“I’m eating my elephant, one bite at a time!”
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Now, I am not sure exactly where or when I heard this saying, but you can apply it to any big task at hand. Especially, weight loss. Just take one bite, one step, one moment at a time. Easy.
Food-filled childhood memories
Thirty-three years ago I was born into a loving, close knit family, with a mother who could leave any top-notch chef for dead. She could make a lettuce leaf taste exotic, that's how good she was. Everything was always presented perfectly and tasted just right. When I was just a wee little tacker, my mum told me one day while I was eating, I suddenly declared, ‘oh, I love food!’ My grandmother was visiting at the time, and all she could do was laugh. She thought it was great.
Many of my early childhood memories are of food and plenty of it. There was a shared lunch every Sunday after church, birthday celebrations for close extended family and trips away which included meals at great restaurants. Being inactive and enjoying all this lovely food, I soon had a weight problem.
But to me it didn't matter because I had the love and support of my wonderful family. Of course, I didn't like being teased at school and I had a few good friends that didn’t take any notice of my appearance. Particularly, one really special girlfriend who befriended me back in grade one after going home and telling her mum there was a little fat girl at school that nobody would play with. It was the start of a lifelong, life changing friendship.
I could cope with the judgemental stares when I went out, obviously I didn't enjoy them, but because my family loved and accepted me the way I was, it didn't even occur to me to do anything about it.
It was when I went clothes shopping, or caught my reflection in a window it really hit me. Dress sizes grew bigger and bigger, eventually to the point I had to order clothes over the phone. And that's when I started to wish I wasn’t that big. But it didn't take long for those thoughts to vanish.
Putting on a brave face
When I was a teenager my sisters and school friends were all enjoying having boyfriends and spending time away participating in fun activities, but I wouldn’t. I used to see my sisters hold hands or sneak a kiss with a boyfriend when they thought no-one was looking. I would try and kid myself by saying: ‘Oh well, if they don't like me for who I am then they can get stuffed! They’re not worth it!' I used to put on a brave face and pretend I didn't mind. But deep down inside, it really did matter.
I used to love going to shows too. You know the kind, with rides and game show alley. I loved the thrill of the rides. But it wasn't long until I couldn't even fit into the rides I loved so much. So eventually I wouldn't go at all because, what was the point? Often, I didn't go to functions as well because I felt too embarrassed about how I looked.
As a teenager, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and I was told that this would make it even harder for me to lose weight. I was given medication but I wasn't interested, the medication gave me an excuse for my size. So many times I comforted myself with the words of my diagnosis.
The biggest check-out chick ever
During my last few years at school, I started a job at a local supermarket. My mum had to make my uniforms for me so they would fit. A few years later, the uniforms changed. What a disaster! I had to try and find what I needed in regular shops. I managed to find some little flat navy shoes but in the first week I sprained and bruised my ankles, just from walking around and standing all day. I knew it had been caused by my weight and the narrow soles on my shoes.
I always felt so self-conscious. I was sure I was the biggest check-out chick ever. Even stacking shelves was more difficult because I was so big and cumbersome. It was hard to get up and down while stacking items on the shelves.
My size was effecting every aspect of my working life. More than six years later I was still doing exactly the same job, I hadn't progressed in my position at all, and I’m certain this was due to my size. My weight hampered my productivity, but at the time I blamed discrimination against my size because I didn't want to believe that it could be anything else.
I eventually left the supermarket to work at our local coach service. I spent most of my time working behind a desk or a counter and sitting all day. It was here I met my husband to be. All these years I had resigned myself to being a spinster and telling myself that I didn’t need a man in my life.
So I was both shocked and excited when one day, I was invited out for coffee. Woo Hoo! Love blossomed and we were soon an item. He was my first boyfriend. It had taken me 23 years to find someone special but he could see the lovely person I was on the inside and didn't judge me on what he saw on the outside.
We married just over a year later, but even on the plane on our honeymoon, I was embarrassed to find I had to ask for a seatbelt extension. I have never felt so embarrassed and all in front of my new hubby. But it still wasn't enough for me to consider doing something about it.
My weight had reached 165kgs, and it was now effecting my ability to start a family. All my life I have wanted children, so we began trying for a baby straight away. Months later, I had still not fallen pregnant and a trip to the doctors revealed that my polycystic ovarian syndrome and my weight were behind the difficulties we were having.
I was prescribed fertility treatment and with the second round and a double dose, I finally fell pregnant. We were having a baby! Oh, I was so excited. But this didn’t compare to the surprise I got when the first scan revealed I wasn’t having one child, but two! I was carrying twins. But at the time I used the pregnancy to justify eating whatever, whenever I wanted to.
My defining moment
More than seven months later my two precious little bundles were born. Suddenly my outlook completely changed. I was a mum now and I remember thinking that I really need to be around for them and enjoy being with them.
I was already blessed not to have cardiomyopathy, which is an enlargement of the heart, diabetes and high blood pressure, all of which run in my family. I was aware that this, and my weight made me a high risk candidate in falling extremely ill.
It was at that point my weight loss journey began. Having the twins was a life-changing moment, and the trigger for me to do something about my size before my health really started to suffer.
I wanted something easy but sensible and something that worked fast, so I frantically looked at all the diets on offer. I had previously tried Jenny Craig and I almost reached my weight-loss goal but then bailed out on the maintenance phase so the weight stacked back on.
I had also tried a '4 Day Wonder Diet' which was more like a four day starvation diet. I lasted three days on a shake program, I even tried to go it alone.
Then one morning I discovered I was pregnant again, without medical intervention. I could not believe it was possible. We had always thought that I would need medication every time.
Another set of twins... and one more to come!
To add to our surprise the first scan showed that were having a second set of twins! Once again, I found a new excuse to keep eating the wrong foods.
Eight months and another two bundles of joy later, my motivation to lose weight and improve my health returned. My aunt had been successful on the Weight Watchers programme, but I still took my time in deciding to take action, despite watching her succeed.
Eventually, I took up the programme and this too was a good and sensible eating plan that fitted in to my lifestyle. I lost 32kg in just over a year, so I was feeling fantastic. I was the lightest I had been for years.
I was cruising along, loving life when I felt an all too familiar feeling. It can't be possible I told myself, I’m taking a very common contraceptive. But of course, the feeling didn't go away, so a trip to the chemist and a pregnancy test later, confirmed I was going to have the youngest of my five girls. Yes, all girls!
This time, it was different. I was determined not to regain the weight I had lost. I kept up my walking and I ate sensibly. I really thought, this time I was going to be OK. But at each doctor’s visit, the figure on the scales continued to jump and I knew it wasn't all baby, it was a single pregnancy this time. Six months in to my term, my good intentions went out of the window.
So it was the same old story. I was back to where I started. Every time I thought about getting back on the bandwagon, I would pull a face and forget about it.
The Bodytrim way
Nine months after my daughter was born, I saw an advertisement about a weight loss programme that worked fast, without strenuous exercise and with six meals every day. What? Six meals? Wow! I sat there in disbelief that this programme would work so I dismissed it.
I watched the advertisement again and again and each time I watched a little bit more, until one day I watched it all the way to the end. A free trial was being offered for 30 days and all I had to pay was the cost of the postage. I considered giving it a go, but I talked myself out of it, convinced it would be a gimmick. But I had second thoughts. After all, what did I have to lose? I laughed; all I really had to lose was some weight. Corny I know, but it spurred me into action.
So I decided to give Bodytrim a call. I was nervous, but I had heaps of questions to ask about the programme. Satisfied with the answers, I took the plunge. Two weeks later I knew basically what to do to get started. And I haven't looked back.
The programme is extremely easy to follow. It’s based on sensible food from the supermarket, fuss free with no fiddling around. It’s great for a busy mum of five to incorporate into her life. And it’s very forgiving! The only exercise needed on the programme is walking. Even I could fit that in my busy lifestyle.
Not only is it easy to follow, but I finally understand why I was hungry and why our bodies react in different ways to each food type. Bodytrim has taught me everything I needed to know so I knew not just how but why I was losing weight on the Bodytrim programme.
No more hunger pangs
It really is so much more than a diet. Diets you go on and come off, Bodytrim is a lifestyle. A complete lifestyle at that.
I can honestly say that I have found this the easiest programme to stick to, due to the fact that I just do not feel hungry. That was my biggest downfall with all of the other programmes I had tried. The dreaded hunger. I used to try and hold out and do different activities to distract myself but in the end it would get too much and I would pig out on anything and everything that I could get my mitts on. Then I would feel guilty.
So, I am eating my elephant, one bite at a time. Now, I’m just over half way through the programme and thoroughly enjoying it. Nothing has tasted better. And I won't stop; this is the lifestyle for me.
After all the years I had been trying to lose weight my confidence and my self-esteem were so low, that I didn't even feel worthy to speak my mind. I felt like I would be looked upon as a stupid fat woman and I would only say something silly anyway. Or worse still, what I wanted to say would come out all wrong.
I didn't even wear pretty jewellery for fear of being noticed. When I had long beautiful hair, I always wore a ponytail. I didn't want anyone to look at me. I didn’t even carry a handbag for fear of fumbling around and making myself look silly, huge and awkward. I would try to hide behind people or at the back of a room whenever I was out so I wouldn't be judged.
But now I’ve got new fashionable clothes, no more big tents! And people look at me differently. It isn’t just because of my new size, but also because I feel better about myself, and I’m not afraid to be noticed anymore. Whenever I used to take my girls to McDonalds I always felt people were looking at me with disgust in their eyes. They would glance up, look straight away or stare at the ceiling. But now, people are asking; ‘who is this woman walking through the door?’ Finally, I have started to like who I see in the mirror.
My whole lifestyle has been transformed, including the way I feel. I have so much more energy, stamina and my muscles actually work. I no longer feel sluggish or bloated and I just don’t get hungry like I used to.
My family’s diet is also seeing the positive effects of Bodytrim and the girls are eating better than ever. Kitchen cupboards that once held junk food and potatoes are now stocked with healthier fruit and snacks.
We used to go through a 10kg bag of potatoes every week and now we’re lucky to go through a 5kg bag. I’m buying heaps more veggies and I’m actually starting to like things I never used to, such as celery and cherry tomatoes.
My secret top tip
When you are overweight, you become negative about yourself. You believe you can’t do it, and you’ll never be able to do it, so you’ve got to change these thoughts into something positive. Whenever I feel like this, or I slip up, I log on to the forum. And instead of beating myself up about it, I’ll accept my mistake and I’ll get straight back into the programme with the next meal. I try to remember it’s not a race and have to enjoy life along the way. If I’ve got a party or something I want to go to, I’ll have a little something, then get straight back into the programme.
I make the most of the forum, it’s great. It still helps me to stay focused and for me, helping other people also helps me. Sharing, swapping tips and having support from people who are also on the programme is really great.
Give Bodytrim a go!
But all I can really say is give it a go. When I first saw the advertisements on TV, I thought Bodytrim was just another gimmick. I watched the full commercial three or four times before I decided to take a chance and go for it. Ring up and ask a few questions, and give it a go. I have never looked back.