In March 2017, I was at such a low point. I had health issues, such as painful osteoarthritis in both knees, I was burnt out and trying to manage my anxiety and sleep deprivation. I was also overweight at 95kg.
It was after moving to Australia in 2015 that my weight sky rocketed and spiraled out of control – as did my self-esteem. Nothing I attempted to do had any positive impact. I had been living a fast-paced life as a Deputy Principal of an international school in Dubai with long hours, minimal sleep and high demands, while also attempting to juggle motherhood and quality family time. This move was our second in two years – London to Dubai to Australia – and while taking care of my family’s needs with the transition to a new lifestyle, I overlooked my own.
I was eating healthy (or so I thought) with a low-fat diet, and weightloss shakes. I also hired a personal trainer twice a week – but nothing would shift the 25kg I had gained over 12 months. I had been sent for thyroid testing and had a sleep apnoea referral. I also had countless visits to a naturopath who sent me for specialised blood testing, but the results showed nothing conclusive.
Then, while awaiting an appointment with an endocrinologist (which was six months away), I walked into my dental surgery and was blown away by the transformation of the practice receptionist – the glow of her skin was phenomenal. She introduced me to the 4 Phase Fat Loss Protocol, for which I am grateful.
I thought to myself, ‘I need some of that!’ I ordered my 4 Phase Fat Loss protocol pack as soon as I arrived home.
Round 1 offered me the chance to embark on a journey I could control. I decided to start during the Easter school holidays. In preparation I read, reread and read the book again, joined the online community, devoured many inspirational posts and tentatively started asking questions. I set myself a target to lose 10kg in the first round. My head was in the game and it truly paid off with a 16kg loss in 43 days.
What I Learnt About My Body and Mind During 4 Phase
There were days I struggled, felt hungry, lagged at afternoon tea and relied on that third piece of fruit or black coffee. I also worried I was eating too many free foods and I hid taking my drops from my colleagues.
But, it was worth it. As the scales began to drop each morning, I not only began to feel lighter, but my health issues seemed to be easing.
At the end of Round 1, my appointment with my endocrinologist finally arrived. While I was 16kg lighter, internalised stress was diagnosed as the cruel culprit for my health issues and weight gain. After years of abusing my body with stress, anxiety, lack of sleep and a punishing workload, my body was working in reverse and storing fat. Her take on the protocol was positive and we set a goal weight for my next visit with her.
I saw my endocrinologist again during Round 2 Phase 2 and had another barrage of blood tests. I’m happy to say I was signed off with a clean bill of health.
After 4 rounds, I have lost 35kg. Over each of my rounds, I have learnt many things about my body, my mind, my stress, my habits and my triggers and how these seriously impact my health. Recently during Round 4 Phase 2, I took part in two school camps in different areas back-to-back, over five days, and carried all my protocol food with me. I was so proud that during all this physical activity I stuck rigorously to the protocol and only gained 500g with inflammation from the hiking and canoeing. I even managed to rock climb which was something I hadn’t been able to contemplate the previous year. This has shown me that I am in control of my body, I don’t need all those extra carbs for strenuous exercise and that my body functions best with good nutrition.
So Many Reasons To Be Grateful
While I managed to do the whole 43 days in each round of Phase 2, I have not always been successful introducing foods during Phase 4. Round 1 was a huge flop. My emotional eating monster reared its ugly head during stressful periods and I found myself reaching for chocolate or bread. Each round has improved but I truly believe that my most recent round – round 4 – has embedded good habits for life and I enjoyed an extremely slow testing period of foods. As I enter P4eva, I am still taking it slow and steady. I am continuing to lose weight and I feel I am near leptin sensitivity.
My mind and body are finally listening to each other, for which I am grateful.
I am also grateful for the support I have from my family. Without them I would not be where I am today. My husband joined me for some short rounds so he understands how disciplined I must be. Without my beautiful son spurring me on each day to be the best I can be and photographing my journey, he would not have a healthy mother. Without my family helping to accommodate me at celebrations with specially designed meal plans for my philosophy, I would not have felt valued or encouraged. I am grateful for the love and guidance my family have provided and for the times they have allowed me to focus on my eating habits to help me develop a positive mindset.
I am grateful, too, for the online community support provided by the coaches at Changing Habits! They all do such an amazing job. I applaud your support! I am also eternally grateful to individuals I have never met who have provided essential feedback and support in the Facebook group and supported me with private messages of encouragement or their own tried and tested methods. Your advice during my last eleven months has been priceless.
While each and every one of us has our own unique journey to undertake, I wholeheartedly believe that to embark upon this protocol, you must believe in not only the philosophy and process, but also in the changes you want to make to your life. It is necessary to be ‘perfectly on protocol’, you must focus on your needs, and you must commit to this as a lifelong lifestyle choice. Dedicate the time to read the literature, practice the philosophy, and make the changes.