8 stone 5.5 lb (117.5 lb) 8 stone 0.5 lb (112.5 lb)
Chest: 34 inches Chest: 32 inches
Right Arm: 10.5 inches Right Arm: 10 inches
Waist (around belly button): 30 inches Waist: 28 inches
Natural waist (under ribs): 27 3/4 inches Natural waist: 26 1/2 inches
Hips: 35 3/4 inches Hips: 34 inches
Right Thigh: 20 inches Right Thigh: 19 inches
It was Christmas time when I first met Chloe Stephens, the woman behind Fed Up to Fab (FUTF). I was at a networking event standing next to a large tray of mince pies – one of which I was eating while Chloe politely declined. I remember thinking ‘wow, she has some willpower, saying no to mince pies at this time of year…’ She introduced herself and started to tell me about the courses she ran and how she had helped hundreds of women transform themselves. I finished my mince pie, which I admit was starting to go down the hatch rather guiltily at this point and sucked in my rather bloated tummy as best I could. We exchanged details and carried on networking. At the back of my mind though while chatting to others I was feeling excited…change was a coming and I was ready for it!!
As I mentioned in my previous FUTF post, I knew I had gotten into some rather bad habits when it came to eating. Although I have never been a huge over eater, I also denied myself nothing I fancied really, whether it be a ham and cheese toasty, a piece of cake with my cappuccino, Friday night curry, glass of wine or bar of chocolate. I ate too much sugar, didn’t get enough sleep and didn’t drink enough water. Carbs also ruled my life – toast, bagels, pasta, jacket potatoes were all a staple part of my diet. I was also lazy when it came to food. I didn’t plan, didn’t listen to my body, snacked without thought and relied on my husband to do the cooking when he was at home.
When I walked away from Chloe that evening at the networking event, I had been excited, but what I hadn’t been prepared for was just how much this programme was going to transform ‘me’. I am not talking just about my physical transformation, but the transformation that has happened on the inside. I now exercise restraint, where before there was little, I plan my meals, I enjoy cooking, I have a new found passion for vegetables, I drink lots of water, I don’t miss the glass of wine I had fallen into having every night with dinner, I honestly and truly do not miss the ‘simple’ carbohydrates mentioned above, I have unshackled myself from my cravings for sugar and I finally feel in control of my health. I feel like a new woman!
What I’ve Learnt
- Don’t rely on the scales! I used to rely heavily on the scales to measure my weight gain and loss (particularly after the birth of my 3 children). I didn’t worry so much about what I ate because when I looked at the scales they didn’t scream back at me and so I used that as reassurance that I could still continue with my bad habits and seemingly get away with it. Scales don’t always tell the truth! Look in the mirror – this will tell you all you need to know!
- Eat clean. By that I mean, eat food that is as fresh as possible rather than processed ‘boxed’ food which will be full of additives.
- Make some simple changes. Eat plenty of vegetables, some fruit, go easy on the dairy (plain natural yogurt and swap milk for unsweetened almond milk), swap the type of carbohydrates you eat – I now only eat a small amount of rice and avoid bread, pasta and white potatoes, instead opting for more complex carbs which are absorbed by the body more slowly such as vegetables, sweet potatoes, oat cakes, porridge oats etc. This is one sure fire way to cut down on bloating!
- Eat dark chocolate. You may love milk chocolate but try and learn to love dark chocolate (if you don’t already!) Eating small amounts of dark chocolate that contains a high cocoa content (ideally 85%) has surprising health benefits. Click here to see the top 6 benefits.
- Eat full fat! Avoid anything that says ‘low fat’ as they may strip the fat out but they replace with lots of nasty additives and sweeteners which are bad for your body. Eating a controlled amount of healthy fats (found in nuts, avocado, full fat natural yogurt etc) increase something called HDL (high density lipoprotein) in your blood stream. HDL cholesterol is the well-behaved “good cholesterol” that is essential to our body. This friendly scavenger cruises the bloodstream. As it does, it removes harmful bad cholesterol from where it doesn’t belong. High HDL levels reduce the risk for heart disease – but low levels increase the risk. HDL cholesterol scavenges and removes LDL – or “bad” – cholesterol which itself then helps the body balance its hormones promoting fat loss.
- Drink water. 2 litres is considered a good amount for the average person to drink in a day in order to maximise brain function, expel waste from the body, improve your mood, raise your energy levels and hydrate your body, skin and hair. At first you might find all the water consumption difficult to keep up, and even boring to remember, but if you stagger your water intake, in small amounts often rather than downing a litre at a time, you will stay better hydrated and avoid running to the toilet everytime you drink.
- Manage your sleep. Getting an early night has always been a hard one for me as I get a lot done in the evenings once the children are in bed. Recently though, I’ve been enforcing a cut off point and getting earlier nights. Sleep is not just an opportunity for your body to repair itself but research has proved that managing sleep and stress levels can help in the battle against obesity, according to scientists in the US. People getting too little or too much sleep were less likely to lose weight in a six month study of 472 obese people. You can read more on the subject here: Sleep patterns affect weight loss
- Get some exercise! We’ve all heard it but exercise goes hand in hand with a healthy diet to make sure your body stays strong as well as nourished.
Why You Should Do A FUTF Programme
If you want to make some positive changes in your life when it comes to your health and diet then this is an amazing place to start. Chloe is a fantastic motivator who will keep you engaged with lots of tips, advice and encouragement. It’s like having your own personal trainer and nutritionist online along with the support of a group of fabulous women all looking to make the same changes. You can be involved as little or as much as you like but I would think that the more involved you become in the online group (sharing photos of your meals etc and asking lots of questions) the more likely you are to stick to your plan and achieve your goals. The programme is simply a vehicle to help you get to where you need to be but ultimately you are the driver! The good news is that if you end up driving down any dark alleys, Chloe’s like the course Sat Nav who will help get back on track again!
Hopefully, my before and after photos tell you what it did for me! Personally, I can’t thank Chloe enough. I feel enlightened and I will never go back to my old ways. Being the new version of me just feels too good!
Chloe is currently taking bookings for her February Fed Up to Fab coaching group which starts on the 4th February. But hurry as is booking up fast! Here is the link: FUTF February Programme