by Aleena Miles.

I used to have a cosy cushion of fat on my stomach which was there for over 20 years. (I do so love using the past tense “used to”). It seemed so ‘resident’ and comfortable sitting there that I thought it would never go. I just hated being hungry, or trying to follow complicated menus from magazines, so sadly, pessimistically, I resigned myself to a life of having a “fat belly” and always trying to keep it hidden with dark, loose clothing.

Last spring I had already attended one session of Esther Ridsdale’s ‘Wellbeing Course’ and I was keen to go on a full 6 week course that summer. Esther is a very encouraging coach and a great motivator. I found it exciting and social as all of us on the course were trying to improve ourselves and our lives. Esther’s Wellbeing Course gave me more courage and made me feel more adventurous, so I asked myself tentatively. “Shall I try to shift this fat? Is it even possible?” I feel that I really need to prove to myself that I can do it, that I am capable of succeeding – even if only for that sweet, delicious, pleasure of knowing that “I CAN DO IT!”

While in the local corner shop one morning browsing the front page headlines I saw this on the front of the Daily Mail ”How to diet in your SLEEP” by Dr Jason Fung. .. I chuckled inwardly “Oh, now, come on, you have got to be joking! OK, I can use a laugh, I will get this paper.” Well, the rest is history. I did just exactly what Dr Fung says in his article of Daily Mail 28 March 2016  “Diet in your sleep”. It was so easy, peasy. There were no complicated recipes, no fancy cooking or elaborate, strict menus to follow!

I followed his advice. I stopped eating between meals completely. I stopped raiding the fridge at night. I developed a healthy dislike of the fatty, sugary low quality snacks on display in the staff room, I filled up on lots of colourful, fresh, fruit and vegetables, my own home made fruit smoothies and I ate rosy read apples – like a cart horse does.

It was a slow and gradual process. I had to grow some patience and to persist with my own little weight loss experiment. To my utter amazement, that resident cushion of fat that had been there for 20+ years disappeared in less than 6 months. I had to chuck all those baggy, dark clothes. The scales told me that I had lost a whole stone! My friends, family and work colleagues told me too.

I’m delighted – thanks to both Esther Ridsdale for her motivating Wellbeing Course (and Dr Fung for his article). This is only the beginning. Now that I have proved to myself that I can succeed, I feel that I can succeed with many other things in life too.

These days I do still have my delicious, little treats you know – maybe a square or two of my favourite dark chocolate, but I keep it under control.  I continue to drink tea and coffee (usually 2 – 3 per day maximum) – coffee is believed to be an appetite suppressant. Now, is that cool, or what?