81.6kg (42% of her body weight!)
I’m 66 years old, originally from Vancouver but I’ve lived in Scotland for the last 45 years. I work as an occupational therapist at a small hospital in Fife supporting patients on the ward and in the community. I love the work that I do and it’s been so valuable having a team around me throughout the pandemic.
Getting started with Counterweight
4 years ago my partner passed away. We had always cooked together and I realised that even though I was living alone, I was still cooking and eating for 2. I was conscious that my weight was affecting my life, my joints were always aching and I was struggling with my mobility which is really important for my job. My main concern was my health, as an occupational therapist I work with so many people that have had strokes and I was conscious that I needed to make a change to prevent myself from ending up in the same situation. I googled dietitians in my local area and came across Maria who introduced me to Counterweight.
What appealed to me about Counterweight was that it is based on science and focuses on weight maintenance, not just weight loss. You always see ads for weight programmes with people wanting to fit into a bikini or look better in clothes, but most of the time that weight just comes straight back. Counterweight is about changing your life, not just your temporary appearance for a holiday. This programme finally breaks the perpetual cycle of losing weight and then gaining it back.
A break from eating
What I loved about the Total Diet Replacement is that it gives you a break from food. There is so much emotion involved with food, we eat when we feel bad and we eat when we feel good. Being able to just have the soups and the shakes allowed me to disconnect from all that, which made the weight loss part very easy.
The hardest part for me was having to reintroduce food and examine my relationship with eating. Having support from my dietitian was so crucial because she helped me through this process to find strategies that worked for me. I actually decided to keep having the shakes for the 2 days that I’m at work and I found a great local meal delivery service that I use for a lot of my other meals. Maria supported me to customise the programme to suit my needs, it was very individualised which I think is so important.
Finally feeling in control
I now weigh 81.6kg, so since starting the programme I’ve lost almost 60kg. Losing so much weight feels almost like an out of body experience. I can’t even explain how far I’ve come in terms of my health, my joints aren’t in pain, I’m so much more mobile and my cholesterol level has dropped, my GP is thrilled! I’m also far more active than I’ve ever been which has made a world of difference for my work.
Weight management is all about learning to be responsible for your choices. I’ve learnt to remove the emotion from food and stop using it as a ‘treat’ by finding other ways to give myself comfort or reward. My decisions are more conscious instead of mindless, I choose to eat certain foods and I get on with it, it doesn’t feel like a slippery slope back to my old weight and I don’t beat myself up about it. Feeling like I’m in control has been such a breakthrough for me. The fact that there is long term support from a dietitian is so critical because you always have their help and advice to fall back on and you know that the workbooks and the soups and shakes are always there as a tool to use in the long term.
At the end of the day you can’t quit eating, so you need to find a way to manage it that works for you. You should approach this programme as a whole new start that can make a fundamental change to the rest of your life. Just do it, it works!