“It’s not about having to but WANTING to….”

Claire wrote the following piece to show us how she achieved 8kg weight loss over the last 3 months through nutrition and exercise. She has built the healthy habits which will help here to maintain her current healthy and happy weight!


Here’s her story:

Something just seemed to click into place recently and it’s hard to put my finger on it because I have always eaten healthily and exercised regularly. I have a good knowledge of nutrition simply because it interests me and obviously since having cancer a couple of years ago, I have a vested interest in trying to make sure I never have to go through that again.

At my heaviest I was 77kg and I am now 65kg. So, my overall weight loss since meeting Declan is 12kg. When I started the ‘Drop a Jean Size Challenge’ in January, I weighed in at 73kg, so that’s 8kg down thanks to this initiative alone. My goal was 65kg and I just hit it.

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So what made the difference this time?

Three important factors for me:  Declan’s diet plan; having a reachable goal; invaluable support (having my husband on board, who is also down more than 10kg and working out like I haven’t seen since we met many years ago – and actually whipping my backside in our weekly competitions -, along with the group support and WhatsApp group message from Declan and everyone involved). But hand on heart, it was really about what I was putting in my mouth more than anything else.

The main thing about healthy eating I learnt from Declan and other sources (I’ve become a bit of a nerd recently) is to fill up on protein, eat whole foods (not processed), eat more plant-based foods, reduce snacking, and make every plate colourful. I want this to be a lifestyle and not a diet so I still drink wine at weekends, maybe just not as much as I used to, I have a few chips and dips, but maybe just once a weekend, rather than Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I have an occasional dessert and bowl of pasta.  It’s all about balance, moderation and still enjoying life. After all, what’s the point of surviving cancer to not live life to the full?!

The first month was a lot easier to drop the kilos than the last two. I guess it is just science and acknowledging that the number of calories needs to decrease along with your decreasing weight in order to keep losing. So, I had to move more and eat less. Changing up portion sizes helped a lot as well as accepting that it is ok if your tummy rumbles occasionally.

Claire lost a further 3kg in the 2-months following the 31-day challenge drop a jean size challenge – here we are celebrating today!

Having a reachable goal with a deadline really helped. Weight loss has always been my goal, so now it might be nice to switch this up a bit and aim for longer runs, faster spins or bigger weights.

Having someone to push you to be your best self (a great cheesy line one of the spinning guys uses a lot) is such a great thing. Whether it be sharing a good result on the WhatsApp group, receiving a compliment from colleagues, running in the country with your bestie so you can ‘stop the rot’ on holiday or being ‘teased’ by your husband that you’re falling behind in an activity competition. It all helps. Willpower alone is never enough.

And not forgetting the exercise: this has always been a massive part of my life and even more so now. And this is where the want more than need really comes into play. I’m spurred on by gadgets and competitions, and Declan’s semi-private classes are just perfect for me as I need the social interaction. I look forward to it and I do it more and more at the moment because I can see the effects and losing weight feels great. I haven’t felt this great in probably over 10 years. Maybe more. My husband asked me recently: “did we just get fat over the last ten years?” and the answer was yes!

Look at that for beautiful lunge technique!

My goal now is to stay healthy and I believe I know how to do this and more and more it’s because I want to, rather than knowing I need to.

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