In December of 2013, I had seen an advert in the paper about the Orsmond Clinic in Kilkenny. Having run the course with my usual diet of choice (which involved counting), I decided I would try the Orsmond Clinic. I needed something new and a new approach.

I met with a nutritionist, who weighted me and measured me. Was I shocked that my BMI was over 30 and that I was classed as obese? Well, yes and no. Even though I knew what I weighted, to be actually told that I was officially obese was hard to hear. When I told a few people that I was classed as obese they all said the same thing “that can’t be true you’re not obese”. Most people associate obesity with the super obese which we see on the television. My BMI was 31 and therefore I was officially obese.

The nutritionist explained the programme and said I could start at any of the 4 stages. I was reluctant to start at the 600 calorie programme as I thought no one can live on 600 calories! I also didn’t like the sound of the supplements/products. She encouraged me to try it for a week.  I agreed and lost 8.5lbs in the first week. I can honestly say that I wasn’t hungry. The nutritionist had said that my body would go into ketosis and that would mean that I wouldn’t feel hunger. I really didn’t feel hungry ever on that phase. If I had I wouldn’t have voluntarily stayed on that phase for 5 weeks. I consistently lost weight every week. In fact I constantly lost weight every week with the exception of  1 week where I think I gained 300g!

I found the products I liked and stuck with those products. I found the diet plan was clear and told me really what to eat. This suited me and did not allow me too much variation. Other diets I had been on allowed lots of swopping and alternatives and looking at it now I believe that this lead to temptation and over eating everytime.

I moved up through the phases over the next few months, at my own pace, slowly introducing me back to real food and little or no products. Starting on the 600 calories and working up through different phases has thought me about food and diet from scratch. The Plan pared it all back to basics and built up food over time, re-introducing me back to all my own food and recipes. This I believe has changed my behaviour and relationship with food for the first time in my life.

I love food and love cooking, anyone who knows me will tell you that. I am still cooking and trying out Dr. Eva’s recipes and what’s the most important is that I have worked this into all the family’s diets! Before I would have made 4 dinners, one for me etc etc. My family are eating more vegetables now than ever and eating a variety of vegetables such as spinach, courgettes, leeks and I’m making one dinner for all.

I found the soup at lunchtime great. It was really filling and kept me fuller for longer. Once or twice I had my evening meal at lunchtime and I was hungry by 4 pm.  I was never hungry when I had soup at lunch. I have tried lots of the homemade soups and enjoyed the majority of them. I especially like the curried turnip soup which I really didn’t think I’d like.

Like anything in life, organisation is key. At the start there was a lot of chopping lots of vegetables. I thought the I was good at eating vegetables but this plan has introduced me to a whole new level of eating veg.  I found chopping all the vegetables once or twice a week was the best for me and I would store them in containers in the fridge and use them as I needed them. My daughter was a great help chopping veg on Sunday for the week. It was also great for her to be hands on and see all the different varieties of vegetables. She said to me “Aren’t the colours beautiful and one day I think that I will love salad”. So the benefits of this plan is far reaching as leading by example is working in my house regarding food.

I also find that because I have cut out the rubbish my children were eating that they now eat their dinners now. I always thought they had bad appetites as they ate very little dinner, however now I think that they weren’t hungry at dinner as they were grazing through the day. I just don’t buy any treats in the shopping. Then if we want something as a treat at the weekends we have to go out of our way and get it.

I also found preparing a big batch or two of soup was great and had containers of soup in the freezer ready at all times. Other diets I have been on before would have advocated a soup, however I found that Eva’s range of soups different and very tasty.

One of the biggest changes I have found is that I am no longer as quick to reach for the bread/pasta/potatoes. The balance of my plate has changed with greater emphasis on vegetables and protein. Carbs are still on the plate but a lot less. I do not lead such an active life that would warrant the carbs I did consume.

The cost of the plan might be prohibitive when you first look at the cost. But it is money well spent. I found that the cost acted as a motivational tool.  I have spent more on diets over the years far in excess of what it’s cost me this year and I truly believe that this is my last diet.

I went on holidays for 6 weeks and yes I put on weight. This was largely due to the lack of routine (which generally happens with holidays). I was eating healthy but was eating more often. Also I was drinking wine with my lunch most days, which would not happen other than holidays. However when I returned from holiday my new eating habits just kicked back into place. I enjoyed my holidays and I most importantly I didn’t have the guilty feeling that I failed and put on weight.  My brain just kicked back in place when I got back. I also find that if I eat something that might not be on the programme, I no longer feel guilty and that the “whole thing is lost”. The guilt cycle with food has finally been broken. I just enjoy what I’ve eating and move on with the next meal or next a day/week. This also re-enforces my belief that this is my last diet. I control food now and not the other way around.  There will be days where it doesn’t go to plan for loads of reasons but I finally got it that one day or week or small weight gain will de-rail my new way of life.

People have said to me – you were in the right frame of mind and therefore it was bound to work. This is partly true in that I was sick of my weight and didn’t want to be that weight, however I wasn’t too keen about going on this weight loss journey yet again. I said to myself, that this was the last attempt and that if it didn’t work this time, I was going to accept my weight as it was. Even though I was sick of my size and clothes being too tight, a week could have changed my whole state of mind. When I rang the Clinic on the 3rd January, the lady on the other end of the phone was putting me in for an appointment the following week. I asked if I could have one that day and she booked it for me. A week is a long –time and a lot could change in a week. Even though I was sick of my weight and ready to commence a diet, it was the weekly meeting at the Orsmond Clinic that gave the motivation go on and on and on. It strengthened and built on my commitment every week. That along with the consistent weight loss. On no other diet have I lost weight consistently.

After my holidays I returned to the Orsmond Clinic and have already got my holiday weight gain back in control again. This is where I would have failed before. After a holiday or a fall on a previous diet I would just spiral out of control again and gain all the weight back again. I feel that the next few months are as important, if not more important, to re-enforce how to maintain this for life. I am firmly on the road of my last diet.

What I eat on a typical day

Breakfast – Slice of McCambridge with light Philadelphia and smoked salmon

Snack: 3 Eurodiet biscuits or a Glenisk Yougurt or a piece of fruit

Lunch: Soup with a salad of leaves with egg or tuna or chicken with 2 Finn Crips.

Snack: 3 Eurodiet biscuits or Fruit.

Dinner: Roasted Vegetable with Fish and a small potatoes or Italian Bolognese sauce with Pasta or Baked Potato.

Drinks: Tea and Water