Being part of a person's health transformation is a privilege.
A few stories from some inspirational people.
Meet Jon, Jacqui and Debbie...
Jon NASh, Brighton
The frustrating thing for me when I was carrying 18 stones (115kg) of weight on a 5ft 7 frame, was the compromise I was making on my lifestyle. From a young age I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors and loved adventures in the great outdoors. I’ve spent most of my adult life earning a living as an adventure sports photographer and cameraman. I work in an industry where I create imagery for people that sell healthy lifestyle products, and to an extent I’m expected to blend in with that image too. But my life of travelling and erratic eating patterns, combined with a lazy approach to eating the right foods, meant that over a gradual period of time I piled on the extra pounds and my body shape soon shifted. Before long it became very apparent that I’d drifted a long way from the healthy vibrant image I was endorsing through my photographic work.
On top of a generally slack approach to my eating habits, extra weight piled on after a serious motorcycle accident I was involved in. After my time in hospital I spent months on crutches and almost 2 years getting back to a point where I could think about being fully active again. I wasn’t able to work in this period or enjoy the sports I previously loved. I substituted these things with eating and drinking even more than before and it wasn’t long before I ballooned to a size that scared me.
Scary on all levels
I eventually recovered from my injuries and wanted to get back to being the active person I used to be, pursuing my sports as I did before the accident. I was still trying to live the active lifestyle in a body that just wasn’t built for it. The effects of being so out of shape were having a big impact on the sports I was trying to engage in. Cycling with my mates meant they were forever waiting for me to catch up. Snowboarding with all that extra weight was putting extra stress on my knees and ankles. I really noticed it most on the slopes when I was making more stops to catch my breath and rest my legs compared with my friends. It meant less fun riding the mountain and more time for my friends hanging around and waiting for the chunky guy to catch up! But much worse, I was compromising my own safety when I was skydiving, my biggest passion. I got to a point where I was actually getting too heavy for my parachute and I even had to buy a bigger one to remain safe. Basically my parachute became too small for my body and my comfort zone. Granted, it would still open and save me, but bring me back down to earth at a frighteningly fast pace – putting me and others at risk. This experience was the wake up call I needed, along with a stern warning from my doctor around the same time. It was following a routine health check that I was called back to the surgery to discuss my weight. My doctor was concerned. My BMI was at a point where I was on a fast track to all sorts of scary weight-related diseases. Red flags came up for cholesterol, heart attack risk, diabetes, stroke and osteoarthritis.
Around the same time a friend had taken a picture of me at a wedding and I almost didn’t recognise myself. When I looked at the picture I just saw someone in a body that looked ill. I couldn’t relate to that person. I didn’t like what I was seeing. Beyond the chubby smile I was putting on for the camera was someone who’s body was suffering from years of lazy eating. I was literally eating myself to an early grave.
Seeing that picture of myself made me want my old body back. I stuck the picture on my fridge door as a warning to hopefully stop me from grabbing a sneaky cheese sandwich. Luckily for me I have some healthy friends that work in the fitness industry, and my good friend Matthew Nairn from Mint Fitness put me in touch with a clinical psycho-neuro-immunology (PNI) and nutrition practitioner he was working with and suggested I contact her, but only if I was serious about getting my health back on track. He told me that Adele Wolstenhulme could help me get back to a healthy weight and good condition, but only if I was committed. He told me she wasn’t into ‘faddy diets’ using quirky magic pills or gimmicks or powders, but instead she advocates sensible, sustainable evidence-based approaches to eating and lifestyle change that would be the start of a whole new level of fitness to set me up for life. I knew that I was going have to dig deep and was going to have to find a new level of commitment and determination if I wanted to really make the change. I pondered over it for a while, and when I felt ready to commit, I made the call.
I met with Adele who explained the simple, yet thorough approach she uses to reverse the adverse effects of poor diets like mine using a combination of clinical PNI principles and Metabolic Balance®. I signed up to have my body evaluated using blood testing and bioimpedence measurements. I already knew that I was out of shape, but when Adele gave me the results I was shocked to learn that my metabolic age was equivalent to that of a 63 year old man! She determined that my liver was in pretty poor shape and I was definitely on track to an early grave and a miserable time getting there unless I was prepared to make some changes and commit to myself.
Literal melt down
It wasn’t just the fact that Adele had shown me bare facts in black and white detailing my deteriorating body that shocked me. I was already fed up feeling the way I was. Some people kid themselves they’re content being out of shape and say the benefits of eating a care-free diet outweigh the time it takes watching what they eat and getting on top of their eating habits. I was not one of those people and Adele knew it, which is why she agreed to coach me back to health. I followed her instructions and fully committed to the short 90-day metabolic reset. I was amazed at how quickly I started seeing results. Pounds were literally melting off my body while I slept. I was impressed at how fast my metabolism started getting back to peak performance, simply by eating the right foods at the right times during the day. In just 3 months I transformed my body from 110kg at the end of October 2013 (with a waist measuring 110cm and hips at 114cm) to 88.8kg in January 2014 (waist down to 98cm and hips 103.5cm). It was a strict eating plan, which meant I had to follow it to the letter, but it was certainly doable and I'm so glad I did. I even managed to stick to the plan when oversees on various trips. It just meant I had to plan ahead and be a bit more organised than usual, but it was easy to stay on track and keep motivated when the results were so worth it. The planning and organising was a small price to pay for the amazing transformation I was going through. It’s set me up for life with a new approach to food, and the benefits are huge. I feel so much better in my mind and body. I have so much more energy I’m able to put to good use. People around me see the difference and I get comments and compliments all the time. Some think the results are so drastic they think I’ve had surgery. Others don’t even recognise me!
Bye, bye chunky boy
I’m applying my new found zest to areas in my work and sporting life. I’ve got rid of my chunky boy parachute and replaced it with a much less embarrassing smaller one. I’ve had a massive clear out at home and all my big boy clothes have gone. Those expensive shirts I grew out of years ago, but didn’t want to throw away, now fit me perfectly. It’s like I’ve been given a second chance to enjoy living my life without the compromises. Various doctors who’ve seen my results have also congratulated me. One radiologist who inspected my liver in an ultrasound was amazed when I told her my weight just a few months earlier. She was gob smacked at the healthy state of my liver, and said she was expecting it to be in a much worse state than it was. Adele my cPNI therapist / nutritionist puts it down to a determined effort to return my body back to the original way of living, from an evolutionary biology perspective. Basically this means eating the way we’re naturally designed to eat, which means not eating little and often as so many of us do when we snack mindlessly. Whenever I made that trip to the fridge for that extra chunk of cheese I wasn’t really hungry. It was just a habit I had to break. We just need to regain our natural hunger and thirst feelings Adele explained, and stop the snacking. Just eat when we’re hungry and drink when we’re thirsty. Makes complete sense! It’s all based on our ancient physiology from hunter gather days. We haven’t changed much as humans since then, but fast forward a couple of hundred thousand years, and the way we eat and move certainly has. All this has helped me to ‘re-set’ my metabolism, as she put it, so I can use fat for fuel much more efficiently, instead of my body always being in feeding mode, and storing fat all the time. You can’t use fat for fuel if you’re constantly fuelling the body’s tank.
Loosing the bulge allowed me to fix a hernia in my belly button that I’ve struggled with for years. I was previously denied the operation because I was too over weight and had to live with the tear in in my stomach wall. As soon as my doctor saw my weight loss in just 3 months he was actually excited to refer me for treatment. The actual surgeon who performed the operation was equally impressed at the lifestyle change I had made and wanted to know how I did it. I went on to explain the PNI / Metabolic Balance® process Adele put me through, which he’s now interested in learning more about to see if its something he can recommend to more of his own patients.
Today I’m enjoying living at a weight I feel excited to be at. I'm not falling faster than the rest of my friends on sky dives and I’m looking forward to snowboarding in the mountains this winter without getting out of breath or worrying about how long my friends have to wait for me. I’m now at a weight where I enjoy life to the full, where my mind can work at its best with a new enthusiasm for life. I’m currently enjoying working as a free-fall cameraman in New Zealand – something I could not have considered a year ago. And I’m already planning new challenges for the rest of the year and beyond. I’ve signed up to run a marathon and I’m going to be embarking on challenges that Adele is setting for me, including a high-altitude mountain climb, along with endurance cycle rides and some adventure racing. My goals are ongoing and I want to get my body into a state where I can take on bigger and greater challenges. These are all things that I would have wanted to do this time last year but my body just wouldn’t have allowed me to do. For me there’s no going back. I’ve embarked on one heck of a life changing experience and I have no plans to turn back the clock. Life is for living and that’s exactly what I’m planning on doing from here on in.
Jacqui Partridge, Brighton
I met Adele via my trainer Matt at Mint Fitness a few years ago. He recommended her after I complained of feeling constantly tired and struggling with weight issues. I was also suffering a bit with low mood and other symptoms. I had an initial session with Adele and she looked at all areas of my life, including emotional well being, my diet and how often I was eating and exercise. Other areas of nutrition and lifestyle were covered too, and I learned a lot. Adele then produced a personal programme for me to follow. After a few weeks I started to feel a lot better, and then got completely well, full of energy and feeling great! I have followed the way of eating she recommends as a way of life. This combined with my training with Matt has meant I have lost weight and feel great all the time. If I have any health issues I check in with Adele, who normally has a simple and healthy solution. Adele is lovely, and takes her work incredibly seriously and has changed my life really. I can't thank her enough.
Debbie Swales, Chesterfield
I discovered exercise and dieting from about the age of 15 and this became a way of life for me. I got married, had 2 children (lost all my baby weight twice, which was a challenge on its own). When I was around the age of 39 years old, it happened. For absolutely no reason I could understand, I baffled my gym instructor, my doctor and my slimming class leader, because my weight and my BMI were increasing slowly, but surely. There didn't seem anything I could do to change this. I felt out of control. Although people I spoke with said “oh its probably your age”, I would accept this as a factor, BUT not an excuse.
After having the usual blood tests, hitting the gym hard and eating less and less, this continued on and off for the following 3 years where I felt I was just going around in circles. I can now admit it was effecting my whole lifestyle. I never wanted to go out with friends and made every excuse in the book. If I did I would always drive to avoid drinking. I would dread Christmas and family holidays just because of the additional weight I would put on. A two-week holiday, or over Christmas, I could put a stone on without trying.
I have been with my husband for 20 years, and although he can be really supportive I’m sure there have been times he would have loved to say: “Oh Deb stop going on about dieting and weight”. But he never did once. What he did say was that he loved me for me, not how I looked. BUT that was far from what I really wanted to hear. It’s the same old story. If your not happy and confident with yourself then nothing is going to make you change your mind – Nothing!! Or No one!!
The final straw for me was perhaps when I went to my GP surgery for some help, advice, direction or recommendations, and they didn't want to help me. I didn't tick a box as I was neither “anorexic”, nor “excessively obese”. I asked if they could recommend me to a dietician or nutritionist so I could have a better understanding of food, but they wouldn’t help. Oh apart from the doctor’s final flippant comment while collecting my bag as I was about to leave.
She said: “Have you ever tried smoking?” I quickly turned around and said: “No, why?” I asked. She added: “Its just that people who do smoke don't ever seem to have a weight problem”. I was so shocked a professional person, a doctor, suggesting I take up smoking to lose weight!
Then, at a company conference in 2011, we heard a 60-minute talk from Dr Dorian Dugmore about well being within the workplace. Wow, he was so good, extremely inspirational and motivational, so much so that I signed up for the programme (along with 399 others) instantly there and then. Over the months that followed we had a process of tests and assessments, then on the final part of the programme we spent a day with Dr Dugmore and others. They talked about the importance of well being, and how stress effects you at work, health, fitness, etc. When we broke for lunch I took the opportunity and spoke with Dr Dugmore and explained all of the above to see if he could give me any advise. I asked if he could recommend a nutritionist. “Adele Wolstenhulme,” he replied. He said: “If Adele can’t help you, no one will”. That was it there and then. I was given my first glimmer of hope.
Now unfortunately for me Adele lived and practiced in London at the time, but with her having family in the north and her travel schedule, this wasn't a problem for her. The rest is history as they say. We met, we talked, I talked, Adele explained, but most of all (although Adele has probably heard similar stories to mine 100 times or more) she listened. And then she explained 'Metabolic Balance®' in great detail. I’m not going to say the programme is easy at first, because it isn't. However, if you are ready for a challenge, are focused, and want a life-changing healthy eating programme, this is for you. And Adele was there to support me every step of the way.
Although Adele told me how effective this programme was, nothing really prepared me for the amazing results that followed. In just 12 weeks I lost 22lb, 31cm from my waist and 15cm from my hips. AMAZING! Metabolic Balance® HAS changed my life, improved my confidence, given me a sense of good health and well being, totally changed my mind set on foods, oh and done wonders for my relationship with my husband! In fact it has done everything Adele said it would and everything I wanted too. So Adele, the BIGGEST thank you for helping me get my life back on track and becoming a friend for life.