She Did It!
In January, Flair's Financial Freedom columnist Elaine Bryan invited readers to join her on a weight-loss campaign . Her aim was to get as many persons as possible to support her in her quest to lose 25 pounds by the end of May. She achieved her goal and shares her story in an email interview with Lifestyle Editor Barbara Ellington.
What made you decide to embark on a plan to lose weight?
My mother died recently because of complications resulting from diabetes. This motivated me to get the weight off that I gained over the recent years. I also have a closet full of size 10 clothes that I had wanted to fit into having gone up to size 14.
Did you set a weight goal at the start and, have you reached it yet and, was there an exercise programme going on at the same time?
My goal was to lose 25 pounds and I have achieved it. After the first 15 pounds and following the doctor's diet tips, the weight loss stopped until I started working out on the treadmill and also skipping. This exercise routine was the most convenient as I did this in my home exercise room.
Did you cheat or find it difficult during the time you were on the programme and how do you plan to maintain the present weight?
Yes, I cheated but the next day, I just returned to a strict diet. After a few weeks, the cravings for sweets went away. My weakness is ice cream. I now eat Breyer's fat free ice cream and I have become accustomed to the taste and it is now satisfying. I plan to eat nuts instead of sweets and keep eating small portions and also continue the exercise routine.
You issued a call for other people to join you in the challenge, did you get any response and how many of them have you kept in touch with?
One hundred and fifty people signed up for the challenge and some of my colleagues also joined. Yes we are in touch on my blog.
How did you feel when you realised you had lost all the weight?
It gave me a feeling of accomplishment. I am goal-oriented. Over the years goal setting has become the norm for me.
How do you find shopping for a new wardrobe now?
I bought some new clothes. However, I can now fit into some of my size 10 clothes that I had moved into another closet.
Have you given up any of your favourite foods, which ones and why?
I gave up chocolate, bread, fried foods, and most dairy products including evaporated and cow's milk.
How are you eating differently or better since the challenge?
I eat smaller portions and more frequently. Including, more fruits and vegetable.
Is this the first time you have been on a diet plan. If no, what went wrong the other times?
I have gone on diets before, however, this time it was a group effort. My colleagues, friends and clients were watching me over the months. I had to stay strong for the Flair readers who also joined the programme with me. This time, I also had the support of four medical doctors.
What sort of advice would you give to those who want to do what you did, given the fact that maintaining a good diet and exercise plan are so difficult?
Be true to yourself. If you can face the rigors of dieting alone and be successful, that would be the best and easiest way. However, the group support really helped me to achieve this goal. I am thankful to my husband, Greg, friends and doctors who empowered me. Two of the doctors are my close friends and they gave me tips and were also watching me at the dinner parties. When you have cravings, eat nuts and drink water instead of a big meal. Avoid sweet drinks. Thanks to the Flair Magazine for this opportunity to share through my column!
Elaine Grant-Bryan is an empowerment speaker, Leadership Sandy Springs graduate and HGTV/Fine Living channels featured real estate expert.