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I Lost and Gained 33 Stone

We’ve all been there. You proudly lose a few pounds, so you reward yourself with some cake… and before you know it, you’ve gained more than you lost. The eternal yo-yoing of the frequent dieter. For Natasha, it was a back and forth journey that lasted years and saw her lose and gain hundreds of pounds. Eventually, she broke free of the cycle of dieting and realised the secret to the success of a constant, happy, healthy weight. 

To join her, you’ll have to read her excellent book, The IntoTrim Plan, available at www.intotrim.com
Natasha’s story appeared in the Mirror and Woman Magazine. Read more below

Natasha has spent her entire adult life yo-yo dieting. She’s lost and gained over 33st before finally realising where she was going wrong…
Natasha, 40, explains:
I was a skinny child and used to eat anything without gaining a pound. Until I was 16.
When I stopped growing up, at 5ft 7in, I started growing out instead.
During my A-levels I fancied a boy in the sweet shop, so would go every day and buy a Mars bar. Within a month I’d gained a stone.
But I was only a size 12, I figured that was my new womanly shape.
I didn’t know about healthy food. I’d eat huge portions of spag bol covered in cheese.
By 2000, I’d married and had twins. Pregnancy saw me eat for three and I went up to 12st7lbs.
Then I discovered fad diets. I’d gain half a stone, do a crash diet, lose it, then eat like a pig until I’d gained more than I’d lost.
My weight would go up and down, up and down. Then up and up and up.
I tried all kinds of crazy diets. Milk for breakfast and lunch, no carbs after noon – you name it, I’d tried it.
But losing weight was never my problem. Keeping it off was the real challenge. As soon as I’d lost weight, I’d start eating what I liked and before I knew it, I was digging the box of size 14s out of the loft and packing away the size 12s.
As the years ticked by, I collected a box of size 16s too. Then 18s. At my heaviest I wore a size 22, at my smallest, a size 10.
In 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It sounds awful, but I figured maybe I’d lose weight during chemo. I was disappointed when I read on forums that I would put on weight due to the steroids.
That’s how warped my mind was – I thought cancer would be my latest diet trick.
By 2010, I was up to 13st7lbs. I was so unhappy. I’d lost my hair and I was fat – it almost didn’t matter to me that I’d beaten cancer.
As soon as I got my all-clear, I went on a crash diet of 500 calories a day, losing 3st in three months.
My marriage had fallen apart and in 2011 I married again – at my slimmest since 1990. I weighed 10st on my wedding day and felt wonderful.
On honeymoon I felt like food was my reward for slimming down for the wedding. I piled 2st back on.
Over the years I spent thousands on gym memberships that I never used. On the rare occasions I did exercise, I’d just use it as an excuse to eat more.
In 2012 I found out I was pregnant again – such happy news as I’d feared the cancer had left me infertile. I didn’t want to get fat like I had when I was pregnant with the twins but I just couldn’t walk past the cream cakes counter at the supermarket without giving in to temptation.
I was 14st after my baby was born – and I was fed up. I looked at all my fad diets, all the recipes, charts, spreadsheets and nutritional advice I’d stored up and I made a decision.
It was time to collate all that information into something sensible. No more diets. Just one, long, healthy lifestyle.
I realised I ate when I was rushed, sad, happy, anxious. I ate to cope, to reward myself and to punish myself. Very rarely did I eat just because I was hungry.
I’ve been a consistent 10st for over a year now, for the first time in my life. The secret has been to stop dieting and stop seeing food as a weapon. Instead, it’s fuel – and I’ve never felt better.