It’s easy for me to share insights into my lifestyle now, but what about when I decided to make the first change? What about that day I said ‘enough already!’, what happened in the beginning?

It was May 2010, it was about a week after Matt’s birthday and on my lunch break I walked into the local pharmacy and joined the diet plan Tony Ferguson. I had seen the cardboard cut outs of all the people who had lost weight on this diet plan. Their slim, smiling faces staring at me whilst I grabbed my lunch each day.

I hadn’t planned to join the plan, but just dove in head first, I knew nothing about the plan. I just wanted to get this thing started! So after spending a small fortune on diet shakes, bars, soups, jelly and a recipe book. I was all set and ready to lose weight.

I remember going home and telling Matt that I had joined this diet, he was fairly quiet, and I don’t blame him because at that point all I had done was quit each time I started to see results.

The next morning, it was a Saturday, I tried the chocolate mint shake for breakfast – it was vile. I went to the gym and did my usual cardio on each piece of equipment and then attempted a million crunches.

I read the diet plan recipe book, and it had a lot of recipes I had never heard of before. I remember sweet potato was featured a lot and this was the first time I had ever tried it. I became a little obsessed, but since then it has become much more popular in the UK. It makes me laugh because I remember trying the cauliflower rice recipe, and I hated it, it did not taste like mashed potatoes – I love cauliflower rice now.

Each week I had to go to the pharmacy and weigh myself on their big scales, they had an override so I didn’t have to pay the machine, and someone would come with me and give me the obligatory ‘well done’ when I had lost a few pounds. I got a little ticket and I put these in my wallet each week so I could be reminded of the number. Now that I look back I remember the ladies acting like I was a pain in the ass, coming in each Friday and asking them to weigh me. I also remember that because I went on my lunch break I would eat and drink very little until after I had been weighed!!

Out of all the diet plans I have been on, this was the only one which taught me a few things and I didn’t lose control a few weeks in.

I carried on with this diet plan until the August when I quit my job. For a few months I used my savings to pay my mortgage and bills, so I couldn’t afford to pay for diet products. Whilst I applied for jobs and went on interviews, I spent a lot of time at the gym because it was cheap and I cooked all of our meals everyday, we were eating fresh and healthy meals. I also remember watching The Biggest Loser each day, and whilst watching the program I found some of the contestants resonated with me and I was drawn in by the ‘glamour’ of the program. I started to learn a few things, recipes, exercises and how to approach weight loss.

Hi my name is Melanie and I loved The Biggest Loser.

Another memory I have is that one evening I laid in bed trying to calculate how fast the BL contestants were running each mile. It took me a while, but I realised they were running a 9 minute mile. I remember thinking ‘I wonder how long it would take me to run a mile?’. The next day, I went to the gym, and set ONE mile on the treadmill. It wasn’t really running, but it took me 16 minutes to jog/walk ONE mile.

I’m proud that two years later I could run a 9.30 minute mile and run up to 8 miles without thinking about it. I have zero desire to run now…

You see it wasn’t all motivation, willpower and weight loss, I started with what I thought I knew, and then I learnt through TV and magazines how to continue with the process.

Research is just as powerful as your level of commitment.

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