Actuary and senior software developer – Large multi-national consultancy
Weight Lost - 98lbs
My background: I have been very fortunate in life, loving family, 7 fantastic healthy children. My weight was always the cloud hanging over me. My sh***y story isn’t the worst, but, like everyone, I do have one - Crumlin children’s hospital every few months over a 15 year period, children examined by approx 200 different consultants, numerous tests, trials, emotion and daily interventional management, caring for elderly parent and sister with Down’s syndrome, bad back. I put my weight issues down to being too busy and emotionally tired. My excuse to stay fat was my underactive thyroid. I lost weight over the years by running or going to gyms, then got injured and put more back on. Feeling sorry for myself, beating myself up over repeated failures became the norm. Buying clothes brought up those awful feelings - mirrors, will the shop have clothes in my size.
My decision: On April 19th 2018 came the intervention. My friend from Malahide spotted cancellation places for Bodyslims starting on 23rd April. She phoned me… “I’m going to do this. Will you do it with me?” Instant answer required. I thought “Yes – I should be doing this” - Maeve Davidson, Kieran Carrick and Joan Casey had all inspired me with their Bodyslims successes. No – I wasn’t ready to change my life with just 4 days’ notice. Yes - my friend would be driving to Stillorgan from Malahide, I would only have a 5-minute drive from Blackrock. Yes – I will be kicking myself when I see my friend in 10 weeks if I don’t do this. So I signed up. When Gerard began by telling us about the 3 legs to the stool, “just do what I say when I say it and the numbers will take care of themselves” – I got that. When he described the regular train or the express train, I decided there and then that the express train was for me. I wanted to reach my destination as soon as possible. When he said commit for 70 days, I thought “that’s doable”. It’s only 70 days. Deferred gratification. Surrender to win.
My Bodyslims journey: This programme is very simple if you do it Gerard’s way. At the start, I had to trust Gerard when he said that it is possible (and I could also look to the Bodyslims legends for inspiration and evidence). The personal success that follows then takes over, motivates and empowers. Gerard’s stories are always in my head and present themselves every time I am faced with a choice. Every moment of every day presents a choice. Good choices lead to good feelings. Bad choices are a setback and bring negative feelings. My filters are now “will I regret this tomorrow?” and “is this an excuse or a reason?” Weighing and recording food intake was essential for me. I had to halve my plate of healthy food. I found it difficult to find an hour to walk every day so I decided to build it into my daily routine and start walking home from work. My favourite part of this programme is the pier walk on a Sunday. I was last person to finish on my very first walk and had blisters for over 5 weeks. The team encouraged me every step of the way. Every week I’ve been there, someone inspires me with their achievement. It’s motivating and a privilege to witness. We are all similar people trying to do the same thing. I’ve got my best tips on Sunday walks and I’ve made wonderful friends there. My head changed. I used to see everything in terms of cost – doing without. I now see it as a means to achieving my goal. Negativity to positivity. “It won’t come to you – you have to go after it.”
My achievement: I have lost a little over 7 stone in 11 months. I have gone from size 18/20 to size 10. . I now get it when Gerard says “this will be the smallest part of what you have achieved”. I’m told I look 10 years younger. I am addicted to walking and compare it to that cuppa you have to have first thing in the morning… I can’t do without it. I’ve discovered a love of the outdoors (people don’t believe me when I say I’ve been rained on only 3 times over the past 326 days). Walking is my gift to myself every day. I process things on this walk and I’m never interrupted. I am no longer paralysed within myself and my New Year/beginning of Lent/weekly Monday morning beat myself up thought “I must start a diet today” has been eliminated. My back likes the new me. This has been my longest every injury free period – I haven’t been to a physio since last April. I’m told I no longer snore. I’ve longed for this day for decades and can’t believe I’ve arrived. I’ve never been happier. I have no intention of giving it up (not even for €1,000,000).
Gratitude: I am so fortunate to be surrounded by people who care and love me for who I am. Gerard, you are my enabler. You are a gifted communicator and have researched and simplified a hugely complex area and broken it into 10 weekly seminars and simple to follow steps. Thank you most sincerely. Sharon, Sean and every member of your team continually smile, encourage, praise, share their own journey in support and never judge anyone. Thank you all. To Clair who phoned me on 19th April, I wouldn’t have done this without you. To all the legends who have journeyed before me and those who are on the journey with me, your achievements and encouraging words inspire me. To my family for their support and understanding over the past 11 months, they’ve missed out on a few meals in restaurants. To the love of my life who has never judged me, has supported, encouraged, walked, went on grapefruit searches in multiple shops, calorie-counted meals for me, dropped food into the office, dropped forgotten runners into the office, travelled my journey with me and listened day after day without complaint, my heartfelt thanks. I hope it is worth it. Finally, to those contemplating embarking on this journey, give it a go, give it 100% and the benefits will follow. Bodyslims has changed my life beyond my wildest dreams – I would love everybody who reads this to believe that they can experience this amazing feeling too.