Clare’s Inspiring 54 pound weight loss
Clare is one of the most inspiring and determined women that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. From always struggling with her weight and being told that her “only hope” was to have gastric bypass surgery, to go on and lose 54 pounds in 6 months is frankly incredible. But what I think you’ll find most inspiring about Clare’s story is what else she’s gained in the process.
I’m Clare, and I’m a content editor who lives near London. I moved down here for the boy, for the love. I first was told I had PCOS when I was 12 because I’d started my period and then it stopped. By the time I reached my mid-twenties I’m still searching for whether it was what I had. I had a lot of symptoms you read about online– the hair, the weight, there’s some skin discoloration, I just thought, “No, this can’t be nothing.”
Then I got married and we decided to start trying for a family and nothing’s happening. That was 2 years ago. When I was diagnosed they said, “You need to lose weight.” I just hung my head and said to the consultant, “I just don’t know how anymore. I’ve tried so many times to lose weight, and I just can’t.” I had tried every diet over the years, I’d tried Weight Watchers, my school even tried to do steamed fish and meat for me. But instead I watched my weight dramatically fluctuate between 18/19 stone, down to 15 stone at my lowest, and then back up again very quickly. Just sniff a donut and that would be it, I’d be two sizes bigger.
My mum had a gastric band, so that was never a route I wanted to go down, because I’ve seen first hand the effect it can have on you, but at that point it was my last resort. The surgeon said, “You will never lose weight on your own, not with this condition, this is your only option now. You’re a dangerous weight, your health is at risk.” My head just kept saying, “You can’t do it. It’s not right. It’s not right.” I remember walking away from that thinking, “Now what?” Really, it was quite scary. Then I found a lady called Clare, who’s The PCOS Nutritionist, and thought, “Okay, I’m going to look at her website”. It’s there I realised “Okay, there’s a different approach here” and I kind of think, “Maybe there is a different way.”
I’d never been told that there was a reason for PCOS. Nobody had ever even explained to me exactly what it was. Nobody had ever given me anything other than, “You have this condition, it’s going to make you put weight on. Lose weight, you’ll be fine.” During the Protocol I’ve learnt that there’s always a root cause, and it isn’t one-size-fits-all. We’re all different, so what works for me is not necessarily what’s going to work for another person on the Protocol. By treating my insulin resistance, and looking at what was important to address in my body, I’ve managed to turn around the dangerous situation that I was in.
By the end of the first month I was sleeping better, I could move, I wasn’t having mood swings, and the weight started to fall off. I thought, “Okay, I’ll keep going for a while, maybe she does know what she’s talking about, so let’s keep going and see what happens.” And I’m so glad I did, really.
Today I’ve lost four stone (around 53/56 pounds) which is amazing. I’m now in a UK 18 on the bottom and getting towards a size 16 from 22 on the top, which is quite exciting because I don’t actually remember the last time I was a size 16. In total, I’ve lost about 20 something inches from all over my body, and my waist to hip ratio is now normal.
When I first saw the fertility specialist, she said that my BMI of 42 was too high. She said, “To give you any of the ovulation drugs, or to start treatment you’ve really got to be down to 35 BMI.” When I went back into to see her she looked at me and she said, “You’ve had a gastric band, haven’t you?” “No.” “No? You’ve had surgery.” “No.” She couldn’t believe that that person she’d seen in January was the person standing in front of her now, without surgery. I had the biggest smile on my face, and immediately she wanted to know what I’d done the email address of the person that had helped me. She wanted all the details, and she’s now telling all her other PCOS clients about it.
My periods before the Protocol were nonexistent. I think when I saw the consultant in January I hadn’t had one, but that changed three weeks into the Protocol. The first cycle was about 55 days, and then my most recent one was 35 days.
In the beginning, the journey started as, “I want to have a baby and I need to lose weight to have a baby.” But what I’ve learnt over my time doing the Protocol is that so much more comes with it. I realized that before the Protocol I wasn’t confident, I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t going anywhere with my career because that was impacting my personality at work, but since the Protocol everything has improved.
It’s not just the fact that my fertility issues are improving, my life is improving. I’ve got more energy, Simon and I don’t fight as much because I’m not hangry. We don’t bicker, and that’s lovely. My relationship is stronger, work is better because I’m more alert and I’m happier and more confident. I’m able to go into a meeting now thinking, “Yeah, I look good.”
A couple of years ago I was told I had an attitude problem, but in the last year I’ve had so many more opportunities at work because I’m happier and not getting cross at things or getting as stressed. To the point now where I’m being put forward for promotions, I’m leading projects, I’m training people in other countries. And this shift in attitude is coming from no longer experiencing sugar crashes, which deplete my energy, and feeling more confident in myself.
So, is this worthwhile spending money on? Yes. Is it a good return? Yes. I’d say, why don’t you sit down with a piece of paper and work out how much you spend a month on chocolate, on pizza, on takeaway, on crappy food. On clothes that you don’t like because you have to wear them, because they’re tents, because it’s the only thing that you can wear. On things that make yourself feel better when actually they’re not really treating the root cause. How much do you spend on that? Okay, well, how does that compare to paying for the program?
If you’re thinking of doing the Protocol, it is going to require change, it is going to require you to do the work, but it will be the best thing you’ve ever done, it really will be. I can’t really describe it in words how much of an effect this has had on my life.