Before I started Ideal Weight I weighed 35 stone 10lbs. For a long time I had been eating too much of the wrong things at the wrong time and knew that I needed to make a change but had yet to find a diet that worked for me. I had tried bits and bobs of other diet plans but for me, at the weight I was, I needed to get to grips with the reasons why I was eating the way I did and learn new healthy behaviours.

I thought I would be dead by the time I was 40

I decided that I needed to get serious about losing weight after a close friend of mine, Neil, became more and more worried that at the weight I was they might not see me around for much longer. He urged me to lose weight and would email me everyday asking 'Are you dead yet?' It may seem harsh, but he was right, I was asked by a friend, what I wanted to achieve by the time I was 35 but to me I genuinely thought I would be dead by the time I was 40 so I'd never really thought about it.

Starting my Ideal Weight journey

Neil recommended Ideal Weight to me as he knew someone who had successfully lost weight with the program and kept it off. I started on the 4 plan dropping to the 3 plan after 8 weeks, then returning to the 4 plan a week later. It's only recommended that you stay on the 4 plan for a maximum of 8 weeks but the week breaks on the 3 plan allowed me to go back up onto 4 Ideal Weight meals a day which was more suited to me due to the amount of weight I needed to lose.

The Ideal Weight meals alongside coaching was key for me as I didn't have to worry about what healthy food to eat whilst I was still retraining my brain to think about eating and food differently.

I couldn't have done it without the coaching

My coach Ali is brilliant. Whatever you need or don't need, Ali is there to support you. Even outside of group I know that I can give Ali a quick text or call and she can help me to get back in a positive and motivated mind set. The coaching sessions focus on omitting the root problems which I realised for me was an addiction to eating. The first stop on the road to changing this behaviour was to accept the blame, I was responsible for all the food I was putting into my mouth, no-one else was doing it for me and therefore I was the only one who could change this.

I feel confident I will maintain my weight loss

I have been maintaining for almost 2 months now and feel confident that even though maintaining is the tricky part I will never go back to the weight I was. For those times where I might have a moment of weakness, Ali is always there to give me a boost and help me to overcome any bumps in the road.

Ideal Weight has truly transformed my life

It's recently been a year since I started Ideal Weight, I am now 21 stone 7lbs lighter and with a new lease of life, I would never have thought a year ago that I would have come so far.

Last summer I started hanging out with a girl who had recently moved in next door to me. I was starting to realise that I liked Mel, but she then made the decision that she was moving back to Cambridge and it seemed like I had left it too late.

We still spent a lot of time together going on 'mates dates' and on New Year's Eve I decided to tell her how I felt. On New Year's Day we had another 'unofficial date' which was slightly awkward after our conversation the previous evening, so I back tracked thinking she didn't feel the same.

It got to the day of her move and she came over to say goodbye. Just as Mel was about to leave, she suddenly told me that she didn't want to leave and wanted to stay with me! It's been quite a whirlwind but it has ended fantastically with Mel and her little girl moving in with me! The most surreal part was, the day this all happened was a year to the day since I started Ideal Weight – next year I'm going to buy a lottery ticket!

A future to look forward to

Before I lost weight I would never have had the confidence to tell her how I felt as I did on New Year's Eve so who knows how the story might have turned out! I simply existed before but now I have a life to lead, and a future to look forward to.

To anyone who is considering Ideal Weight I would say just do it! You have to be ready to make the change as Ideal Weight offers a change for life not just a quick fix, but once you're ready you'll never look back.

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