In May 2014 I was 38 years old, severely overweight and faced losing a foot of my bowel due to Crohns disease and further surgery on my fused spine, it was now or never. No taking the easy way out, this time, it was the fight for my life.

So how did I achieve my weight loss TARGET in 6 months?

I went swimming once a week, weight trained three times a week and walked 5 kilometers at least twice weekly. I’d finally found something to take away the pain that didn’t involve medication. This movement was going to be my medicine going forward.

2. Accountability
I took responsibility for taking action, no longer blaming outside factors or others for failings in previous weight loss attempts. If something didn’t get to plan, I committed to rectifying it and getting back on track. Accountability kept me going and focused on the result. I am now enjoying and am grateful for the rewards of taking that action in the form of increased self-worth, confidence and most importantly the good health.

3. Reality Check
How realistic was my weight loss target for me? I chunked it down, so it was 63 pounds over roughly 26 weeks so I needed to lose between 2 pounds to 2.5 pounds a week. However, some weeks it was 1.5 pounds and others it might have been 3 pounds. My goal was attainable because I’d set a reasonable target for myself and it reflected the circumstances I was in at the time together with the support I had available so when I met my weekly goal or got a little bit more it felt amazing.

4.Goal Setting
Every day I’d set a small personal goal for myself, and when I measured my success at the end of the week, I’d reward myself for all my hard work. At the weekend I would enjoy a glass of red wine and some nice dark chocolate, or I’d buy myself something in a smaller size, it felt great! So every day a small goal would be something like I’ll lift a little bit heavier in my training session today or do one more lap in the pool or kilometer on my walk. I also wrote in my gratitude journal daily my goal for today is to be happier and more grateful, it was such a powerful, simple strategy for success that kept me moving forward week after week. The more grateful I became for my health and well-being slowly returning the more focused I was on succeeding.

5.Eating Habits
My attitude to my food had to change completely. I viewed it as a source of nourishment for my health, well-being, and overall quality of life in general. I used a mindful approach to my eating habits, and it worked well for me. It is food for thought. What did my gut tell me about my food choices? Well, it said processed food was bad, and it fueled my Crohns disease and fast food was cheap for a reason. If you use your instinct about your food, it will point you in the right direction. Find the time to slow down and allow yourself make the connection with your mindset and nutrition, don’t just eat something for the sake of it, know how it’s going to make you feel afterwards and how it will benefit you in the long run.

I tracked my food on My Fitness Pal as it enabled me to see what was working for me. I was able to sit down weekly, review my nutrition and my results and therefore equipped to adjust them if necessary. With some form of tracking, you can review, reassess and change things to serve you better before it continues into the next week. It also helped me with accountability.

I am grateful to say that as 2016 came to an end, I have managed to remain pain and medicine free and avoided subsequent hospitalization. It was for me quite literally gym floor or hospital floor my medical bills were soaring as my health continued to deteriorate. It was time to invest in me. If you are reading this, I want you to know it is never too late to change your life and give yourself a second chance, go for it because you are worth it.

Happy New Year

Happy New You

Originally published at


  • Pauline Harley

    I Help Bored Mid Career Professionals and Executives Transition with Confidence, Clarity and Candour

    I listen to and write real-life stories that connect mid-career professionals and executives with their value-driven purpose. I've had the pleasure of working with Executives, VP's, Directors and Mid to Late Seasoned Career Professionals worldwide to prepare exit strategies and change careers. I help my clients to: 1. Find the next challenge in their career 2. Transition out of an executive role 3. Achieve a sense of whole self and impact in their newfound career 4. Find the courage to make a career change, following redundancy or retirement and prepare an exit strategy