By Penny Reid

September 2020, the year that most people forget. I had spent the previous 7 months being out of routine, eating what I wanted, and drinking what I wanted (including a full fat coca cola habit). My weight had spiralled, and like most people on Zoom all the time, I didn’t have to wear my formal work clothes. Elasticated waists all round for me.

I had just got back from a work related trip to Dubai – it was hot and most of the time I felt like a beached whale. I was embarrassed and was sweating constantly in the heat, and felt at a loss. I had lost myself somewhere amongst the busy working hours, bringing up my now teenage children and putting the children I worked with first. I remember watching a person on Facebook, watching her weight loss (via a friend in common) – she looked amazing, was clearly feeling amazing, and had lost a significant amount of weight. She was following some sort of plan.

Now I’m a sceptic. I’ve seen plans come and go, I’ve joined other weight loss programmes, and find that those that are flexible offer me the opportunity to dish up bigger portions, or skip something nutritional in order to have a sugar fix. They don’t work for me. It doesn’t mean they don’t work for others but they didn’t work for me. I needed discipline, I needed to lose some weight quickly and needed to change my mindset so I never found myself back where I started.

I remember making the call, I remember thinking why would this be any different. I also remember thinking how on earth could I afford this at the very time that I was setting up my new business. I went for it and on the 27 September 2020 I started on plan. Within 5 months I had lost 3 stones (my original goal was 2.5) and then over the next month I lost another half a stone. Fast forward to now, and I am maintaining. For the first time in a long time, I don’t hide behind my children for photos. For the first Christmas I have gotten to choose my clothes rather than them choosing me.

Within the first month I did lose a stone. I was absolutely shocked, but it really did give me the momentum to keep going. The next 6 weeks were then crucial as we approached the busy Christmas period. I was fairly lucky in the fact that we were locked down so there were less opportunities to break plan, however, that Christmas I lost 1lb over the Christmas period. Unheard of, but proved to me that something had shifted in my mindset.

Was it easy? The plan itself is simple and yes, easy. The motivation when it’s the right time for you is crucial but once it’s there, it’s easy. Choosing the right consultant is vital, there are some amazing ones out there, and some less so, but you have to feel that connection as they will be your rock when times get hard. Money wise, this is a barrier that many put in their way, however, I can honestly say my food bills went down (and they were just the ones I recorded) and when you work it out each product really is less than a Costa coffee (or a meal deal).

Hand on heart, making that decision to start the 1:1 Cambridge Plan really was the best decision I could have made for me. It changed my life, and now I’m a consultant I’m allowed to help change others lives. My biggest piece of advice, if you are going to make the leap of faith, make it wholeheartedly and rather than thinking about all the things you aren’t having, think about all the things you will be able to do and feel once you’ve started the journey.