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How eating sustainably changed my life

How it all began

“I’m ok until I go shopping and then there’s always a treat that I tell myself that I deserve and then when I have it I feel really guilty…”

That was my story for a long long time. I was overweight, constantly battling yo-yo dieting and all the time just thinking “If I cut this out, I’ll get to the weight I want to be. I’ll look the way I want to. I’ll feel the way I want to”.

I felt like there wasn’t any real route enjoying my food and feeling happy in myself.

 

Alyson’s story is one we can all relate to and as a woman just entering her 32nd year, it’s one many of you will be able to relate to. The usual suspects of not enough time, grabbing convenience and not feel motivated to make the change are perfectly understandable in today’s life.

 

Alyson told us of one particular night on Zoom with her friend that absolutely changed everything.

“As a mum to a 5 year old, getting them to eat anything that isn’t deep-fried and covered in breadcrumbs is impossible, especially when I’m working full time too but then my friend changed absolutely everything for me.”

“Her kids were so happy and involved in planning meals for the family… they loved the power of getting involved and it just looked so simple”… “She’s the friend that wakes up full of energy and just looks like her skin is glowing the whole time and it just made me feel like why can’t I do that??!”

Boxing child (1)
When you've put peas on their plate

Taking some steps to get started

Being able to read up on nutrition isn’t generally most people’s idea of fun and Alyson admitted to us that the idea of changing anything to her eating routine ‘gave her nightmares’. She started off by working with something she felt comfortable with… her phone. Alyson knew that one of her major barriers to making any changes was time, so asked her friends for some simple recipes and any suggestions that could get her eating healthy and make it easy for her daughter too.

She was delighted with the number of recipe ideas she had but it still left her feeling like she had to do a load of work when she just had a simple message that made all the difference…

Have you thought about a sustainable diet? You cut out nothing major and it's saved me a fortune and made food shopping so much quicker!!!

“I had no idea at first!” Alyson told us. “I kept looking up lots of different things online and then just found a course. It looked like I could just do it on the phone on my lunch break and came with recipes and a planner too so I thought why not”. After the first week Alyson said her sleep was already deeper, she’d had a takeout one night and still managed to lose 3 pounds.

“The first week planning anything felt so much easier than I thought. Everything was made really clear and rather than telling me what I couldn’t eat, it was just telling me what was better for me.”

After realising how much happier she felt, she decided to stick it out for a month and see how she got on.

Meal plan (1)

Making it a habit

The first month was difficult at first because after week 1, I was trying to make everything new and fresh and sustainable. I was planning every single meal and it just wasn’t working. I felt like giving up but checked what i’d been reading and on the forum, one of the team just mentioned how they managed it and I felt so stupid but absolutely over the moon”. Alyson was told to just try planning out a few meals a week and focusing more on avoiding ultra processed foods ‘as a go to’. “I went from worrying I’d not done enough to finding I had more time for me, for the family, I’d lost weight, the stress of work was less and less and I felt bloody amazing”.

 

When we asked her if she had any secrets to success, she said “it was easy”… Planning a few meals and realising “I was saving on washing, on less food waste, I was saving money and really enjoyed doing something great for me and being a role model to my kid”. Alyson also stated that “going from this person fed up with their life to the person people ask for health and sustainability tips” has made her re-think some other areas too!!!

 

“I’ve changed my energy suppliers and spend more time at the park with my daughter. I can’t wait to attack the wardrobe next, just so I’ve got clothes that fit with my new waistline!”

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