Rapid weight loss 'becoming much more accepted' says Mosley
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Despite feeling confident in her body no matter what her size, after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Ogonna realised she had to make a change. Juggling her time between two countries and two hectic careers as a doctor in the UK and a baker in Nigeria, she was struggling to find balance and make her health a priority. But by adopting a range of healthier habits, Ogonna has now changed her relationship with food, taken back control of her work and family life and dropped more than five stone in the process. But how did she do it?
The mother-of-three wanted to make long-term lifestyle changes following her diagnosis, and while she found various diets helped her lose weight quickly, she soon realised they weren’t sustainable.
“It never lasted,” she admitted. “They never gave me the tools I needed to go forward and independently take control of my food habits and diet.
“They’d tell me exactly what to eat, what exercise to do and what recipes to cook. They never taught me how to figure things out for myself, and how to build healthy habits that work for me. This, for me, is crucial to my success.”
Ogonna openly admitted she has always been “quite mindless” when it comes to food, and it’s probably a factor shared by many people in the same position.
“I never put too much thought into what I was eating,” she explained.
“In the bakery, I always had bread and sweet treats around me that I would pick at during the day. It wasn’t exactly the healthiest!
“It was initially quite a struggle for me. At first, I wasn’t too bothered about the weight gain. I’ve always been quite comfortable with myself, whatever size I am, though I have tried dieting in the past.”
There is a history of diabetes in Ogonna’s family so she knew just how serious the diagnosis was.
She admitted: “The diagnosis hit me quite hard, knowing how it’s impacted my family members who have also had type 2 diabetes.
“And as a doctor, I started to really notice how daft all this was. It was the kick up the backside I needed!”
Ogonna decided to take the plunge and try Noom, a subscription-based app for tracking a person’s food intake and exercise habits.
“I very quickly realised that it was different from other diets I had tried (and failed at),” she said.
“Other programmes told me to restrict myself from eating certain things, but Noom taught me how to have a healthier relationship with food while living normally.”
While she admitted losing the weight was “a slower process” on the Room diet, it was definitely “the most consistent” she’s kept the weight off.
“It’s been more sustainable,” she said, “not only that, but my biggest goal was to reverse my type 2 diabetes, which I’ve now done.”
Being more mindful of her eating than ever before, Ogonna doesn’t punish herself if she slips up and doesn’t feel guilty for enjoying her food.
“Not only have I lost over 5 stone, but I have a lot more energy now,” she beamed.
“I can run after the kids and play with them for longer without feeling exhausted. I’m not as tired or rundown as I used to feel.”
She continued: “My relationship with food has been transformed. I no longer see food as a reward, and I also don’t feel like I have to deprive myself of anything.
“Through Noom, I’ve learned what foods are good for me and will sustain me throughout the day to keep me full for longer.
“I can then find the balance between that and what I enjoy that isn’t too filling. And I don’t feel guilty if I go out for dinner or eat a sweet treat at my bakery.
“I’ll just pick my favourite one and have a smaller portion. I’m more mindful of my eating so I don’t tend to go overboard anymore.”
Not only has her relationship with food changed, but Ogonna has become a lot more active than she used to be.
“Before, I struggled to find the time to go to exercise classes or the gym because I thought my schedule wouldn’t allow it. But now I make a conscious effort to take time for myself three or four times a week to keep fit,” she explained.
“I do some weights in the gym or will go for long walks or cycles with my kids after school. Being a bit more mindful about it really helps create the opportunities to bring activities in without taking loads of time out of your day.”
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