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Sandra’s LighterLife journey

“At 15st 4lb* I was the heaviest I had ever been: my body was out of shape, I couldn’t see beyond my belly and was often out of breath just trying to do a light walk. It got so bad that I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror anymore, because I was so repulsed by my own reflection.

Apart from the aesthetics, there was a real concern for my health, the doctors had diagnosed me as being borderline diabetic and with a high cholesterol level. There was always a fear that these diagnoses would escalate into something far worse, unless I could get my weight down. I tried dieting with slimming clubs but after some success my weight just plateaued. No matter what I did, the extra pounds just wouldn’t shift.

This led to me feeling even more depressed which in turn led to more overeating and even more weight gain to the point where I was heavier than when I first started. At that point, I felt helpless, powerless and defeated. Eating excess food had become my drug of choice. It was ‘my go to’ when I felt sad or anxious or even happy, in fact it just became my best friend and comforter, to the point where I would regularly consume odious amounts of cakes, sweets, chocolates and not even be aware of what I was eating.


For me, overeating had become an extremely addictive behaviour, I couldn’t stop. I was out of control. The question I kept asking myself was ‘As an intelligent woman I know exactly what I should be doing, but why wasn’t I?’ I wanted to know why I couldn’t just ‘eat less and move more’ as I knew I should.

Nowadays, life has become much more sedentary. I remember when I was young running for the bus on the way to school, now my kids use an app and leave 2 minutes before the bus is due to arrive! Everything is so much easier and accessible making active living a thing of the past. This, combined with the fact that work was stressful, lead me to continue to reach for food, even when I didn’t need it.

My breakthrough came in the form of a well-known Christian psychologist, David Bruce, who worked with children who were experiencing chemical and drug addictions. He explained how parts of the brain worked in terms of addiction and that we couldn’t unlearn the old habits that the addiction had created, but we could train the brain to learn new ones. That really stuck with me and I went and did further research into how the part of the brain worked in terms of addiction. The findings helped me to realise what a mammoth task of retraining my brain to override the old habits would be.

After researching my options, I came across LighterLife. I had friends who had previously been on the programme and they had lost a tremendous amount of weight in a short space of time.

I was at the point in my life where I was considering weight-loss surgery, and by this point it was either LighterLife, or going under the knife. I’m so thankful I chose LighterLife because surgery by itself may not have helped me get to the root cause of my overeating.

The LighterLife Total plan allowed me to take food out of the equation and spend the time I usually spent thinking about food on building new habits to override the old ones. My weekly group session run by my counsellor, Lesley, gave me an hour a week to be open and honest about my relationship with food, and each week challenged my crooked thinking. Investing time in yourself is so important.

Lesley once asked me – after I was talking about having a blow out on food over Christmas- ‘Why would you want to eat more than you need?’. Those words really challenged my way of thinking.

I was so determined to stay on plan that no occasion was worth breaking my promise to myself. Committing such a short amount of time to the plan (just 5 months) was easy enough and I relished on the Foodpacks. I absolutely loved having my LighterLife Vanilla Shake for breakfast.

I studied the management book diligently and researched further on the subject and attended my LighterLife group sessions each week. The sessions were very helpful in examining the behind the scenes of eating. I would recommend attending these, as the problem of overeating is not just about eating the right food to lose weight, but also to discover what your triggers are and how to control them.

I’ve gone from a size 18 to a 12 and it’s so wonderful to fit into ‘normal’ clothes. I can even find items on the sale rail which I couldn’t have done before. My cholesterol levels have gone down to normal and the diabetic concerns have now been minimised. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of my slimmer figure and I honestly have to pinch myself to prove that I am not dreaming! It’s incredible how far I’ve come, and the LighterLife Management Plan is key to keeping the weight off. If you’re contemplating having weight-loss surgery, think again. So much of the blame of overeating can be put down to how you deal with life and very little to do with actual hunger. Unfortunately, surgery alone is unable to fix that.”

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