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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 the experts say...

"Dear Amanda, I just wanted to write you an email to thank you for changing my life in such an important way. I was an overweight child and obese as a young adult consequently most of my life has been about battling with my weight. After losing weight with a popular weigh loss group when I was 19 I thought I had solved the problem but I was wrong. Post weight loss I could no longer lead a normal life if I wanted to stay thin. I would breakdown in tears every time I had to go out for dinner because I knew it would result in more weight gain and I began to exercise obsessively and get furious if anything interfered with my grueling regime. This abnormal behavior did not help my weight problem though and after a year of gradual gain I began cycles of starving myself, which would inevitably be followed by a binge. This went on for two years with me trying to hide my problem from people. Within 4 years I had gained 8 of the 20 kilos I had originally lost. A year ago I read your book and at first I thought it must be too good to be true because the only way I had ever known weight loss to happen was through starvation and suffering. Six months later however I decided I had nothing to lose by giving it ago. The change has been gradual. Firstly I threw out my scales then I started drinking full cream milk (something I have longed to do since I was 12 years old when I was first forced to swap to skim milk because of my weight problem). After this I worked on being able to gauge when I was full (I never had a problem gauging hunger). This took a long time because I was so used to eating carefully weighed portions. In six short months, though, the binging has stopped, I no longer have a breakdown at the thought of going out to dinner and I have already lost 4 kilos. So thank you Amanda, your wise words have given me the courage to change for good and now I know I will never have to be fat again."

- Hayley, QLD