It’s diet season. Hot on the heels of consuming every available calorie during the month of December, January is the time when a large number of us make a promise to ourselves to shed the excess fat that we’ve accumulated. While there are a great many diet plans on the market, this post specifically relates to my experience of using the Cambridge Weight Plan. While there are many ‘steps’ to the plan and it’s suitable for anyone who wants to lose weight, it really comes into its own when you have a lot of weight to lose (more than 50lbs). In its basic form it is total meal replacement and the SAS of diet plans. It’s hardcore dieting for those of us who really can’t face three years at Weight Watchers. I lost 7 stone using CWP, it completely changed my life for the better, but it has a few unique characteristics… 🙂
You know you’re doing Cambridge when…
1. Even if you never even thought of possessing one before, a stick blender becomes an indispensable kitchen friend.
2. Your entire week’s food can fit into one small cardboard box.
3. You didn’t think it was possible to drink 2 and a quarter litres of fluids per day, but somehow you manage it.
4. You never go anywhere without going to the loo first.
5. When you arrive anywhere the first thing you do is go to the loo.
6. Your idea of a bottle of something special is Italian mineral water.
7. A big bowl of chocolate mint mousse is a meal option
8. Nobody likes the Butterscotch flavour shake.
9. You only need a minute to prepare it, but this immediately coincides with everyone needing to use the work’s kitchen. They are naturally curious about the packet on the side and you wielding a stick blender.
10. Everyone has an opinion about what you’re ‘doing to yourself.’ While other diets are seen as good and healthy, there is something about CWP that doesn’t sit well with other people. They are very keen to tell you how it’s a ‘bad thing.’
11. You are perplexed to know why your much lower blood pressure, more energy, fewer aches, feeling happier and having a better heart function is a ‘bad thing’
12. Ditto the four stone you have already lost while they’ve been mucking about with 3lbs at Weight Watchers
13. Forgetting to eat. This really happens.
14. Forgetting that other people in your family need to eat. This also happens.
15. Never staying the same clothes size for more than 4 weeks. (Charity shops are your friend).
16. Your knickers falling down. (Charity shops are not your friend for this one)
17. Your feet shrink. You lose fat from your feet – who knew! Even your favourite shoes will need to be replaced.
18. Your stomach looks very much like a three week old deflated balloon.
19. And let’s just gloss over what happens to your boobs. Thankfully the remedy is a push-up bra.
20. Let’s also gloss over the fact that you learn what it is to be cold. Damart underwear becomes your new ‘must have’
21. The minute you decide to go on the plan, the world and his wife will invite you out for a meal.
22. And someone at work decides that Friday is compulsory cake day.
23. Sitting in a restaurant nursing a coffee whilst everyone at your table eats is completely acceptable.
24. If you do eat, any restaurant that can’t make you a chicken breast and a plain green salad will be avoided in future.
25. Moving up the plan steps means a few odd food lists.
26. No, really, if you choose that option, that really is how much cottage cheese you need to eat.
27. Ditto tuna
28. You buy every condiment under the sun to make plain white fish more interesting.
29. No, really, you can eat an entire punnet of raspberries.
30. Towards the end, when you’re working back up and stabilizing, the first week that you put on weight is a massive shock. You’ve been used to hitting a regular 4lbs a week weight loss.
31. People blank you because you’ve changed so much.
32. Some people have a hard time that you’re not the fat person you used to be.
33. The first time you get into your target size in the store changing room is a very special moment. You may cry.
34. Despite all your success, you learn that losing weight does not solve all your problems. Most of the ones that you had when you were a size 26 are still there when you’re a size 12.
35. People never stop waiting for you to put it all back on again.
UPDATE: Since I wrote this in January 2015, I’ve become a Independent CWP Consultant working in Bedfordshire and people are still waiting for me to put it all back on. Nope!
Me: September 2010 versus September 2011.