In December 2015 I was invited to join the Peace Hospice Pounds for Lbs sponsored weight loss program as a PT Coach & Exercise Adviser. Little did I realise what an inspirational and motivated bunch of people I would meet and becomes friends with.
Now it is nearly December 2016 and preparations are underway for the £’s for Lbs program 2017 so I thought it would be a great idea to catch up with Jane Jones one of the ‘biggest losers’ on the 2016 program for an update. The 2017 program is due to commence in January and further information can be found here, the information evening will be held in Watford at the Peace Hospice tomorrow (Tues 29th) evening at 6pm.
- Jane, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to join the pounds for pounds programme last year?
Hi, my name is Jane and I’m a wife, a teacher and a mum to 2 children. If I’m honest, my weight has always been a battle ground for me. There have been times in my life where I’ve felt in control of it, and other times where it has definitely got the better of me! I really enjoy tasty food, and I suffer from poly-cystic ovarian condition, both of which make it very easy for me to pile on the pounds if I’m not careful. In September 2015 I was very fortunate to be in the position to take a year sabbatical from teaching. One of the goals I set myself for that period was to become more healthy, loose some lbs and make some new friends. When I saw a poster for the Peace Hospice £ for lbs fund-raiser, it seemed like it would tick all of those boxes! One of my friends had done it the year before, lost weight and raved about it, and I knew that it was something that I needed to do for myself. My father-in-law is a patient at the Hospice and it struck me as a great way to raise money for a fantastic cause, whilst helping myself to gain control of my weight again.
- How did the £’s for Lbs program from make a difference compared to just deciding to lose weight on your own?
I’ve tried to lose weight in many ways over the years, sometimes successfully and sometimes not! I think that there were several things that made £’s for lbs work for me. Firstly, there was an amazing support network given by the professionals who were working with me. The fantastic nutritionist, Linda, spoke about food in a way that I had never heard it spoken about before. It was so refreshing to look at food in a new light and learn about how the body uses food, rather than just be given a list of ‘dos and don’ts’! Also, the weekly weigh in with my new found group of friendly ‘losers’ was so much fun. There was never any pressure to reveal my own weight to my peers, but lots of encouragement came my way from others who were on the same journey as me. Knowing that I was going to be weighed weekly was a real motivation for me to keep on track during the week. The lady who was coordinating the course, Tracey, was so approachable and made the sessions lots of fun; I honestly looked forward to them! Part of the £’s for lbs package was free access to a gym for 3 months and support from the wonderful Allie, a personal trainer. This encouraged me to do more exercise than I’d ever done before. I surprised myself by actually enjoying it! Finally, and probably my biggest motivation, was the fact that I had made my aim to lose weight public by posting it on social media to gain sponsorship. Once people started putting money into my sponsorship account it made me feel a big responsibility to honour their pledges and do my bit.
- So can you give us the ‘numbers bit’ how much progress did you make during and since the program?
Politely put, I was definitely overweight when I signed up for £’s for lbs. However, with the encouragement, teaching and support from the group I managed to lose about 15kg during the 12 week program. That just under 2.5 stone. Once I had begun to lose weight it was a massive motivation to continue doing the same eating habits and regular exercise, even after £’s for lbs had finished. In total, I have now lost nearly 5.5 stone. Proof that slow and steady wins the race!
- Five and a half stone is a fantastic achievement and you must feeling huge health benefits from this. What would you say is the most noticeable change in your life since losing the weight (i.e. do you get about more, feel less breathless walking stairs, playing with kids etc.….).
This is a funny one as the most noticeable change for everyone else is obviously the way I look! I’ve dropped 4 dress sizes and get lots of encouraging comments from people who know me. However, for me, the biggest change has been the way I feel about myself and my future. I’ve always been quite a confident person and happy in my own skin, but I have a family history of cancer and heart disease- and 2 children who I’d desperately love to see grow up. This weight loss has increased my chances of seeing that happen, and that gives me the biggest boost of all!
- So what does the future hold? Do you have any plans for the 12 months and a final ‘target’ in mind?
The future for me is about keeping fit and healthy. I intend to keep eating well and exercising regularly, as I have been doing over the past 12 months . It hasn’t felt like I’ve been on a ‘diet’ or a one off ‘exercise plan’, more like a whole change of lifestyle; one I want to adopt permanently. I think that my weight will naturally plateau once I’m at the right weight for me, but I expect to be within a healthy BMI range within the next few months. I think I probably have another stone and a half to shed before I simply need to maintain my weight. It’s been a long journey, a marathon not a sprint, but I know I’m nearly there!!
- And finally, what words of wisdom would you give to the people taking on £’s for Lbs 2017?
Raising money for such an amazing cause is always a great thing to do, so be proud. Simply signing up and committing to doing that makes you a winner already! As far as weight loss goes, find what works for you and stick at it. Sometimes it can feel like a slog, sometimes it can feel easier, but a little bit lost here and there can soon add up to a fair bit overall. Take the advice of the professionals in the group; they really do know their stuff. And finally, enjoy being part of a group where everybody is in the same journey. Be open and honest with each other about the tough bits, and enjoy celebrating your successes together. It may well be the kick start you need for a longer journey like mine!
Thank you for time chatting with us Jane, we wish you every success in the future.
Jane’s Before and After Shots;