"I can’t remember a time of my life when I wasn’t on a diet. Weight Watchers. Slimming World. The Grapefruit Diet. The Cabbage Soup Diet. Lighter Life – you name it I’ve done them all.
It’s not to say that sometimes I hadn’t had some success – but inevitably I would lose a couple of stones and put it back on again, and a bit more besides.
Dieting was more like a competition for me – I would turn up to my diet class each week and see if I’d managed to “cheat” the scales. If I had I’d dash back to my car – and eat a chocolate bar or two to celebrate, reasoning that I’d start again the following day.
For someone who has had a fairly successful professional life and a busy personal life, it’s been a constant source of misery that I just couldn’t get over this hurdle. I love food – I write about it, cook it, visit fabulous restaurants and CONSTANTLY thought about it.
I was in a state of perpetually promising myself that I’d “start on Monday” – but Monday would come and pass and inevitably it would be another Monday, another promise.
However in the last three months my world has changed in a way that I really never thought possible. At 50 something I was firmly of the belief that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – but this dog has learned a whole load of new tricks and now has the energy of a puppy.
I was introduced to Dr Aria through a client – and it was an introduction I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
He has taught me that losing weight, being healthy and generally feeling better starts with your head – and he’s managed, through his non-judgemental and supportive actions, to make me look at the whole way of changing my bad habits in a way I’ve never done before.
One of the first things he ever said has stuck with me from day one, that “your mind has a mind of its own.” He makes you challenge what you do and what you’ve done and see it from a completely different point of view.
For me it’s all been about choice – about making good choices instead of bad ones. When I’ve been in diet clubs where foods are forbidden or you use points to eat treats, you’re constantly battling against cravings.
Because with Dr Aria you can have what you like, suddenly – and miraculously – you no longer want them. I’ve not eaten anything sweet for months and the biggest surprise of all is I don’t want anything.
I’ve exchanged eating for the sake of it with food that I actually enjoy – and take the time to savour rather than stuff it down my face while watching tv and getting up five minutes later to scour the kitchen for other things to eat.
The biggest change for me has also been that I’ve developed a love of walking. When I started this programme we monitored how many steps I did the first week – I was lucky if I did a few hundred some days.
Dr Aria’s gentle approach had me setting a daily target – and the important thing here is I set it – which appealed to my competitive nature. I made little changes – parking as far away as possible from the front door of the supermarket, walking to meetings where I’d previously drive.
The differences were incredible and now I have a daily target – again set by me – which runs into the thousands and which I pledge to beat. So far so good!
A recent holiday was a turning point for me. Usually that would be the signal to give up a diet but you know what? I didn’t want to. Instead I ate well but sensibly and upped my steps every day. The result was, for the first time ever, I came home and had actually lost weight.
Dr Aria has been there every step of the way – challenging my perceptions, giving me the tools to deal with the negative voices in my head, sending me messages of support. He’s encouraging, enthusiastic and genuinely wants you to succeed – and that’s something I’ve simply never experienced.
For the first time now I understand that losing weight and being healthy is not about being on a diet, it’s about lifestyle changes and choices which don’t have to be about deprivation.
What I now have is a way of life that’s sustainable. I can go to a restaurant and just make the right choices and I actually now look forward to my weekly weigh-ins – something I would never, ever have believed.
Dr Aria is simply one in a million. I’m fitter, healthier, more positive and happier and although I still have a lot more weight to lose, for the first time I can genuinely feel that it’s achievable – and, more importantly – that I will actually be able to keep it off.
I can’t recommend Dr Aria highly enough – or thank him enough. He has truly changed my life."