‘End 2020 Strong’ Challenge Runner-up, Bridget, shares how she lost five dress sizes with New You Plan
Applying for her dream job which required a certain BMI size, Bridget set herself a weight loss goal, started the New You Plan on 24th April 2020 and has since lost an amazing five dress sizes.
Bridget has gone from a women’s size 22/20 to a 12 since starting the plan. She was crowned runner-up in the End 2020 Strong Challenge and won £250 in cash and £125 New You credit.
Here’s what she had to say about her motivation and journey so far…
What was your motivation to begin and stick to the plan?
I applied for my dream job to be a train driver in Ireland. At the time I had applied, I didn’t realise that I needed to be a BMI of 24. You have to be a healthy weight and healthy mind to be a train driver because you are responsible for your passengers. So, in March the penny dropped that I needed to be 24 BMI and I was 33 BMI at that time and my assessments were due in March, but they were postponed due to lockdown.
So, I thought ‘ok, I’m probably not going to get anywhere with this application because I’m overweight but I’m never going to let my weight stop me from getting a really good job again’. I said ‘I’m going on a diet now’. So, I started on a diet by myself on the 1st April and struggled. I googled New Year Plan and started on the 20th April. When I started, I was 14 stone and 10 lbs. At this time, I was four and a half stone overweight. I was 49 years of age when I applied for the train driver job and there were 27,500 applicants that I had to compete against. There were 100 jobs going so I had a huge uphill challenge.
It was crucial that I was 24 BMI and when I had my medical on the 3rd September, I was 23 BMI. When I went for my medical, I was at my lowest weight which was 10 stone and 3.5 lbs. My application was successful and I’m on a panel to be selected for training next year.
The train driver job has motivated me because I need a healthy mind and healthy body. It helped me to lose weight fast. I also bought the journals and everyday since April I have been journaling so it helped me to retrain my mind, it helped me to be more positive and the Secret Slimmer’s group was positive reinforcement. It really built my confidence and the group has been fantastic for my mental health. I love interacting with other people.
How did you hear about the New You Plan?
Many years ago, I had done total food replacement (TFR) and it had worked for me to a certain extent, but I hated the products and it was pure torture. I wanted to go on a diet again and I thought TFR would work so I wanted to see what was out there so I went online and googled and I came across the New You Plan and all the lovely coloured packages and a fantastic variety of food. I thought ‘I have to try this because there is such a variety’. I had no idea how I would get on but from the very first day I loved it.
In this challenge, you have maintained more rather than lost more. Is that correct?
Since the beginning of September I have been maintaining. I’ve been trying to stay around 10 stone and 10 lbs which is my target. I’m allowing myself to fluctuate a couple of pounds up and down from there. I’ve been using the Switch Plan. Primarily I use my packs in work. They’re fantastic. I don’t have to think about my lunch, all I have to do is grab a couple of packs. I know that my calories are being kept low and I’m having good nutritional content. Then when I get home in the evening, I’ll have something like a smoked salmon and mushy peas. Something high protein like fish and salad. At the weekend I’ll have my two nourished days and have whatever I want. It’s really nice.
I have a lot more energy now. I’ve always loved cycling and walking but the difference now is that I actually have more energy and can do more and enjoy it more. It’s easier for me. I’m more inclined to get out.
I do find that the Secret Slimmer’s group is crucial for me. I need that support and interaction with people. I don’t think I could maintain unless I was interacting with a support group. I love the challenges that the New You Plan put out, like the weekly challenges and daily challenges.
Can you describe how you felt before you started the plan?
I wasn’t in a very good place in March when I started the plan. I suffer from the sad syndrome. I’d come through winter and I felt very down in myself because the winter was very dark, and I’d been working hard. I also hadn’t been exercising. My back was sore because I was overweight, and my cholesterol was too high. My sugars were definitely high which wasn’t good.
When I lost my weight, it’s completely turned around. I feel great. Mentally I feel good. It’s a 100% turnaround. I really do feel amazing at the moment and I wouldn’t feel like this if it wasn’t for the New You Plan, I really wouldn’t.
What do you find most enjoyable about the New You Plan?
I love the Secret Slimmer’s group. I’m becoming addicted to it. I have to see what everyone is doing, and I love interacting. I love putting motivational posts up. I love dressing up and putting my pictures up on transformation days or motivational days. I get positive feedback and that’s really building my confidence. I enjoy it because it’s a bit of fun.
I also love the food and the packs. They’re very tasty and I do recommend them to people in work.
What are your favourite New You Products?
My favourite is the chocolate muesli in the morning. I can’t go without my chocolate muesli. Weirdly I love asparagus soup, but I love the crunchy bits in it. I love the crispy caramel bar. In the summertime, I love the mint chocolate shake. I love all the things that are chocolate flavoured as I would have been a chocolate addict, so they suit me very well. I love the cottage pie. I love the burgers. I’m vegetarian so it’s fantastic for me to put a burger on the pan. I did worry before I started the plan whether it would suit vegetarians, but it does 100%.
Have you struggled with anything on plan and if so, how have you overcome these struggles?
During the plan, there was the odd day when I was craving hot food. It came out the blue. What I would do is go straight onto the Secret Slimmer’s website and start interacting with people. It would take my mind off the food. Alternatively, I would journal and listen to music. If it was a nice day, I would go out for a walk and by the time I would come back, food wouldn’t be on my mind anymore. The days with the cravings are hard but you can overcome them. I was very determined. When I was on the diet, I wasn’t cheating. I knew that if I started blipping, I was going to go downhill fairly fast, so I didn’t. I did what was needed not to blip.
How many dress sizes have you dropped?
I was size 20, almost size 22. I’m 12 now. I find if I go to 10 it doesn’t suit me. The body looks good but my face doesn’t at 10. I’m very happy with 12. The clothes look nice on me at 12 and I’m happy with how my face looks.
Why did you decide to take part in the End 2020 Strong Challenge and do you think it helped your overall personal goal?
I needed something to focus on. I needed a goal. I needed to maintain. So to keep around my target weight for me was ending strong. I needed something to work towards and the End 2020 Challenge gave me that focus and goal. I will partake in the next challenge for the same reason to help me maintain and stay focussed. I feel that if I abandon the plan and say ‘oh look at me, I’m done now’ I’m going to slide big time.
Do you feel that if you didn’t have the challenge then things would have been a lot more difficult for you?
Based on previous experience, the minute I would finish a diet, the weight would start to pile back on. The diet was over and there was no maintenance plan.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since beginning the plan?
I was a binge eater before the plan, and I would like to think that I’ve knocked that on the head to a certain extent. I’m not like that anymore. I think I have a better handle on emotional eating. I would like to think that has improved.
What advice would you give to someone starting to New You Plan?
If you’re thinking of losing weight then absolutely try the New You Plan. It might be for you and it may not but if it suits you, you will never look back. You will lose weight fast. You will develop new habits and you’ll get healthy in your body but also if you use journals and interact with everybody it will really help your mind. Please give it a go, you’ve nothing to lose except weight by joining. I highly recommend it. It has worked for me. It might not work for everybody but if you give it a serious go, you won’t look back.