Denise Welch signed up to LighterLife to lose weight for her wedding. One year on, not only has she just celebrated her first wedding anniversary, she’s celebrating her first LighterLife anniversary, too. Here, she tells us how her attitude to food has changed…
This past year has been one of the best of my life. I feel that in my 50s things have finally all fallen into place. I have a lovely husband, I’m happy with my weight, life is good, and I no longer sweat the small stuff.
Just over a year ago, I was busily planning mine and Lincoln’s wedding. I wanted to lose weight and was approached by a number of different companies. The reason I chose LighterLife was simple: the group work. I was aware that I’d swapped drinking too much for eating too much, and knew I had to do something about it.
I was using food to pick me up after a stressful day, or if I’d had a good day I’d use it as a reward. I’d say, ‘Denise, you deserve it! Have another slice of pizza’. It was the same behaviour pattern as I had when I was drinking.
I was quite aware that I wasn’t eating because I was hungry. I was an emotional eater, so rather than reach for the biscuit tin whenever I was feeling frustrated or stressed, I had to find new, healthier ways of dealing with what was going on inside my head. I had to change my attitude to food.
What I quickly realised through my LighterLife group work was that I was often listening to the Child’s voice inside my head: the rebel that says, ‘Go on, you deserve it,’ or, ‘One won’t hurt.’ I was ignoring my rational, Adult voice and letting my inner Child take over.
Am I really hungry?
In practical terms, this means that I now stop and think before I eat. I find it really helps whenever I have the urge to eat to ask myself, ‘Are you really hungry? Or are you just fed up, tired or stressed?’
This helps me to catch myself from falling into unhelpful eating patterns again. Thankfully I can now acknowledge much more clearly why I choose to eat what I eat. And, if I do eat pizza, it’s because I want to and I’ll enjoy it and won’t feel guilty about it afterwards.
LighterLife is a lifestyle change; it’s not a diet. That’s what I tell all my friends. Anyone who does a diet and expects it to be a miracle cure is kidding themselves. Yes, we can all lose the weight, but we have to work at keeping it off. For me, that’s what sets LighterLife apart from the competition, it’s the ongoing support and emphasis on what’s going on inside.
Yes, I may go up and down a few pounds over the course of my lifetime, but with the skills I learned in my LighterLife group, I know that I can manage my weight and it won’t be a problem that spirals out of control.