It all started when I needed to get my ears syringed for a flight to the UK.

As I had not had this done since I had been in Dubai, the surgery would not let me see the nurse until I had been seen by a doctor. He wanted to know my medical history. Having made some notes, the doctor reviewed my apparent state of health and reckoned apart from being obese………… what!! OBESE! I knew that I was overweight, but had never considered myself obese, after all I walked quite a bit, or so I thought.

A full medical followed which indicated that, yes I was obese, unfit, but that I had not got diabetes and that my cholesterol was okay. I was told that I needed to lose 21kilos.

I was 96 kilos and my target was 75 kilos, how to get from one to the other?

The following week I was fortunate that I went to dinner party and met Carole Holditch of Good Habits, she put me on the right path with my eating and drinking practices. The best bit of her advice was, eat what you enjoy, but in smaller portions. This really appealed to me as all my favorites were not forbidden.

Dieting alone was clearly not enough. I also needed to start a serious exercise regime, and just walking around construction sites was not good enough. I looked at buying an exercise machine to work out on, but soon realised that this would not provide the full range of exercise that I needed so I joined Fitness First in Mirdif and took on a personal trainer.

Between changing my diet and getting fitter my target was to lose the 21 kilos in 5 months, around a kilo a week, the target date being 1st January 2008.

In the first few weeks the weight started to come off quite easily, my personal trainer at Fitness First got me on to a good programme of cardio work and I also started eating Good Habits food from the cook book instead of ordering takeaways. Yes this did take more effort and time but the results were worth it.

One of my food challenges was my love for cheese. I did not cut it out but just had smaller portions. I never felt deprived. Another change for the better was eating regular meals instead of eating a huge unbalanced meal at the end of the day. My groceries changed too, I now buy a lot more fruit and vegetables, oatcakes, low fat yogurt, oily fish which I love and just add more variety.

The next target was to be the same weight on January 1st 2009. I just missed the goal, I weighed in at 76 kilos, but after a heavy Christmas with friends and family a 1 kilo gain was not that bad.

What have I done, I have changed my lifestyle, I eat much more healthily thanks to Good Habits, I exercise more thanks to Fitness First.

The advantages have been great, my waist size reduced by 4 inches (from 39 down to 35), I feel more energetic, have a better and more enjoyable social life and have a whole new wardrobe as none of my old stuff fitted).
Tips, set yourself achievable targets spread over a reasonable time scale, exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, eat and drink sensibly.


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