Lesley Lokko tells us all about her campaign shoot with LighterLife…
About a week ago, I was having a coffee (black, sweetener, honest) with my sister when I got a surprise call from Lighter Life HQ. Would I like to take part in a LighterLife campaign photo shoot in London the following week? Would I ever?
Six years ago, after seeing a friend who’d done it and being struck by the most awful bolt of jealousy imaginable to man, I trekked up to Edinburgh from South Africa (yes, that’s how jealous I was!) and lost 7 stone in 8 months. Since then, I’ve been back to the UK several times for a ‘refresher’ 6-8 week stint, once a year, which has not only kept all the 7 stone off, but it’s kept me sane.
I’ve been with three different counsellors – the lovely Jo Ostlere in Silverknowles; the pint-sized dynamo Jennifer Joseph in London and marvellous Maureen Williams in Eastbourne (and it’s not because I keep shopping around for counsellors, I hasten to add, it’s because I’m never sure where I’ll be when I come to the UK. Luckily for me, there’s a Lighter Life counsellor in just about every corner of these isles!) – and it’s been the perfect way for me to keep the weight off and keep my relationship with food on track (it has a tendency to wander off at the slightest hiccup.)
The day all went like clockwork. The studios were lovely – straight out of a Jackie Collins novel with lights, cameras, props, a gigantic make-up mirror and . . . a trampoline, a swing, a see-saw, a Frisbee and a . . . Hoola Hoop (and I’m not talking about the crisps). Now, I’m nearly fifty. I know I’m seven stone lighter than I was seven years ago and everything, but still . . . ? Luckily, Jo, the art director, saw my face and said, very kindly, ‘oh, you can throw the Frisbee, if you’d rather?’ Yes, I would rather. I’m in awe of Natasha and Vanessa who gamely got up onto that trampoline and bounced away all afternoon. They’re younger. Much younger.
Our utterly charming makeup artist, Kittie worked her magic, giving me smoky eyes, perfectly arched brows and cheekbones (cheekbones!) in ten minutes flat. Jo yelled out encouragement at every shot and the wonderful, ever-patient photographers, Cary and Arnold, did the same, and managed to kneel on the see-saw (to make sure I didn’t fly off), hold the swing (to make sure it didn’t collapse) and pick up the Frisbee (too many times to count) at the same time. Who said men can’t multi-task?
The LighterLife ‘gals’ who organised it all were kind enough to let me sneak in a couple of photographs of my own during the day, and you can find more on my ‘Writer’s Room’ blog on my website, www.lesleylokko.com at the end of this month.
If you’ve been inspired to lose weight, just like Lesley please visit the LighterLife website to find out more.