It was on March 1st that I finally decided to start my weightloss programme. I've had a box of Diet Chef sitting at home since before Christmas, but with not feeling too well for most of January, I'd put off even looking inside it! I think you need to be in the right frame of mind before you attempt to make any lifestyle changes.
But once the box of chocolates from Valentine's Day was finished my moment had come. So I started the Diet Chef programme on March 1st with a weightloss goal of 20lbs, although more importantly I wanted to be able to fit into some clothes that I haven't worn for a while, and to feel more energised too.
The breakfasts for me are very similar to what I normally have, Lizzi's granola or porridge, it was just the quantity I was surprised at. Immediately I realised that part of my problem is not what I eat, but how much of it I eat… too much!
I found the porridge tastier if I cooked it on the stove for a good five minutes rather than microwaving it, and I must admit to adding a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of sugar. I figured that if I was going to stick to the regime, the food had to suit my palate.
The soups for lunch were very tasty, particularly the minestrone and sweet potato and coconut, and depending on whether I was doing any exercise I would have one slice of bread with it. I found the dinners were a little repetative in the veggie option (apparently there are some new dishes in it now) but my absolute favourite is the three bean chilli, which I have with a little steamed rice and broccoli. The snacks felt like naughty treats, and if I needed anything extra I'd have an ounce of nuts or four ounces of cottage cheese.
For the first two weeks I stuck to the plan rigidly and was amazed to lose 5lbs. For the next couple of weeks I was more relaxed, allowing myself to have the same main meal as the rest of the family on occasions (I love cooking!) just a smaller portion of it, whilst sticking to the breakfast, lunch and snacks from Diet Chef. By the end of week four I'd lost 8lbs and lots of inches all over, especially around the midriff area.
At this point I should also say that it wasn't just watching what I ate but also getting back into using my Pilates machine regularly, and by that I mean at least three times a week. The machine I have has a cardio board, which is fantastic for low impact aerobic exercise whilst strengthening the core and helping to flatten the tummy – I can highly recommend it!
I can't run or jog because the two sides of my body are so imbalanced, so if you have an issue that you think prevents you from exercising, then check out Saturday's TSV, which is a three cord Pilates machine with a cardio board. If you're concerned then check with your doctor before using it, but do try to take advantage of the special TSV price and Easy Payment options.
Incidentally, because of the flight cancellations due the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, our Pilates guest Marjolein Brugman hasn't been able to fly in from America, so yours truly is going to be guesting on all of the shows – it's a good job I genuinely do LOVE it!!
So, not only have I lost pounds and inches, I've also toned up my muscles. In fact my son Daniel, who's a qualified personal trainer and nutrionist, is very impressed with me, particularly as he says that muscle is denser than fat so it weighs more too.
Earlier in the week I was in Spain with him, helping him to set up his first Reviva Fitness bootcamp – all healthy eating and lots of exercise in a sunny, luxury environment. Did I say sunny? It poured with rain on Tuesday morning, but by the time I left for the airport the sun was doing it's best to shine and it's only April!
The good news is that I've lost another 2lbs this week, so after a week 'off' for Easter, my total weightloss so far is 10lbs!!! So I'm halfway there, thanks to Diet Chef, Pilates and a little bit of willpower!