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Yvonne proves you can have your cake and eat it too

Yvonne, 37, is a mother of three who started my e-mail coaching program in early April 2008. Prior to joining my program she had kept a Success Diary as described in my book The Don't Go Hungry Diet for a couple of weeks and - while she hadn't lost any weight - had noticed a pattern that ultimately led to her success.

Sent: Monday, 7 April 2008 1:35 PM
To: Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis
Subject: Yvonne's E-Mail Coaching: First Steps

Hi Amanda,

I was very excited to hear you interviewed on ABC Radio National and then to read your book. I have been consistently unhappy with my weight for the last 10 years but have been unable to find a lasting solution.

I have been saying for a while that all I want is to find a way to eat that is enjoyable and keeps me at a good weight. I want to be able to eat cheese and drink wine but still stay a healthy and attractive shape. I was then really excited to hear about your program. It is backed by real science and it is a solution forever!

The idea that I could get on with life and know that I have my weight under control fills me with joy!

I have been keeping a success diary for a couple of weeks now and I have noticed that I eat when I'm not hungry generally in 3 situations; firstly when I go out to eat, secondly when I finish off the kids leftovers and thirdly in the evening when I will sit down with my husband and have wine and chocolate. I'm trying to address these, the first 2 are pretty easy, the third is harder for me but I have some strategies so we will see how I go over the next 2 weeks!

In a reply e-mail to Yvonne, I recommended some strategies she could try.

'For your after-kids-wine-and-chocolate-with-your-husband-fix, I would recommend not trying to eliminate it, but rather, leaving room for it (by finishing dinner when you feel just satisfied) and then, savoring, small portions of the most exquisite varieties you can find. If you feel a bit peckish when you start your evening treat, it can be worked into a weight management plan no troubles.'

Two weeks later, Yvonne wrote of her successful outcome.

Sent: Monday, 21 April 2008 2:21 PM
To: Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis
Subject: Yvonne's E-Mail Coaching: First Steps

Hi Amanda,

Please find attached my scanned success diary for the past 2 weeks. And what a success its been - I have dropped from 74.5kg to 71.5kg and 105cm to 99cm (at the widest part of my waist)!!! To be fair I think the pilates is also helping with the waist measurement.

The result is quite a miracle given that I had family visiting the first weekend and we ate and drank up a storm! Last weekend my husband and I had dinner out at a great restaurant for our anniversary and also had a dinner party at a friends the following night!

I tried to prepare my appetite for the events and concentrated on eating only what I really wanted, e.g. sharing a cheese platter for dessert rather than ordering a big dessert for myself! Evidently it worked!

Really looking forward to seeing what you have to say about the diary.

I am interested to see what happens next..... I find the 70kg mark a big one to break through, and would love to be able to conquer this over the next 2 - 4 weeks.

Thanks again Amanda!



When I looked in Yvonne's Success Diary, it was no wonder she was losing weight. While she enjoyed a glass of wine and a few squares of chocolate several times a week in the evening with her husband as well as occasionally eating out, Yvonne ate veggies and fruits every day as well as a wide variety of wholesome foods. Most importantly, almost every single time she ate, Yvonne recorded feeling nicely hungry, and she never ate to the point of feeling over satisfied. Top that off with an average of over 8,000 steps per day, and she had herself a recipe for success.

Yvonne is living proof that it is possible to enjoy fun foods and still lose weight. Six months after starting my Three-Month E-Mail Coaching Program Yvonne had lost 8 kilos, reaching a healthy weight of 66.5 kilos, and is pleased to have been able to keep the weight off since then.

"I thought I should also thank you for some of the little ways you have improved my quality of life:

  1. Never again having to order a "skinny" latte - YUK.
  2. Losing weight without everyone noticing me counting my food - I always found it somehow humiliating.
  3. Not having to trade things off in my head - like okay I'll have this beer but then I have to go for a big walk tomorrow and I can't have wine with dinner, not being someone for whom self denial naturally flows I hated this!
  4. Best of all, not feeling - "Great I'm now 70 kilos"! And then a moment later - panic, "how am I going to stop creeping up!", and realizing that I have absolutely no idea!

Another BIG plus is to be able to model really healthy eating behavior for my kids. For them to see a mum in control of her weight, neither starving herself nor thinking constantly about food and able to enjoy food with the family.

Thanks again Amanda!"

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What our readers say...

"hi amanda, I bought your book couple of days back, and now that ive finished it, i want to say thank you and share my experience so that it can help others in this "once-exhausting" journey towards maintaining one's weight. I have been in australia for the past 3 years. During my first 4 months, i had put on 10 kg. I went back to my home country, exercised, ate properly and lost these extra kilos. However, for the last 3 years i have been struggling to maintain my weight . I have never really been overweight , and during my the past three years my weight has been fluctuating from 55 to 60 kg. the funny thing is that everytime i would go back home to be on holidays, i just would not understand how come i lost weight while eating everything i wanted. When ill come back to australia, although ill diet more than i use to at home durings my holiday, although ill exercise like crazy here in australia, i would still put on some weight. i first thought that it might have something to do with the food at home and the food in australia. I also thought that it might have something to do with the weather or climate or even temperature. However, after reading your book, i understandd what it was all about. The answer was that went i went home for holidays, ill just forget about dieting, and ill just eat the proper food whenever ill feel like, and ill eat the amount i felt like, so as to feel just satisfied or "elegantly" satisfied. i went back home over the summer holidays, for 3 months, and lost weight. I came back and bought your book and got all my answers for all the questions ive been asking myself for the past 3 years. I just want to say thank you, and i hope that this message might help others. "

- Shazeea Maharaullee, Monash University, Victoria