After moving to England from Sweden in 2003 Ingela Jensen struggled with her weight as she adapted to her new life in the UK: “I was eating very differently to how I did in Sweden. The weight really piled on when I was struggling to become pregnant – which in the end is counter-productive!” But with the help of the Hairy Bikers Diet Club she lost over 3 stone!
Flash forward to 2013 and Ingela was a busy working mother with two under three and admits “convenience and treats were high on the list of go-to foods. When you’ve only slept two or three solid hours in a night, sugar and carbs are short-term solutions to keep your eyes open!”
Then in November 2013 she decided she really needed to lose some weight : “I dislocated my knee and really damaged my ligaments – my doctor was concerned about my weight in relation to the recovery and healing process. Then my partner and I were sat discussing our wedding, and I just realised I didn’t want to be fat in my wedding pictures! Finally, seeing my children start to favour sweets and unhealthy snacks – I worked hard to make good choices for them in all other aspects, so when my diet started rubbing off on them, I knew it had to stop!”
Ingela did attempt some other weight loss programmes but found they were not for her: “I tried Weight Watchers, but really disliked the cult mentality and hysteria that seemed to be the norm in their weekly meetings. Even though you can do it online now, I never regained confidence for the brand – it seems gimmicky. I tried shakes for one day – but I just love food too much!”
She admits the Hairy Bikers diet worked easily for her as a food fanatic! “Once I had made my mind up, I kept being spurred on by those ‘little wins’” And reflects on the huge importance of the Hairy Bikers Diet Club tools and community on helping her to keep on track. “Sure, you have bad days, but the HB forums and counting in my diary made it really easy to keep track and stay on target.”
Her favourite meals on the plan? “Quick Mu Shi pork and Sticky Salmon are my favourites – as is the “slice of cheese with mashed avocado on a rice-cake” recipe. Yum!”
How has the weight lost changed her life? “Physically, I feel better – no more heartburn, random pains, clothes sit better… Emotionally – I feel like a winner now. Before I lost weight, I thought of myself as an underdog, but now I know I have the power to change myself, I know I can change my life, too!”
Not only has the club changed her life, it’s also helped her partner shed some pounds following the buddy plan! “He’s lost 20kg so far! It’s been great to have him by my side. The rest of my family and friends have been really supportive on all levels – and I couldn’t have done this without them!”
On starting your weight loss journey:
- Dig a bit deeper into your emotional reasons for your weight – just changing your diet isn’t enough!
- Get allies – you need to keep yourself accountable to someone
- Stop the cupboard clutter! Cleaning out your cupboards ruthlessly helps you start fresh and remove temptations. If you can’t bear the food waste, make a box and give it to your local food ban
On staying motivated
- Be like the Little Train “I can do it, I can do it, I can do it”.
- Keep trying on new clothes in shops – before you know it you’re grabbing size 12’s and looking fab!
- Buy ONE aspirational garment one size (and only one size) too small. When it fits comfortably, you’ll want to get another one, one size smaller yet 😉
*Results May Vary: Causes for being overweight or obese vary from person to person. Whether genetic or environmental, it should be noted that food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary from person to person. This means weight loss results will also vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical.