After trying to lose weight for 2 years without success, I was recommended the Habitual program by a friend who had already started on the program.
Before starting, I did not have any health issues and was not taking any medication, but I did have a bit of a fatty liver. If I had carried on eating like I did (and putting on weight because of it), this would no doubt have changed. I decided that I needed to take the issue seriously and reach a healthier lifestyle—before getting a serious illnesses which would require me to take medication for life.
Diabetes was responsible for my father’s death before his time, and my mother became diabetic during menopause. I have seen my mother fighting the disease for nearly 30 years, complete with constant visits to the doctor and daily insulin injections. This is not how I wanted to be living my life as I got older, as I believe that prevention is always better than cure.
Starting the programme
I was not sure I could stick to Total Diet Replacement, as I love food and thought my will power was not strong enough to resist temptation again and again. During welcome week, we did an exercise which involved imagining that, overnight, all the habits you wanted to change had, well, changed. That made me think about how will I visualised myself in the future—it encouraged me to think about what would be different for the new me? This gave me all the motivation I needed to focus on the end result, no matter how hard the journey.
The first month
The first month was very difficult… the hardest I would say. During the first 2 weeks I could not see people eating around me without breaking into a sweat and feeling like I wanted to pounce on their food. But I kept going and it got easier as I got used to the TDR program.
The second month
I keep focusing on my goal and how I wanted to be at the end of this journey, but at the same time took things a day at a time. I had good days, but also bad days when I fell to temptation—but with the help the team and the daily exercises we were doing, I learned how to take control of my cravings. I learned a lot of things about myself. The exercises and writing things down helped me to analyse the things I did, why I did them, and how to change my bad habits. The fact that the Habitual program covers not only physical aspects of going through a diet, but also the emotional and external environment aspects, have helped immensely.
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The third month
Three months down the line, I am at a point I never thought I could be—physically and mentally. Before starting the program, I never thought I could lose more than 5 kilos, but I’ve lost nearly 12, which is 16% of my body weight. I’m hoping to be able to wear some of my lovely high heeled shoes that have been gathering dust in my wardrobe, as my little ankles weren’t able to deal with my weight on top of high heels.
After not doing any exercise for nearly 20 years, I have started trying different things and discovered that I enjoy a little running, and that stretching and some easy yoga help my back tension and pain. I have a spring in my step and do not feel like I am dragging myself around. I also previously had insomnia for over 2 years, but that’s completely gone away.
I am looking forward to the introduction of my first meal in month four, and have been looking into new recipes to prepare in the future. I feel happy about tasting new flavours—I never ate much fruit but am now looking forward to the freshness of any fruit.
I am incredibly grateful to Habitual, as I do not think I would have been able to get to this point without their support. I must also thank my fellow group members for all their encouragement and support on bad days, for all their funny posts and jokes in our group chat.
Looking forwards to a bright and active future.