Cheryl’s 5:2 diet success story

Cheryl’s Story

As a child I was heavyset and growing up we had big portions and was taught to eat everything on our plate, even at school!! I was bullied through infant & junior school and this continued into high school whereby I turned to chocolate as a form of comfort, eating 2-3 bars at a time.

At the age of 21 I set about eating healthy and exercising and I lost weight but then in 2003 I met my partner and we fell into the contentment trap, eating takeaways 2-3 times a week, drinking and dining out.  Two years later I fell pregnant and luckily I only put on a stone but being on maternity leave in the winter and no means of transport I fell into the trap of drinking gallons of coffee and eating chocolate biscuits resulting in weight gain.  Throughout the years I have tried Slimming World and Weight Watchers even ‘At Home’ hypnotherapy but I just couldn’t get my head around them and didn’t have great results with these programmes.

In 2010 I set about eating healthier and exercising on at home, which resulted in a weight loss of just over 2 stones and I felt fab!! Unfortunately a year later I was diagnosed with depression and work related stress and I put it all back on. It took me over two years to fight the depression but I came through it feeling stronger.

Then in July 2013 a very good friend was telling me about 5:2, which I thought sounded like a great way of losing weight but still allowed you to eat what you wanted as nothing was forbidden. So I bought the book, took the time to read it and then embarked on my 5:2 journey!

I won’t lie it was a struggle at first so I aimed to eat 650 to 700 cals on my Fast days to give my mind and body chance to adjust. Back then I worked two 11 hour shifts on a Tuesday and Thursday so I chose these days to do my fasting as I only had one break. A typical fast day would be a small skinny latte for breakfast,  homemade soup or salmon with rice or salad for lunch, then a prawn stir fry or soup for dinner. With an options hot chocolate before bed as this curbed my sweet tooth.  Now I am used to fasting, my fast day usually consists of a large skinny latte around late morning then dinner is usually salmon or chicken cordon bleu with new pots and veg, ostrich with greens or sometimes a ready meal if I’m short on time. Plus I make infused water the night before and drink this throughout the day. Through the week on my non fast days I eat sensibly and under my TDEE, although as a treat I always have a croissant for breakfast with a large skinny latte, whether it’s chocolate, almond or butter. I make a lot of the Hairy Dieters recipes as they are very filling but low calorie and the family love them!! Also my slow cooker gets used a lot, especially at this time of year, so I make things like corned beef hash & dumplings or sausage casserole.  At the weekends it’s pretty much anything goes, so Saturday night is generally a take away with wine and then Sundays is a roast. The one thing I have noticed throughout my journey is the loss of my sweet tooth!! Which I know is good but I do miss that. Dessert used to be the first thing I looked at on a menu when eating out.

My weight loss appeared to come off slowly at first but then I began to notice my clothes were feeling loose and I could take my jeans off without unbuttoning them!! Some weeks I didn’t lose weight but had in inches, so I would recommend you keep a record of your measurements. I haven’t particularly done much in the form of exercise really, started the 30 day shred but by day 16 I’d grown bored of it. I do need to start doing something though as I want to start toning up.

15 months later I have gone from 15st 13lbs to 12st 11lbs – a loss of 3 stone 2lbs (44lbs). I’ve lost 36 1/2 inches overall and have gone from a size 22/24 to a size 18 on top and from a size 20 to a size 16 on the bottom. My BMI has gone from 37.80 to 29.80 taking me from Obese to Overweight.

For me the biggest challenge was altering my mind-set as in my head I was still a size 20 and when shopping for clothes I would automatically pick up the larger size. I remember going into a well known high street shop and picking up a pair of size 16 skinny jeans thinking no way these will fit….. But they did!!! That feeling was the best feeling ever!!! Being able to go into ‘normal’ high street shops and buy clothes is such a sense of achievement. Before 5:2 I wore a lot of black baggy clothes and these days I choose bright fitted clothes.  Also the amount of compliments I receive is such a boost and a few months back I went on a night out with a few friends and family who hadn’t seen me in a while and their reaction was amazing!!! They didn’t even recognise me – even my own Mother lol!!

My 5:2 journey still continues as I want to lose at least another stone but I have no time frame in how long this will take. I just know that 5:2 is a way of life for me and it has taught me to really appreciate food. It has changed my life for the better resulting in me being a happier, confident and slimmer lady!

Top Tip – On your 5:2 journey take each day as it comes and don’t be overly hard on yourself if you haven’t had a successful ‘fast’ day – there’s always tomorrow.  Remember 5:2 is a way of life and not a quick fix.

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