The (not so) secrets of my success!

The (not so) secrets of my success!

In August 2012 I was a hefty size 16, 12 stone 4 pounds, with a BMI of 26.2. I knew I had to do something about it but diets were yoyos to me – I’d lose weight, get down to a size 12, stop dieting and put it all back on again, and more!

Then I watched the amazing BBC Horizon programme, “Eat, Fast and Live Longer” with Dr Michael Mosley. I can honestly say that it changed my life! I wasn’t really sure what to do until I joined Kate Harrison’s Facebook group called ‘The 5:2 Diet’ and then in the November she brought out her book with the same title and I started fasting (500 calories) two days a week and logging everything I ate on MyFitnessPal.

By January I had lost around two stone and felt so much more energetic but didn’t just want to walk around the shops etc – then someone told me about the NHS Couch to 5K running programme I was 63 and hadn’t run since hating it at school, but I downloaded the first podcast, laced up my trainers, and off I went. I struggled to complete the seventh and eighth 60 second runs, but persevered and the next time out was a bit easier.

By April I had lost three stone in total, was a size 10, and had graduated from the C25K programme. In six months I had gone from an unhealthy blimp to a sylphlike runner, thanks to 5:2 and C25K!

I’m 64 now and have been the same weight since April 2013. I maintain by fasting one day a week and I make sure I weigh myself once a week so I can catch any rogue pounds before they multiply by fasting an extra day. I’ve never been so slim, fit and healthy!

I’ve become somewhat of an evangelist and tell everyone I meet about my success. People find it hard to believe that I was once a size 16 (even an 18 for a while, shhhh).


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12 Replies

  • Gingernut you are an inspiration to us all, and the key is finding a long term plan that works for you, and keeping your eye on the ball the rouge pounds are the bane of my life and whip them off now as quickly as they go on but that means I get to relax on my social evenings and holidays ...... You look Ab Fab can't wait to be size 10 @ 64!

  • Ps how about starting a pinned success before and after thread?

  • I don't know how to do that Prin.

  • Wow, what a difference. I like Michael Moseley. There's a lot of sense and the program quotes the research. I'd still go with care and maybe talk to Doc - (still waiting for a physio referral to come through). Some of Mr Moseley's fast workout strategies would kill me with my various problems.

    Please keep us posted

  • I didn't go to my doctor as I had watched the programme, read Kate Harrison's book, and I don't have any health problems. I don't do Michael's HIIT training and haven't read that book, but the Couch to 5k running programme is excellent and eases you gently into it.

  • Sounds good, and I wish you every success. Sadly my knees preclude running. :(

  • I can't run either, knees are shot! But cycling puts no strain on the knees at all and cycling machines are cheeper than ever now so no need to let everyone see you red faced and puffing when you first start out :)

  • Hehehe. I started off with one of those pedals only things you use from an ordinary chair. Quite good when space is at a premium. Bicycle's not bad if you live in a flattish area with good tracks, no one need see you either.

  • I bought one of those but it moved all over the place so it went straight back!

  • Hi there, ok, I've followed your links, I'm going to give this a try. I'm currently 44kg over weight, got a bmi of 41.7 and a doctor who either doesn't listen or thinks I'm a liar and obviously has no interest in helping me, so I know I've got a long road ahead of me, so yes, that's a long 'try' but the fact that I can do one day fasting a week to maintain and stop it all creeping back really appeals to me. So does the ability to still enjoy family meals while having the means at hand to control what's going on in my life. Thank you so much for sharing your post, you look teriffic by the way. Wish me luck :)

  • Fantastic! It really is the best I've ever found and so good for you as well. You will be hungry at first but have plenty of no-cal drinks and keep busy. Please contact me any time you like and remember MyFitnessPal is your best friend (but don't eat your exercise calories!)


  • Hi Gingernut, really nice success story and as a 65 year old (birthday was Monday) I found it really heartening to hear from someone in my age group as I find it easy to lull myself into thinking, well I've always been heavy, so I will always be heavy. In as far as at 12 st 10 lb I am only a stone heavier than I was when I left school, that is to some extent true, but I have been as low as 10 1/2 (for the Millennium) or even (about 38 years ago!) 9 1/2 stone.

    Thank you for your post, it has encouraged me to keep going and most importantly to believe that it is possible to lose the weight I know I need to lose!

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