Losing weight is hard. Fact. It is no coincidence that there are as many diet plans to choose from as there are countries in the world and that diet clubs are bursting at the seams (hello, awful pun) with people trying to shed the pounds and improve their lives.
Last year, I attended the Animas Sports Day Event at Loughborough University, which made promises of learning about sport and exercise with the Consultant Endocrinologist who helped Stephen Redgrave train for the Olympics and meeting inspirational people who had completed challenges like swimming the channel and climbing Kilimanjaro. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that?
My reasons for going were simple: I wanted to absorb as much of the information as I could so that when I was back home I could hit the gym and shed my own lingering weight, conquering the weight battles that tainted every occasion that required dressing up or 'looking nice'. Not that you can't looked good with a few extra pounds - but my pounds had extra pounds and I just didn't feel, 'nice'.
The weekend was fantastic and any early fears I'd had about the fact I was one the biggest people there and wouldn't fit in, were totally unfounded. Everyone was welcoming beyond belief and the activities, while challenging and fun, were thankfully not enough to leave an Anna-shaped slump at the side-lines. Oh and I like playing football, who knew?
I came away with some great tips for coping - thriving, even - with exercise and felt totally confident that this was what I had been waiting for. As I left I took the chance to thank Animas for the opportunity they had given me (or I had somehow wangled because my friend Alison at Shoot Up was busy growing a human and Tim was, in his words, too lazy). I told them confidently that I felt sure that my weight loss would be aided no end by the help and tips I had received and suggested trying to encourage more people like me, whose fat even had a fat complex, to come and join in next time.
The team at Animas took that very literally and offered me another opportunity; to track my weight loss and come back at the next conference to talk about my journey. I know, who gets that kind of opportunity and kick up the backside, all in one?! Not only that, they were also putting me in touch with Dr Chris Kelly, one of the UK's leading diabetes and weight loss specialists, who would be joining the next weekend to give a weight management talk.
Tomorrow, a very excited Anna (probably burning an extra 500 calories a day just in excitedness (real word)) will meet with Dr Kelly for the first time, when he and his team will go over my food, look at my metabolism and make recommendations around what I am currently doing and what could help me further. With a stone now safely under my belt, clothes fitting me better and people starting to notice the difference in how I look and seem, I can't wait to meet him and use the last 2 months before the challenge to the greatest effect.
So tomorrow I travel to Scotland, kindly sponsored by Animas, who took me far beyond the original promise they made of a rewarding and informative weekend. They blew that promise right out of the water and offered me 100 times more.
I will be sharing what I learn with you, as I know I am not alone in the weight issues boat. So please keep posted for updates and news.
Anna (currently a stone lighter, and a quarter of the way to the end goal).