WW Cover Star Finds Food Freedom
Start weight: 219lbs initially / 133lbs start of Munro
End/Current weight: 121lbs at end of deficit / now maintaining around 126lbs
1 - Tell me about your previous dieting attempts.
My dieting C.V. is bleak & lengthy. I started to gain weight relatively young, perhaps at the age of 9/10.
The females in my family have always been "on a diet", and my mum was always one to serve big portions of hearty food, which I happily ate!
I went to my 1st slimming club at 14 and found myself in and out of W.I.'s (weigh-ins) from 14 to 17 before going to Uni.
I started Uni relatively slim, within what is considered a healthy BMI. Over the next few years, I gained a significant amount of weight from nights out, takeaways, student living and, nearer the end of my Uni days, meeting my now-husband.
I'd probably gained a couple of dress sizes by the time I met David, but young love saw us having cosy nights in with all the snacks, and I'd match my 6ft active partner calorie for calorie, and of course, my weight ballooned!!!
I was the classic "diet starts on Monday", and I tried all sorts of fads, which would usually "fail" by the Wednesday because I ate too little and valued the happy bubble I was in more. In October 2006, we had just returned from a holiday in Greece, and the photos were "the" wake-up call for me.
I'd gained so much weight, especially around my tummy. I looked extremely unhealthy and felt crap, too, so that week, I signed up to W.W., weighing in at the heaviest I'd ever been – over 15 and a half stone (not ideal at 5' 3").
"I soon realised that WW didn't give a hoot about the health or wellbeing of their slimmers. I was asked numerous times to bend the truth in stories and to say I'd been using a new plan when I hadn't."
I steadily lost a large amount of weight with W.W. and became their cover star and appeared in several magazines and even a T.V. advert.
While doing the magazines and photoshoots, I soon realised that W.W. didn't give a hoot about the health or well-being of their slimmers.
I was asked numerous times to bend the truth in stories and to say I'd been using a new plan when I hadn't. It was all about the before and after photos that would help to sell their plans and brand (I vividly remember being flown to London for a shoot and the photographer telling me to stand a different way because I looked "too slim", and that was not a good look for their readers!!!).
By this point, I was almost at my lightest weight, and I wasn't even following W.W. I had started restricting calories as I didn't see the weight loss I had before.
I had not been offered any support in maintenance with W.W., so I needed to figure out how to maintain the weight I had lost.
The final straw with W.W. came at a W.I. where I was berated in front of the whole class for being "too small" and told, "if you don't gain weight, we'll have to direct you to a Dr".
Although I was in an unhealthy spiral at that point, weight-wise I was perfectly within the BMI range that they use….I felt angry, mortified and utterly let down by the brand I'd put years into and didn't set foot into another W.W. group after that.
My unhealthy spiral probably worsened at this point where I'd bounce up and down 2/3 stone at a time in an "all or nothing" mindset where each day had to be perfect, or I'd kick the fuck it bucket and overeat until I felt ill.
I still feel sick at the BS I put David through with my weight. I allowed the number on the scale to control my life. I reverted to the "diet starts on Monday" and tried all manner of juice diets. I'd make up my own detoxes where I lived off liquids. I tried the 5:2 diet for a few months, and I just felt miserable and like a massive failure. How could I lose all of this weight and not maintain it?
Why couldn't I have a normal relationship with food?
I'm not a stupid person, but this was beating me!
Obviously, the cure for that was the Cambridge Weight Plan (facepalm).
I felt obsessed with food, and in my head, if I took that element away by only having bars or shakes, it could only help!?
Cambridge is a dangerous cycle to get into…..the promise of ketosis and not being hungry, coupled with super-fast weight loss, becomes very addictive!
The ridiculously fast weight gain when you ultimately came off the products for holidays or "life" didn't seem to matter because you could "jump back on the wagon" and go again! I did Cambridge off and on for around three years, spending £1000s on products that tasted like shit when all I wanted was to eat a sandwich!
I was addicted to simplicity and quick results.
I got to "target" again in May 2018 (ignoring the fact I took laxatives the day before my W.I. and ate nothing to make sure I got to that magic number) and, again, had no info or support on how to manage maintenance. I kept going back each week to be weighed and pick up products and remember being told that "Awww, that's ok" when I maintained my goal weight…it made me feel like a failure even though maintaining was what I was meant to do, it was still intimated that it was a failing.
From May 2018 until Sept 2018, I bounced between undereating and overeating, scared to eat more than 1200kcals to maintain.
This is when I found Munro ❤️
2 - What was it you hoped The Munro Method would do for you?
I just wanted a healthy relationship with food.
I wanted to be able to enjoy the body I'd worked so hard for through maintenance.
I wanted an education; I wanted to feel normal & not obsessed with eating and hunger.
I hoped Munro could help me achieve that.
When I signed up, I thought that would be through fat loss and losing the few lbs I had gained, but it went way beyond that.
3 - How did you hear about us??
I'd followed a PT page on FB for a while (I went to school and was friends with her sister) and loved her posts, her attitude and no BS approach. I felt so lost, and I still don't know why, but I messaged her and spilt my guts out to her.
She suggested I look up Jason on Instagram and have a read of his grid and watch his stories as she had started to work with him after meeting at a conference.
We agreed that she would add me to her PT waitlist, and when I got to maintenance, I would visit her for a PT session.
I popped onto Insta and watched Jason do a story in his car. I think the 1st few words our his mouth were "fucking slimming clubs", and I was sold!
You know when someone is "your people". And I like the no BS, no fluff approach, so I knew this was likely a good fit for me.
I dropped Jason a FB message; he directed me to his web page, where I read over the FAQs and signed up with David.
4 - What was it about us that stood out from other available options?
I tend to feel like I can read people quite well, and I trusted Krystal and felt if she was involved in something, it was legit.
I value recommendations, and I just had a feeling this was going to be different. I got a good feeling from Jason and his stories.
I liked how organised, truthful and transparent the group FAQ's were, so from emailing Krystal to signing up, it was a matter of a week max – when it's your time to sort shit out, you know!
5 - Did anything almost put you off coming to work with us?
It didn't put me off joining, but the thought of trying something new, trying to grasp something that you aren't an expert in, is scary & frustrating.
I was honestly at a point where I was so tired of fighting my head and body I was prepared to go for it regardless!
6 - What made you bite the bullet and sign up?
I liked the idea of a safe environment in a private FB group (no stinking community halls with a manky scale that 45 Karen's have had their bare feet on).
I didn't, but if I had wanted to, I could have had complete anonymity and set up a private FB account just for the group.
But it just felt like a safe space with no pressure.
7 - What did you enjoy most about being a Clan Munro member?
I love the daily post. It quickly became routine to wake up with a cuppa and read the day's wisdom.
Most of the topics resonated with me, and instead of just reading them and forgetting about them, I'd contribute and try to incorporate them into my life.
Similarly, I'd tune in with the Live chats because these were the bad boys that could really dive into the mindset behind dieting. Interactive talks that dive into essential topics like fluctuations, banking calories during the week to relax around weekends, goals, values, and priorities.
All the stuff that we need to know and understand to ensure long-term success.
It becomes more than just check-in with your coach every two weeks – the info contained in the DP's and Lives start to mould your life, habits and routines if you put the work in.
The practice of gratitude is one of my favourite things from the Clan; I try to do this daily, and it puts life into perspective for me – the group is more than just weight loss, which gives me the fuzzies!
8 - What have you been able to achieve since become a member of the Clan?
I've probably achieved more than I could have anticipated; initially, I had just wanted to lose the little bit of extra fat I had, which I did. More important to me was that I wanted to maintain successfully.
I've been maintaining since March/April 2019, and I've not been in a planned calorie deficit this entire year.
I wanted food education; through a lot of reading and putting it into practice.
I no longer track my food, and I feel confident that I continue to eat a balanced diet prioritising protein and fibre.
As a result of the food education, hunger and food obsession quickly disappeared because I was eating food that kept me satiated.
I wanted to enjoy the body I'd worked hard for, which is now my reality; I can eat a meal out, a desert, a pizza with absolutely no concern or guilt.
I know how to balance my life and live naturally, and it's the most content feeling in the world!
My entire world has changed. I don't think I realised how much my weight and toxic diet obsession impacted my relationship.
9 - What has exceeded your expectations since working with us?
My entire world has changed. I don't think I realised how much my weight and toxic diet obsession impacted my relationship. To hear my husband say how nice it is to see me so relaxed and enjoying my food, knowing we can go on holiday with no issue, eat out at the last minute with zero concerns and live a normal life together is wonderful.
I love the step challenges, and that's impacted the household so much. We walk much more now, and it's not just to burn extra calories. It's about enjoying the company, the surroundings, chatting and spending quality time together.
I can focus on important things in life now and not silly things like what I weigh, what is the lowest Kcal things on a menu, how do I get out of going out for meals. The thoughts that would occupy my mind all day.
10 - Why would you recommend us to others?
My story isn't unique; it's something that most people who have dieted can relate to.
We want to feel good and have a healthy relationship with food.
Getting to the core of a calorie deficit, understanding the scales and weight fluctuations.
Developing a nutritional awareness of what you are eating and why truly gives you the control and knowledge to adapt that to your world, your routines and life, and that's a tool you can use forever.
Munro is built on transparency and integrity, the coaches want you to do well, and while we are supported heavily, we aren't spoon-fed, which is key to creating those life lessons and habits needed.
11 - Was there anything about Munro that surprised you?
The extra's like the Step Challenge as a result of COVID to support us keeping active, the incentives, the challenges, the eating out guides, the guest speakers for the Lives….all these small extras reiterate the care factor.
The coaches are always thinking of ways to help keep us engaged, and it's not just a routine fortnightly check-in, and off you go.
12 - What advice would you give someone thinking about joining us?
I'm always sincere when folks ask me about signing up, and I tell them yes, it's changed my life entirely, BUT you have to be in the right headspace.
You have to be prepared to spend some time reading and learning.
You are supported, not spoon-fed, because you need to be the one to implement these changes into your own life.
A meal plan teaches you nothing! (give someone a fish, and you feed them for a day; teach them to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime.)
You have to be honest, trust the process and be prepared to put a little work in!
If someone is prepared to invest that into the group then the coaches will match it with their investment in you.
13 - How confident are you that you can now take everything you've learned during your time with us to go on and maintain the results you've achieved?
The confidence is backed up by a track record of 4 years of maintenance – something I have never achieved in my loooong diet history.
14 - Is there anything else you'd like to say about us or your time with us?
I don't think there are many words or phrases that can really put the gratitude felt into words – I'm truly living my best life now, and it's down to your group, guidance and approach.