Rania’s Story – I Lost 5 Stones and Found Love
I did the Howard’s Way programme back in the summer of 2004. I was 20 and a university student at the time. I weighed 93kg, which at 5’1 tall made me clinically obese. I was a healthy weight throughout childhood and started to gain weight with the onset of puberty, aged 10. I remember being put on a diet with an NHS dietician around that time but don’t think it helped much. Throughout my teenage years, I continued to gain weight and never felt that I could ever be a ‘normal’ weight or wear the ‘normal’ clothes other girls my age did.
I hated the way I looked
I hated eating in front of other people because I thought they would think: “Oh look at her eat, that’s why she’s fat”. I always made excuses to get out of PE at school, as I was embarrassed at how unfit I was and how I couldn’t run or jump very far. I also hated seeing my reflection in anything – mirrors, shop windows etc – I would look the other way if I had to be in front of one. I hated the way I looked and felt but, being so big, I thought the mountain I had to climb was too high to even try to start.
Starting with Howard’s Way
That’s where Howard’s Way came in. I heard about it through a friend of the family who had done their programme and lost weight. Even so, I didn’t really believe that I, too, could actually lose my excess weight, but I went along to the first group meeting nevertheless, feeling I might as well give it a try. Once our locum explained what the programme actually entailed – Total Food Replacement (ie not eating anything but the shakes and bars that were specially formulated), I was worried. How could I go for any amount of time without eating? I said I’d do it but, in my mind, a small part of me still thought that I would give up, as I had on many other previous attempts to diet. So off I went on my last evening with food and I had my ‘last supper’ of a take away kebab.
The first few days, having 3 shakes and drinking 4 litres of water every day, were difficult. I just willed myself to get through the day, go to sleep and another day would be over. In the first week, I saw my locum a few times and, after the first few days, I had started to lose weight and was in ketosis. As the days went on, I was surprised to find that my resolve to keep going just got stronger. And, as the weeks went by and my hard work was showing on the scales – in the first month I lost 10kgs – it got easier and easier to just carry on. Other people were amazed when I told them what I was doing, saying that they wouldn’t be able to go without food for so long and that’s exactly what I had at first thought. But technically I wasn’t going without food; my body was getting all it needed to function, it was just different to the excessive amounts I used to eat.
After a while, I almost forgot about food altogether, although I did have a few dreams of eating something by mistake! As the weight continued to drop off, I started to feel that the ‘real me’ was finally emerging. I felt 100% more confident in everything I did. I would spend forever in front of the mirror studying my new reflection, not believing that it was still actually me! I could do the little things that other people take for granted, like going shopping for clothes, without feeling frustrated and disgusted. Losing weight is truly an incredible experience, because living your life overweight and living it at a healthyweight are two completely different experiences – it’s like living two different lives.
People didn’t even recognize me
When I went back to university, all my friends were amazed at how much weight I’d lost. Some people didn’t even recognize me and, looking at my photos of my first weigh-in, I can see why: I don’t recognize that person either! Once, even my parents passed me on the street without recognizing me!! After 18 weeks on the programme, my weight had dropped from 93kg to 59kg and I had gone from a size 20 to a size 10. Above all, I had changed completely! My whole outlook on life had changed and I knew that I could never go back to how I used to be.
I became more outgoing and confident, I no longer dreaded the thought of going on holidays and, 2 years after I started the programme, I met my husband. Before losing weight, I hadn’t even had a boyfriend, because I never had the confidence! When I found my perfect wedding dress, I appreciated all my hard work in successfully losing weight, as I felt and looked great and knew I would look forward to seeing my wedding pictures, rather than dread them.
We married in August 2007 and now have a son, Yaseen.
When I showed my husband photos of me when I was overweight, he wouldn’t believe it was me in the pictures. But he’s right in more ways than just looks, I’m no longer the same person; I’m so much more confident and I couldn’t be happier. I’m so, so glad I did the Howard’s Way Programme, as it really did change my life in so many ways.
I thought I’d never find love, but losing weight has not only made me feel like a new woman, it’s helped me find my dream man.
Read more about Rania’s story in Fabulous mag online
You could lose weight quickly like Rania too with Howard’s Way Weight Loss Programme.
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Note: The amount of weight you lose and the rate of weight loss depends on your personal metabolism and how long you are on our Weight Loss Programme. It will vary from person to person…….Howard’s Way Team