Throughout my life I always thought I had quite a good metabolism and had luckily been able to eat what I wanted, with the active life style I had running around after my two children and the Fitness classes I took, a smaller waist line was easy to maintain. I would even have family and friends exclaim in awe at the quantity of food I could eat, it became a running joke that if we went out for a meal I would have two puddings along with a start and main.

'It wasn’t long until I started piling on a few pound'

'It wasn’t long until I started piling on a few pound'

In May 2016 I left my job working in a boutique where I was on my feet for 8 hours a day constantly walking around and attending to customers. Appearance was key and with lots to do I didn’t get to sit and eat lunch or snack, I just had time to grab a quick bite to eat. I settled into an office job at a printing company that didn’t demand much physical activity as I was previously used to. Between clients bringing in cakes and biscuits, to the crisps and chocolate bar boxes we had in the office, I found myself snacking and because I was quite slim and hadn’t ever had a problem with weight as such I didn’t think the extra calories would do anything, it wasn’t long until I started piling on a few pounds.

My work load doubled and I found myself relying on coffee and chocolate bars to perk myself up during the day, some days I found myself drinking 4-8 cups of coffee at work, along with not having time to make lunch at home in the mornings, I would stop at the supermarket on the way to work and pick up a pasta pot or a pre packed sandwich, with a packet or two of crisps and a bag of cookies.

From there I noticed my jeans getting tighter and clothes not fitting as well as they used too, I put it down to not being as active and relied on the fact I had been able to maintain a flat stomach before so I carried on eating the high carb/fat/sugar food.

Before I knew it 7 months had passed and I had gained a stone and a half, I no longer felt comfortable or confident, I’d gone from a svelte size 6 to a size 10/12, my confidence took a nose dive and I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror anymore. I suffered from anxiety and had started having panic attacks, by the November it was a weekly thing and after a few scary moments where I found my heart rate would climb to 200bpm even though I was laid down, I knew something wasn’t right but I couldn’t put my finger on what was causing it. I kept quiet and didn’t tell anyone about how I was feeling, I just carried on hoping it would get better.

It was just after Christmas that a friend of mine mentioned she had signed up to do a detox and it was with a group called Jump & Juice, at the time all I thought was “oh another diet” and didn’t think it would be for me, but I signed up after reading a bit about it and with it offering to try it for 2weeks for free then only £5 a month after that I thought what have I got to lose and after signing up I was warmly welcomed by Louise to the group. With daily motivational pictures and recipe posts from all the members, along with the online HIIT classes and Abs blast classes, I found it easy to stick to the plan, although there were temptations along the way, and with having to make separate meals for me and my family to incorporate my new meal plan in. 

I wrote the following testimony to the group once the 4 week detox was over, I wrote honestly about how much my life has now changed and wanted the rest of the ladies in the group to know how much they had all helped me even though I have never met them.

“I started this with the belief it would just be a quick fix diet, I'd seen a few people start diets in January and not ever stick to them by the second week. I thought that I would lose a couple of pounds and that it wouldn't have that much of an impact on my life.  Being a mum of two I didn't really focus on me.

Earlier in the year I was diagnosed with a heart condition which was triggered by stress and anxiety.  I was anxious 24/7, my heart rate would jump from 76 bpm to 200bpm in seconds and in a few cases I had the 'this is it' moment, life flash before your eyes and panic set in.

I didn't eat healthily, I didn't cook, I chose the quick fix method of sugar, and caffeine along with carbs if I was feeling a bit tired.  My skin was oily and I'd get regular breakouts, my hair didn't grow and it was lank within a day of me washing it. I wasn't sleeping well, I had paranoia and anxiety and I thought that it was just me and how I was wired as a person. I'd just accepted that this was me and there wasn't anything I could do to change that.

Not for one minute did I ever think it could have been down to my terrible diet...

Since starting the new plan on the 2nd of January 2017, after being referred by a very good friend, I haven't had a panic attack, my resting heart rate has dropped by 10 beats, my skin is glowing, my hair has grown an inch, and I wake up in the mornings feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.  I'm more active and don't feel sluggish or depressed about myself.

I've lost; 15lbs (1 stone 1lb), 18 inches and a life time’s worth of stress and anxiety.

I've gained; my confidence back, a brand new set of online friends who support and care for each other, a love for fresh wholesome food and a better understanding of how to take care of myself and how to fuel my body so it can be its best.

This isn't a fad diet or a quick fix.  It is a brand new way of life, a fresh start for your body to revive and restore itself, a brand new you.

Thank you to Louise, all the ladies.

2017 isn't the year I started a diet, it's the year I found Me and unlocked my body's true potential.  I look forward to carrying on with my new way of life and seeing what the rest of 2017 brings!!”

My daily food intake on an average day before I started:

Breakfast: Cup of tea, 2 almond croissants dusted with icing sugar.

Snack: a Chocolate bar and a packet of crisps from the boxes at work

Lunch: Either a Pasta pot or prepacked sandwiches with a packet of crisps, and some biscuits/cakes

Snack: Left over biscuits/cakes from lunch

Dinner: MacDonald’s / Pizza / Fish and chips / Pre-packed microwave meals

Drinks: Coffee/Tea/Coca Cola/Squash

Exercise: 1 Fitness class a week

My daily food intake on an average day now:

Breakfast: 2 eggs and pieces of bacon fried in coconut oil, a handful of curly kale steamed and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Snack: a pear and a raspberry tea

Lunch: Can of Tuna with a baby leaf salad and a handful of berries

Snack: Protein Shake with almond milk or 40g of mixed un-roasted nuts

Dinner: Any high % meat with curly kale, green beans, broccoli, carrots.

Drinks: De-caff Tea with almond milk, Protein shakes on training days, 2 litres of water a day.

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