SELF-CONFESSED chocoholic March Bushnell-Lane hadn’t worn the size 12 play-suit for a long, long time so when she pulled it out from a box in the loft it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. For the first time in her life she’d managed to lose weight and keep it off – and today was the day she’d be able to get a feel for how far she’d come since her days as a size 22.
“I didn’t expect the playsuit to fit but I wanted to see how much further I had to go before I reached my goal of being able to fit in my old size 12 clothes by mid 2017,” she said. “This was in October and today as I pulled out this play-suit I checked the size tag and thought ‘well I’ll try it, maybe it might fit by Xmas’. Then as I slowly pulled the play-suit up over my hips and waist, my surprise at how easy it was to get into turned to shock as I realised it fits. It fits!!!! It really fits!!!!
“I wore it all day and felt utterly amazing. This is such a huge deal for me. I haven’t been a size 12 for years*. All my favourite clothes have been stuck in the loft because I couldn’t handle seeing them in my wardrobe while I no longer fit in them.
“I’ll be digging everything out of the loft now and hanging them in my wardrobe again! I’m so proud of myself, even though I don’t really feel like I’ve done anything! That’s because after years of being unhappy with my body and being unable to lose weight by dieting thanks to my obsession with chocolate, I have finally found something that works. And it does it while I’m asleep!”
March, 28, who comes from Nantwich, Cheshire, but now lives in France with her parents, nods off while listening to a special recording called a Slimpod, which works by gently retraining the mind to change the way the listener thinks about food through the process of unconscious persuasion. The recording contains subliminal messages – things in the recording that only the subconscious mind can pick up – about healthy eating and positive body image.
“Slimpod seems to have killed my hunger outside of normal meal times and has broken my addiction to chocolate too,” said overjoyed March. “I’ve learned to listen to my body and feed it what it is asking for when it needs it. For me, it has been easy; no strict diet to follow, no weighing my food out, no hunger to deal with all the time, no ‘bad’ foods to avoid, just a slow and steady change from feeding my feelings to using food as fuel.”
March admits: “I was never happy with my body. As a teen I always felt like the fat friend despite being only a size 12 then. I guess in my head I was always a fat person, but before Slimpod I had ballooned to a size 22.
“I’ve never had a great relationship with food. I’ve always loved eating, but loved it too much and loved all the ‘wrong’ things. I’ve had a sweet tooth for as long as I can remember, but more specifically a penchant for chocolate.
“Chocolate was my celebratory treat, and my commiseration comfort food. It was a snack during the day and an evening feast. Essentially, chocolate was just my go-to food no matter what emotion I was feeling or what situation I found myself in, it was my constant.
“For many years I joked that I was the definition of a chocoholic, but how true it was. I would always have chocolate in the house, I would run out to the shop late at night if I was running low, I couldn’t just not buy it because the anxiety I felt at even the possibility of not having some in was ridiculous.
“I would tell myself that I just needed to know that I had the option to eat it, that I wouldn’t actually indulge. I did indulge though, every day.
“It got worse; a small bar became a large bar, and I couldn’t just eat a few squares, I would mindlessly devour the whole thing and still want more. Sat diddling on the computer, almost unconsciously eating. It wasn’t boredom or hunger, it was habit and emotions.
“I gave the 5:2 diet a go for a while but it was so hard and I was so hungry, all the time. I would try so hard on the fast days, making sure I had calories left over for a nightly chocolate binge, and then overeat on the other five days to try and ease my hunger pangs.
“It wasn’t great. I lost a bit of weight but not a lot and it was totally unsustainable and once I stopped, what weight I had lost piled back on.
“I have never been one for exercise, I gave the 30 Day Shred a go but after breaking down in tears one afternoon part way through it, I gave up. Exercise made me so angry and upset, even a brisk walk would see my mood plummet.
“Slimpod was, for me, a slow burn. I started listening to it while I was in the shower and, while I certainly noticed some changes in my portion sizes and desire for chocolate, it wasn’t until I switched to listening to it as I fell asleep that it really kicked in.
“I noticed that I didn’t crave chocolate the same, I could go for a night or two without eating it, and my portion sizes at meals slowly shrank. I stopped snacking during the day because I wasn’t feeling so hungry.
“The first big thing I noticed was when I picked up one of my favourite chocolate bars and had a piece, only to realise that it just didn’t taste great at all. Soon after that I realised that I had gone more than a week without chocolate, and finally I stopped buying it.
“I changed my breakfast from sugar-rich cereals to fruit, yoghurt and oats. That change was so important for me because it set my body up for the day with nutritious goodies instead of kicking off with sugar, which only made me crave more sugar as the day went on.
“Not only that but I started using our exercise bike, by choice! I aim to use it three times a week now and I don’t hate it! This has been a year of big changes in my life and the Slimpod was a great help as I got healthier and happier overall and went from a size 22 to a size 12.”