Two years ago I supported a lovely group of ladies, and one gent, who were taking part in the Pounds for Pounds Weight Loss Challenge, raising vital funds for the wonderful Peace Hospice in Watford. Many of the participants totally transformed their life during this 12-week period and one of them, Jane, has shared with me her secrets to success. Read her truly inspiring story below (and make sure you scroll down to the very bottom!) and please share with anyone you think will benefit from taking part in Pounds for Pounds 2018.
Interview with Jane Jones
What were your reasons for taking part in the Pounds for Pounds Challenge?
I was part of the team that did £s for lbs in January 2016. I knew I was overweight and have a family history of cancer and heart disease. My dad died of cancer when I was in my 20's. Ultimately, I guess I wanted to make positive health changes for the sake of my 2 children, ensuring that I'd be around for them for as long as possible.
What reservations, if any, did you have about doing the challenge?
I had plenty of reservations! I was embarrassed of admitting to myself and others that I had actually got so overweight in the first place. I had also tried a fair few diets before, with varying short term success, and wondered what £s for lbs could offer me that would be different from other things I'd tried. I was worried about making this a public thing, mainly due to the embarrassment factors, and really scared that I wouldn't be able to raise the sponsorship money that was required. In hindsight, I didn't need to worry about any of that!!!!!
What was life like before you did the challenge?
I was very overweight and had a busy, but sedentary lifestyle. If I could cut fitness corners by taking lifts and escalators then I definitely would! I enjoy my food, but it was a comfort vice for me. I used to live to eat rather than eat to live!
How is life different for you now?
Having lost weight and become physically fitter I definitely feel better about myself. I actually enjoy choosing new clothes and have a lot more shopping options open to me! I know that I have made positive changes which will have bought me more time with my children. I am also running in the London marathon next April which I could never have dreamt of doing before!
Would you mind sharing how much weight you lost?
Just over 7 stone.
What made the Challenge so successful for you?
I was mentally in the right place and determined to make changes. I think I'm a bit of an all or nothing person, so I stuck to the guidance that the fabulous nutritionist, Linda, gave to me. As soon as the first 6 lbs fell off in the first week I knew I could carry on!
Can you describe the support you received over the 12 weeks?
One of the biggest reasons behind my success was down to the incredible support that was given. Firstly, there was the support from Linda, the nutritionist. Secondly, there was support from an inspirational fitness trainer, Allie. There was also support from the local leisure centre who gave us free access to the gym and s personal training session. The staff at the Peace Hospice who ran the program also gave continuous encouragement through weekly meetings, inspirational talks and Facebook banter! Finally, there was incredible support from the other people who had signed up for Lbs for £s. We had so much fun together, raised money in team events, encouraged each other through the good times, and more tricky times, and made life long friendships.
Did you need to exercise a lot of willpower throughout the programme?
To be honest, it did take some willpower to change eating habits. I don't think you can live one type of lifestyle for so many years without feeling the change. However, I never felt deprived as I knew it was my choice to change. I was choosing to be more healthy, choosing to lose weight, choosing to extend my life expectancy and choosing to become fitter. The numbers decreasing on the scales soon made up for anything negative that I could have felt!
How have you managed to maintain your success?
Simple, I have continued to eat and exercise in the same way that I did during £s for lbs. Of course I have the odd treat now and again, but I'm definitely more aware of what I'm eating and the impact that different types of food have upon my body.
What results are you most happy with?
Oooh, that's so difficult to answer. I guess it's knowing that I've achieved something which has made me more healthy, look drastically different in a positive way and become fitter. I know, that's 3 things! :)
What would you say to someone thinking about doing the Pounds for Pounds Challenge?
Go for it! You have nothing but lbs to lose, and everything except lbs to gain!