I’ve lost 2 stones, and gained
a whole new level of contorl and perspective on my weight.
Case study: Chris stephens
CEO Kirklees Visual Impairment Network
My name is Christine Stephen. I will shortly be 59. I have 4 gorgeous children and 4 gorgeous grandchildren. I consider myself to be very lucky. I am happily married and have a job I really enjoy. I work as a charity Chief Exec in a charity that I’m very passionate about. I love gardening, growing my own food and flowers and travelling to difficult and dangerous places.
I am overweight (approx. 3 stone 19.5 Kilos) and NO I never eat burgers or fast food. My weight had been steadily increasing since my 40s and although I do exercise and love Pilates I had got into a routine (habit) of starting a diet on a Monday and failing to stick to my goals by Thursday. I love diet books and own hundreds of them. They were all going to be the answer to my continuing weight gain. I love to cook and read so diet books were a great comfort to me.
January 2019 I was “OBVIOUSLY “on a diet that I didn’t stick to, and realised that the saying, “The definition of madness is, to continue to do the same thing and expect different results” was exactly where I was.
20 years on a diet of sorts with no results to show for it. I felt rather stuck but knew I had to do something. My mother is the oldest of 5 girls and I could see over the years how I was beginning to look like them, all overweight.
My mum will be 80 in February and it saddens me to see how large she has become. I had tried everything hypnosis, pills from the USA, some weird support groups and lots of slimming groups. I have invested in a personal trainer who was great, and I really did become very fit however exercise does make you hungry and for me, it was an excuse to eat more.
On New Year’s Eve, my sister in law shared that one of her goals was to get a life coach to help with job dissatisfaction.
It was then I started to wonder if that might be the answer for me also.
January 2020 I’m on a diet “OBVIOUSLY “so I don’t need a coach.
February it’s clear the diet has not worked… well I’ve not stuck to it so how could it. I looked up Motivation to stick to a diet on Google. I came across an article that had just a few bullet points the one that most stuck with me was …
You won’t succeed if you’re not accountable.
I thought about who might hold me accountable?
Husband? … NO he likes me to cook and go to the pub with him
Daughter? …Too busy 2 small children
Sister? … Possibly but not much experience of weight loss
Friends? … Couldn’t pinpoint the right one.
Light bulb moment. What about a Coach…??
March 2020 and Covid becomes a reality, it’s easy to cook low-calorie food, no one’s going out so I should be able to lose weight, right?
June 2020, it’s obvious nothing else will work. I start to look for a Coach. Despite asking Google for a local Coach one of the first ones I came up with was Tomas who had never been to Yorkshire. LOL.
I thought about what I wanted to achieve before I rang him and what I was looking for. I wanted to lose 2 stones… At this stage, I thought 3 stones was unrealistic.
My first priority was to be accountable for what and how I was eating.
- I wanted to lose 2 stones
- I wanted to stop being on a diet
- I wanted to stop eating straight from the fridge
- I wanted to succeed at weight loss
- I wanted to be more desirable to myself and my husband.
- I wanted to lose the weight NOW not next week, next month, Next Year.
- I wanted someone to ask me:
- Why are you eating Cheese out of the fridge when you are trying to lose weight.
- Why are you not recording what you eat when you say you want to lose weight?
- Why are you drinking wine 4 nights a week when you want to lose weight.
I was looking for someone who would hold me accountable without ridiculing me for my behaviour.
I hoped coaching would help with this but while I thought it might help, I was not totally convinced it would work.
I rang Tomas and thought he was a really nice person but perhaps not for me. Maybe he was too young, from too different a background that he wouldn’t understand my lifestyle or my issues. He did say “I can help you with this” and I thought, well he’s got a lot confidence in himself and maybe he won’t understand me or be sympathetic to me and maybe that’s a good idea at this stage.
I was really nervous before each meeting and I felt quite stupid at not being able to achieve what many people do so effortlessly.
I didn’t agree with lots of what Tomas said. however, I did Do what he said.
- I kept a food journal
- I weighed myself every day and sent the results to Tomas.
- I was honest about my calorie intake, always, even when I felt ashamed of it.
- I built myself a vision wall which I love.
Before each meeting, I would sit down and write myself a list of where I was, what I had achieved. This was very different from writing about what had gone wrong, what was still outstanding and what I was going to do next.
Somehow, I didn’t actually believe I had achieved anything.
Tomas would agree with me when true but also highlight what I had achieved.
I very slowly began to lose weight.
In 3 months, I lost 1 stone, HALF the target weight and then I realised that was not the target at all.
The changes in behaviour were what I needed.
I do love being 1 stone lighter and in the next 3 months I am confident that I can lose the other stone and maybe go on and lose more.
- I no longer drink 4 nights a week.
- I no longer feel losing weight is not achievable for me.
- I’ve realised that other people will help me when I ask for help.
- I’ve truly understood what it means to be an emotional eater.
- I learned to stop thinking about food from the moment I get up.
- I’ve stopped worrying about what will happen if I can’t find time for breakfast/lunch.
- I’ve realised that for me very small steps get the results I want.
- I haven’t stopped eating cheese out of the fridge but hey I have to account for it, so I do measure it, mostly.
I’ve just begun to lose the 2nd stone on my own, but not really as I have still have Tomas’s voice in my head asking me what I’m doing and why.
I am a bit worried that it will all go wrong, after all 20 years of learned behaviour is not easy to put down.
I really do believe that I can do it.
Tomas allowed me to recognise my achievements.
He didn’t allow me to gloss over them as though they were trivial. Tomas changed the way I think, offered more creative solutions when he recognised I was losing momentum.
Tomas can be tough sometimes and bluntly point out the obvious, but that’s what I needed.
Most importantly, he believed in me.
(Recently I received this email from Chris. I never had a doubt she would stick with it.)
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