eating differently as a family – I save the big cook ups for the weekend meals and eat much lighter during the week. Courgette noodles are a staple now instead of pasta and bread is now hardly ever in the house. I bake my own sourdough most Fridays for a weekend treat – and my youngest son has loved learning that process and adores this bread – he spoke about it in his show and tell, without my input – his teacher was most impressed. My oldest son is still yet to be converted – but he now loves his eggs for breakfast! I also always have Marcelle’s seed bread in the house – it’s been a savior and I love it! I’ve sent the recipe to countless people.
The other major impact of the programme has been the coaching – it’s been a real therapy. One of the main reasons I put on weight was a change in work patterns after struggling with my job and maintaining family life. I became freelance and started my own business which left me tied to the house, moving less and eating more. The programme has really helped me regain focus and achieve more, protect time for my health and well-being , develop my professional life while balancing it with family life. This is really crucial when trying to lose weight and juggle a busy schedule.