IMAGINE what it feels like to use all of your energy to climb three miles up Mount Everest only to discover you’ve put on weight. That’s what happened to Karen Bosman. But back at sea level she’s found her Slimpod has helped her lose weight easily and put her back on top of the world. Karen says: “My Slimpod has certainly turned my life around in a short period of time.” Here’s her amazing story:
KAREN BOSMAN was 17,000ft up Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, when she had “the most frightening experience of my life.” It wasn’t being three miles high, gasping for breath as she crossed a glacier, that scared her – it was the sudden realisation that the diet she was on was destroying her!
While her fellow climbers were burning thousands of calories a day and complaining that their clothes were falling off them, Karen was actually putting on weight. Her body was growing so much she could hardly do her buttons up.
It was all because she had switched to a high fat, high protein, low carb diet during her months of training for the adventure of a lifetime. “Although I didn’t know it at the time, that was a slippery slope to my absolute downfall,” says Karen, 49, a coastguard from Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire.
Made it! Karen at Everest base camp
When Karen returned home from Everest last December she little knew that much worse was in store. She kept piling on the pounds, she became depressed, her relationship broke up and she felt there was nothing left in her life to strive for.
Then, in her words, “a miracle occurred.” She read an article about Harley Street weight loss specialists Thinking Slimmer and bought one of their Slimpods, a special recording you listen to for 10 minutes a day which retunes the mind to want to eat less and do more.
“I lost 14lbs in the first eight weeks,” says Karen. “Today I am back in my size 12 jeans and I tried one of my small size 12 skirts on the other day and it fitted!”
Karen decided to walk up to Everest Base Camp to raise money for Help for Heroes, a charity that’s close to her heart because her son is a medic in the Navy. “I became totally obsessed with the training and was in the gym for at least two hours a day, at least five days a week. Someone mentioned to me that I should be eating a lot of protein to build muscle.
It sounds crazy but I was scared of carbs even though I was hungry all the time
“So I decided to try the Atkins Diet…my slippery slope to my complete and absolute downfall as far as food was concerned. “The diet was the most frightening experience of my life. Looking back on it now I just can’t understand how I could have done this to myself.
“In a matter of weeks, I went from having a relatively healthy attitude towards food to becoming obsessed. I wouldn’t even entertain the idea of potatoes, bread, pasta, rice or anything that I considered having any amount of carbohydrates. I even avoided sweetcorn, as it is supposedly high in carbs.
“It sounds crazy but I was literally scared of carbs even though I was hungry all the time. I ate lots of high fat foods, and the only thing that stopped me from gaining a lot of weight was the amount of exercise I was doing. Back home and in shape thanks to a Slimpod
“I never noticed my unhealthy obsession, not even when I ended up walking out of restaurants because they couldn’t accommodate my faddy diet, or when I ended up ordering a double cheese board and eating only the cheese. High fat cheese yes, high carb biscuits no!
“Everest loomed and after about 10 months of this diet I suddenly found the training got harder to do; I had no energy, and was completely tired all the time. Instead of being energised by a workout I was exhausted and just walking to the shops became an effort.
“I still didn’t relate any of these symptoms to my diet and carried on regardless. Eventually I stopped my training for two weeks and carried on eating my high protein, high fat diet – that was when the weight piled on.
“I remained oblivious to what I was doing to myself and went to Nepal with a size bigger walking trousers in my rucksack.
“The first meal in Nepal was a plate of spicy potatoes – carbohydrates are a vitally important fuel at altitude and potatoes, rice and noodles with vegetables are the staple diet.
“It was the first time I’d had carbs for ages and suddenly I found my body saying ‘You haven’t had carbs for a while, let’s store them up around your waist.’
A miracle occurred with my Slimpod and I lost 14lbs in the first eight weeks
“As the climb went on my clothes became tighter and tighter, although we were walking a minimum of eight hours a day at high altitude, which literally eats calories for people who are eating sensibly.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and I felt awful, shuffling along the glaciers and the icefalls like an old woman. My mind was willing but my body was complaining.
“By the time we reached Base Camp after 10 days of hard physical labour, everyone was complaining that their clothes didn’t fit as they were falling off. I was complaining that my clothes didn’t fit because they were too tight.
“I arrived back in Britain just before Christmas and the weight was still piling on steadily. By January, I had put on two stone since the beginning of November and I was an absolute mess.
“The most worrying thing was that I didn’t even realise what I was doing to myself by pigging out on unhealthy food all the time. I was craving bread, potatoes, cakes and my favourite – scones. In fact, anything I could get my hands on that was stodgy.
“I couldn’t stop eating, and the weight carried on rising. At my fittest I weighed 10st 3lbs but soon I was topping the scales at 12st 12lbs. Eventually I had to go to M&S and bought a size 16 pair of jeans (and they were snug) because I had nothing else to wear.
“That was a real eye-opener for me and sadly the depression set in. My relationship ended and I felt there was nothing left for me to achieve or gain. I sat around and felt sorry for myself and ate some more.
“Then one day I read about Thinking Slimmer in a women’s magazine and sent off for one of their Slimpods, called Drop Two Jeans Sizes Or More.
“A miracle occurred – I lost 14 lbs in eight weeks. Today I am back in my size 12 jeans and I tried one of my small size 12 skirts on the other day and although snug, it did fit!!
“I feel better about myself every day, although I still have my “fat” days, and still have a way to go. But the depression has gone and the weight is falling. And although I still have moments when I am frightened of food, it is getting better.
Now my attitude has changed and I still feel I can conquer the world
“After Everest, I thought there was nothing. Now my attitude has changed completely and I still feel I can conquer the world. Last week, I signed up for a 260-mile cycle ride across Central America from Panama to Costa Rica to raise money for the Genesis Research Trust.
“I didn’t even have a bike and had to buy one. I haven’t ridden since I was a child, but I just knew this is what I wanted to do, and can’t wait for the challenge.
“I have also been chosen to do the 24 peak challenge as part of a seven man team, trekking up 24 peaks in 24 hours all over 2,400 feet high, to raise money for the Seafarers Trust.
“I still have a way to go but with my change in attitude I can do anything. Once the training starts in earnest, I know the weight will drop off, without me going on any faddy diet. My life is great and I am so lucky to have found Slimpod when I was probably at my very lowest ebb.
“Slimpod has certainly turned my life around in a short period of time, and I don’t think I could sleep without listening to it every night.
“I’m listening to my body for the first time in a long, long time and now I only eat when I’m hungry, not when I’m bored or feeling low. My relationship with food is back to normal again and I’m feeling more energetic, more relaxed and much healthier.
“I’ve just been to the gym, had a bike ride and because I fancied it I had a cream cake. No guilt, no stress. I know that a little of what you fancy doesn’t do you any harm.
“What’s astounded me is that my weight’s not important to me any more. I know I’m in control of what I’m eating and I’m content that at my age I’ll never be a stick insect again. Thanks to my Slimpod I’m feeling on top of the world!