Two years ago, I made some discoveries. All my T-shirts seemed to be getting shorter – the washing machine might need checking. Then there were the photographs – the camera was lying; it would need a service too. Who was I kidding? Myself it seems. My weight gain was a combination of things: age , a dislocated ankle and pure pigginess. But it was only after I started having trouble getting into clothes two sizes larger than normal, that I realised that I really had to do something about it.

Obesity is a bit like alcoholism, you can’t stop it until something inside tells you to – it has to come from within. But boy, it’s not easy. And it certainly isn’t if you are like me and love all the wrong stuff. I could never pass Dunkin’ Donuts and not buy one. I would regularly ‘reward’ myself (for the most insignificant things) with a chocolate bar. I was my own worst enemy. I wanted to stand up and confess: ‘I’m a chocoholic, it’s been two whole hours since I last had a Snickers.’

Good Habits became my support network and I religiously attended all the meetings. It really helped to get tips and suggestions on how other people were coping. Then I went through my wardrobe and put all my favourite clothes (the ones that no longer fitted me, but that I loved too much to throw away) into a suitcase and just made do with the remaining clothes. If I got fed up with them, all the better for that would spur me on – no way was I going to buy anything else in a Size 14 (okay, a Size 16).

But, of course, that’s all in the past now (she says, tempting fate). Thanks to Carol, and Good Habits, and a supportive husband, I lost a total of 35lbs, well within my one-year target. It’s now a year since I reached my goal weight on 10 June, 2008. It’s not easy; it is a lifestyle change and one that you have to be committed to.

How did I do it?

I kept a daily food diary and stuck to the plan … except at the weekends. Since I was in for a long run, I needed to pace myself. I knew that I would become dejected if I couldn’t stray now and again, so I allowed myself that weekend treat – usually alcohol. (It’s interesting how your priorities change. What will I have – a Snickers or a glass of wine?) As well as keeping the food diary, I exercised more. I went to the gym 5 days a week, but what I think really worked for me is that I started jogging again, and I enjoyed it. I think that’s the important thing. If you’re going to do something long term you have to like doing it. I still go out ‘jalking’ (half jogging, half walking) most days of the week.

The day that I opened my suitcase and fitted in to my favourite jeans was a memorable one. I vowed then that I would never get fat again – and so far, I haven’t!

Good Luck! – Katy Rooke


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