The first Look Great Naked Challenge of 2008 has finally finished and the winner has been chosen.
Today I'm very pleased to announce the winner of the Luxury 2 week vacation to beautiful Thailand is....
... Ann Thomas from Baltimore!
Ann had an amazing time with the program and lost over 27lbs as well as almost 8 inches lost around the waist (you can see this clearly in the before and after photo's, just look at the waistband and hips in the after shots.
Here's the tale of the tape before and after...
Day 1 Day 90 Total Loss
Weight 147 lbs 120 lbs -27 lbs (that's almost 2 stones in the UK!)
Bust 93 cms 82 cms -11 cms
Waist 89 cms 70 cms -19cm (that's almost 8 inches!)
Hips 107 cms 93.5 cms -12.5 cms
Thighs 63 cms 53 cms -10 cms
Calves 39 cms 35.5 cms -3.5 cms
Upper arm 31.5 cms 26.5 cms -5 cms
And check out the before and afters!
(Ann has a high profile job and would rather her identity remain private at this point)
Here's Ann's Story in its full enedited version...
In the past I’ve always managed my weight through short bursts of just being careful of what I eat, losing the few pounds I wanted to and then returning to my usual eating habits directly afterwards!
I've never really been one for dieting or eating healthily - I could easily substitute a cake or chocolate bar for a meal. The only time I really consciously followed any diet plan (a low fat one) was after having my second child and I piled on weight.
In my thirties I was happy to be distinctly average – a comfortable size 12 – 14, did very little exercise and just occasionally controlled my weight through eating carefully every so often. However, in my forties I have to say I’ve become much more body conscious – maybe because my kids are now 19 and 17 years old, and therefore as they become more independent I have more time to focus on me.
Since hitting 40 I've been really active - running regularly - and even doing a marathon when I was 44 - this meant that I could eat what I liked and kept my weight down. In the first year of running I managed to lose about 10 lbs – a real bonus! I was doing something I actually enjoyed – well, enjoy, is probably the wrong word – I endured running as the benefits was that I looked so much better and I still could eat whatever I wanted! Having a really sweet tooth, every time I had a coffee (about 8 cups a day), I also had biscuits or chocolate to go with them! Running also kept me fit enough to go surfing whenever I managed to get a break – something I love doing.
It has only been over the last 18 months that my weight has started to creep on - no matter how much exercise I did I could no longer control my weight. Any attempts to try and lose weight lasted two or three days before I would reward myself with something nice to eat for doing an extra long run or whatever. I think I really decided I needed to take serious action when I really struggled to pull on my wetsuit – I not only looked like a beached whale I also felt exhausted before I had a chance to drag my board to the sea! But that was in November and I had to get Christmas out of the way and all sorts of other excuses.
By January 2008 I had enough of not doing anything to help myself – I felt disheartened as I started to sort out all the clothes that no longer fit me – trying jeans on that fit you two years ago but you can’t pull on over your thighs is a singularly upsetting experience!
I then decided that I should give myself a chance of getting back into them rather than going out and buying new clothes in larger sizes. I needed to really look at my eating habits - I knew that committing to exercise wouldn't be a problem - I also knew committing to a healthy eating plan would be the hard bit for me. I went onto the internet and started to look at various plans - lots of promises of what a diet could do for you but seemed unbelievable - great idea to be able to lose weight and still eat whatever you wanted but you know it's a lie!
This programme appealed to me because it didn't pull any punches - you know it's going to be tough - it isn't like other diets where you are allowed a piece or chocolate, the odd glass or wine as a treat if you've been good - it's about having to mentally get yourself in the right space to be able to accept the challenge and be determined to go for it.
I discovered the Elimination Diet half way through January but decided not to start it till I felt 100% committed mentally to actually doing it - I really didn't want to fail.
The first week was tough - despite the preparation I still spent the first three days of the diet just looking in the fridge and thinking I had nothing I could eat. I think I lived on omellettes, yoghurt and fruit for a few days until I got my head around what I could or couldn't eat but after you see the results it becomes a lot easier. I got the cook book just to give me some ideas and then adapted some of them to my taste. The big plus of the programme was that I never felt hungry - I seem to be eating more than ever before!
There have been several highs for me: being able to see a difference in my shape and how my clothes fit – even in the first week, being able to pull down my jeans without unfastening them in the third week, being able to do the same in a brand new pair of jeans in the eighth week!
People noticing a difference in how you look even though they see you almost every day. Noticing that I actually have a waist and abs!
The lows, with hindsight have not been too bad but at the time they just felt awful – hankering after hot cross buns over Easter but not giving in.
Having to mentally wrestle with yourself on trying not to succumb and have a piece of chocolate when people around you are saying that ‘one piece won’t do you any harm!’
Going to restaurants and knowing you’re not going to have a glass of wine, no bread or a desert!
However, for me the hardest thing was ensuring that I drank water – to begin with the only way I could was to write everything down to ensure I drank my quota for the day. I think I was at my lowest point when I discovered how unhealthy hospitals are!
My husband was rushed into hospital and I spent a few days hanging around with none of the catering facilities having anything to eat that was remotely healthy looking! Some of the exercise sessions were more enjoyable than others – but at least they are varied and short! The best way of dealing with it was just to get on with it and don’t procrastinate! `- it was one of my goals to ensure I did every session - no matter how tired I was or how little time I had.
So what I have achieved in 90 days? Well, to be blunt a new body and the confidence of knowing that once I’ve set my mind on a goal I can achieve it! One of my goals was to look good in a bikini - who would of thought that at the age of 48 I can wear one without any overhang anywhere! When I started the programme I was 147 lbs after 90 days I'm 120 lbs and have dropped two dress sizes - I've never felt so fit and toned - I'm the weight now that I was when I was a teenager! "
What struck me most about Ann is that she reminded me of just about everyone I've ever worked with. Average genetics (like us all), time poor, struggling with fitting in 'real life' and still staying fit, toned and healthy. Yet here she was, for a full 90 days not allowing a single thing to put her off course or distract her from what she wanted.
And, of course, she got it!
Ann's a great ambassador for the program and she certainly deserves this trip of a lifetime as a reward for all her hard efforts don't you think? : )
Please join me in a round of congratulations to Ann!
P.S - You can join the Look Great Naked Challenge and get results just like Ann and many, many others for as little as £10 a week. Just pop on over to www.lookgreatnakedchallenge.com and you could be walking on to the beach this summer in the best shape of your life!