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Carolyn breaks her personal best

"Dear Amanda,

Just wanted to say Hi before Christmas and let you know how I've been getting on.

I am pleased to say that since I was at your workshop in May and started e-mail coaching with you I have lost 5 kilos. I know it may not seem like a huge amount in 6 months but don't forget I hadn't been able to lose 2 kilos and keep it off in about 7 years of dieting.

The six months has also been quite a learning journey for me. I did take quite some time to really change old habits and adjust to a new way of eating and thinking. After some rigorous diary keeping I soon came to realize that I was still managing to squeeze into my diet quite a few foods that were not "real" foods. Crackers here and a couple of biscuits there when I wasn't hungry. As I used the diary to really look at what I was eating, I also noticed that over the course of a week I might of only had 5-6 pieces of fruit, or gone a few days where my main meal had only a side serve of veggies/salad. And I noticed toast and crackers popping up everywhere in my diary. Now I feel I have a working understanding of "real" foods in my diet. I notice days when I don't eat 2-3 pieces of fruit and a large salad/veggies. When I am ready to eat a snack I plan to have some lovely fresh fruit or yogurt, or a little cheese with celery/carrot.

I'm not keeping the diary any longer in terms of satiety, but I still write down what I eat during the day and check every few days to ensure bad habits are not coming back.

So thanks for the journey this year. I feel I am well on my way and will let you know when I lose the next 5 kilos!

Hope you and the family have a great Christmas."

~Carolyn, 42, Melbourne, VIC
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What our readers say...

"Hi Dr Amanda, I bought your book at the start of this year (2008). I had decided to embark on a bunch of life changes as I was diagnosed with depression again, and losing weight (again) was one of them. I tried out the principles of your book just after a bout of low calorie dieting, so I didn’t really find they worked. I was straight into famine, so my weight didn’t go down, it actually went up after a month. So, I tossed your book to one side with all of my other weight loss books. After that, I tried a few other conventional weight loss strategies again, but with no luck. Stuff it, I finally declared, I’m just going to do the best I can with what I’ve got. I used to work as a cook and had always been good at cooking yummy recipes with fresh ingredients. I was over bouts of eating restrictive calorie controlled foods that weren’t very nice, or blowing the diet with bucket loads of McDonalds. I was just going to eat what I wanted and focus on getting good food into me, weight loss be damned. And then I lost two kilos in one weekend. I actually didn’t believe the scales, but I had my boyfriend check them for me and they were correct. After sitting on 134 kilos for months and months, I was now down to 130 kg. I picked up your book and reread it. In the past two months I have eaten whatever I wanted, as long as I am only eating because I am actually hungry, not to pick myself up, for fun, or just because it feels good. I find now that I don’t feel nauseous because I am forced to eat weird food combinations, or stuff I don’t want but know will fill me up. I still exercise and always notice extra weight loss when I do more exercise than normal, and hope to build myself up to an hour a day again and I am now down around the 127 mark. I lost 7 kilos in two months! All while eating more than I did on my calorie-controlled diet, not feeling awful and tired all the time, and instead feeling that my body and I are on the same side for once. I hit the Famine response two days ago, I woke up feeling like I had a cold, was so tired and cold (in Darwin?) and achey and more depressed and realized, this is just my body fighting the weight loss, I just need to hold tight and get through it. I ate wayyyy more than normal (home cooked and nutritious) and found I was almost nauseous if I didn’t get onto getting myself some food as soon as I realized I needed it. I fed the famine response and then today I woke up and felt fine. I felt happier, I felt more energetic (did a bunch of house painting) and a lot less hungry. I had pineapple for breakfast instead of a monster bowl of cereal and fruit. It just feels so great to be able to do right by myself and my health and not feel so awful. I am so glad I found your ad on Facebook and have found advice that so perfectly matches my symptoms and experiences, and shows me the way to deal with them healthily. And I am right in the midst of one of my crappier bouts of depression right now, which I hope means it is something I can sustain for life. Thanks so much. "

- Sally, Darwin, NT