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TTFLS UPDATE - Penni Rowe's story
26 September 2016

Penni Rowe, my latest fab success story says – “I am intolerant to gluten, but with all that temptation out there, when I go for a meal out or Christmas food I slip and have blips. This can leave me bloated and sometimes feeling not to good, it makes my tummy unwell, some people might relate.
Though I did use to be a Linda (guise of Freedom Eater – see book 3.0 avail online) when I first started the freedom eating, I just couldn't get my head around not feeling full, it was all I ever knew, didn't quite understand that feeling of satisfied. So the first few weeks I did the 5.2 as well as the freedom eating.
Then one day whilst I was sitting alone actually at the table I was eating at tuna salad, it's what my body felt like etc, and I just let out as great big sigh. That was it, that's when it clicked for me, since then it's all come together and I've gone from a size 18 to a size 12 – so glad - woo hoo, a true life changer!”

This is one of the latest updates posted on Facebook on my Till the Fat Lady Slims group (join it here THe above is the snippet I featured on my new QVC blog, but here's the rest.

PENNI'S STORY

Hi Debbie,
Hmm were do I start, I would say the one thing I have always been blessed with is my weight when I was younger. Throughout my later teens, 20's, and 30's I have always been able to get away with in hindsight when I look back, eating rubbish and very little exercise. In fact the only exercise involved in my life back then was my day to day life style!
 
At 20 years of age I was a little bit crazy had moved to the city of Liverpool from a small town called Wigan, hoping for the highlife (plus my job was here working for customs and excise). I was young and slim and never at this age really went past the weight of 8 stone plus a few pounds, diets were everywhere I'd grown up with them having a glamouros mum and an older sister but luckily for me id never tried a diet, then things started to change I got pregnant!
 
After having a beautiful son Kristian, I was soon unfortunately became a single parent and having experienced this has its positives yet also some negatives. For example money can be tight, time isn't on your side and it can be exghusting. looking back I ate rubbish again, I comfort ate, oven meals filled my fridge and freezer with take aways in between for our treats.
Blimmy what I have learnt now about the food I use to put into my body, but more importantly into my son, I won't feed it to my dogs honestly but I wasn't educated back then.
So my son is now 3 years and I was still the same weight up and down a couple of lbs or 3 like I have always done and then when I was 24 yrs my mum died of breast cancer which spread to her lymph nodes.
 
I was devastated, I really didn't know how to cope and much of that year I can't seem to remember its all a misty phase, I think our body and mind seems to do things like this to protect us, and I went into a delayed depression of grief after around 9 months.
I soon became physically sick also I had something wrong with my digestive system and couldn't use the toilet, my GP kept telling me it was 'Irritable Bowl' and as I had the weight of the world on my shoulders I just went with it, my heart knew there was more to this.
I was grieving my mum so I didn't want to eat but I was also avoiding using the loo, boy it hurt me so much, did I have cancer too? I was now 7 stone and they found out the problem was a 'fissure' the GP called it, I was only young and scared didn't know what that was. Though straining I'd torn myself and had to go into hospital for a operation to get it sewn up, oh how humiliating! I was devastated lol.
 
Soon after all this was sorted I was back on my feet again and putting my weight back on pretty quickly, getting back to being a mum and socialising. Bascially eating and drinking lots of sugar, salt, caffine, alcohol, wheat and lactose, all foods I do my best to steer clear of now.
My life was never the same, I longed to have my mum around and somehow found being a single parent harder without her help. I would have ups and downs and when I was down I would self medicate with a nice glass of what ever and lots of savouries like a 7 bags of crips, nuts and a kebab when I could afford it (eww lol) luckily I was never a chocolate girl.
 
I was now coming to the back end of my twenties and it had been a rocky road since moving to Liverpool, I had also chosen in hindsight unhealthy relationships with men since my mum died as I now think I didn't want to be alone. Then the day before my 30th birthday I had arranged to met up with friends in the city centre, I remember it being cold as it was November but I woke up with that chilly feeling inside. I felt not quite right, quite stiff and ill very light headish. I tried to put it off, it was my birthday the next day I had no time to be sick (again) but it got worse.
Around 3 hours later I was sectioned in a small room all alone in a Liverpool hospital with meningitis, gutted. How did that happen? I was fine yesterday! It was at this stage in my life I felt a sense my physical body and I became detatched. Had I abused it or disrespected it so much it became so sick many times and I hadn't listened. I'd always been 'unconfident' had a low 'self esteem' so never nurtured myself in any way shape or form, never been good to Penni.
 I was in hospital for a week but was to learn that it took over 5 years for my immune system and physical body to completly heal.
From then I had to have a platelet transfusion, as my blood wouldn't clot, lumber punchers (horrid) my hair fell out and grew back curly plus epilepsy and no more children.
 
So I'm now 34 at home mum, much, much better and still around the same weight still never dieting. Ironically watching Qvc a lot and Alison Young is completely fascinating me, I love all beauty anyway and she inspires me to enrole at college to train as a beauty therapist. Liverpool is full of girls loving their beauty I can do this.
I quicky got into the whole beauty world and that's when my first experience of a diet was 'The Atkins' I wouldn't mind but I wasn't overweight or even 9 stone just got caught up in the crowd mentality I guess. Awful, boring and bland diet and I soon came off it as I got stick in the pub drinking sparkling water, but I did loose weight, only to put it back on as soon as I ate normally. Very unhealthy.
 
As I finished college and luckily went straight into a great job in the city centre I think I compensated with not working for so long with my ill health and wanted to work long hours. I loved having something that was mine, I now had a sense of belonging a different role other than mum or daughter and no-one could touch me.
This was so important to me, that I didn't realise though I was a very strong woman in some ways I was also vulnerable and sensitive and frightened of loss. For some unknown reason I had fallen into a top spa with famous faces around Liverpool and that self doubt kept creeping in, so I was extremely hard on myself working all hours god sent and hardly ate a healthy meal.
 
Then one day I started to wake up extremely fatigued, putting down to my job and being a single mum I just carried on. Then it got worse, plus I ached with bad headaches. My fingers started to hurt when I did facials and my back muscles killed with any massage, I refused to stop, how could I let this job go, but I had to it got too bad to work.
 
I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrom M.E, and even then I worked for nearly a further 4 years. I was now suffering physically and mentally as I had depression too.
I finally gave up work and felt as though my life had ended, my whole career gone! I had no help, I went to see a counsellor and he told me he didn't believe in it. A doctor said it was all just in my head and another one said to me, just accept it, this will be your life now! wow amazing the health care had such a negaitive respose to some thing.
This was the biggest battle I ever faced, I had lost so much and was slowly loosing much more too, because I couldn't do daily things or socialise all but one of my friends disappeared. I had no relationship, I couldn't see a future, my body again wasn't my own, we had become detatched. Had I let my physical body down or the other way around? So I just ate an ate then ate some more!
 
I could on a good day get out of bed, I couldn't go out, maybe travel in the car somewhere. I had to have help washing my hair and I had to bath as a shower was standing and that became too difficult. On really bad days I was bed bound and had to crawl to the loo.
4 years of not working and the CFS getting it claws into me I was now over 11 stone,i had never weighed this much and it was showing everywhere, even my rings didn't fit me anymore.
 I'd had enough of it all, I had tried lots but nothing had worked, and being house bound and in pain you have a tendency to reach for the crips or the chocolate rather than the kale or cottage cheese (they're my new snacks).
I knew I was getting bigger as each year ticked by and I had to keep throwing clothes away in order to fit into the new ones, the size 10 and 12 had gone when I'd stopped working, now 2012 the size 14 were being replaced by size 16 and my tops are a size 18+ as my stomach is extremely bloated I look 9 months pregnant! Plus I had gone from a 34 c bra to a 38 DD, but even that was tight so I'd stick to Ahh bra's instead. So I get even more depressed and eat more.
 
2013 I decide to fight this battle head on, if the NHS has done all they can then I won't give up. I found a clinic in London, 'The Optimum Health Clinic' they educated me enormously around the illness, learning what is going on inside my anatonmy not just about the symtoms, but I still wasn't free from this.
Then another event in London 'I can do it' completely changed my life. I went there as I am a massive fan of Dr Wayne Dyer's work and he was talking, (it was here I met Debbie and Craig from QVC) though I felt very ill, it did do me the world of good. Then someone I knew nothing about came on the stage Phil Parker, he spoke about 'The Lightning Process' and how it can help people suffering with CFS. Well it does, and it did. It was amazing and for me a miracle.
 
Though I was free of this horrid illness, I was now left with, muscle waste, weak joints and osteoporosis. Each time I went to visit the gym (as now I was determined to get back to the weight I was, as had a fighter in me), I came home with pain that shouldn't be there. So it was far too soon for that type of exercise, I had to take it slow.
 
I became very impatient I had lost years of my life and my career and I just needed to live some kind of life again. I had qualified as a CBT therapist so this was my new career, box ticked, but being over weight was out of hand, it was making me unhealthy. It seemed like every time id read a magazine or pop the tv on they were reminding me too in some way shape or form, I have to say it got me down.
 
Then in 2015 my partner said he would do a diet with me, we started in the feburary and it lasted for 12 weeks, you would detox for 2. Though I learnt a lot about foods and myself I only lost 3 lbs and became even more down especially watching him loose lots of weight and another diet not working for me. I got down to 10 11ibs, but then very soon after I was 11, 4 lbs.
A year on in 2016 i'd bought your book 'Till the fat Lady Slims', now I already had his on kindle, but as I had now joined the wonderful facebook group and followed many peoples success stories and tons of they're hints and tips I figured to buy the paper back as this wold be much better for me to keep referring to when needed, I was right.
 
I decided to refresh my brain and read the book again, as the first time I'd read it was in Tenerife about 3 years ago. I am not sure why, probably because I was ready and really absorbed the book and didn't give up initially, but everything this time has clicked, fallen into place and I now listen to my body, 'loud and clear'.
In fact its no longer a concious thing it just happens, you know when youre learning to drive, you have to think about every little move do then what comes next. Once you pass it just all flows naturally, you don't need to think about it right. So that's how my eating has become, apart from thinking what do I feel like eating.
Plus and its really hard to explain this unless you've experienced I do feel a sense of freedom. I don't feel locked in that 3 meals a day plan, eat all your plate, or even a full sandwich. It feels fantasic and powerful be able to leave for later.
 
I drink a pint of water every morning, strangely that's the one thing I really miss if for some reason  I have to do without, yet I struggled with it at the beginning. I often have a cup of boiled lemon water to hand but as im pottering about on my day off or getting ready for work with my clients it can be midday before I'm hungry, my tummy or mind hasn't even spoke to me about food. I have now got out the habit of just having a breakfast because they say you should, it never suited me ever! I've also got out the habit of bingeing. If I get hungry before dinner time after I have drunk my water I will have a smoothie as I feel I can get tons of neutritons included here and they're filling too.
 
A typical lunch for me would be some cottage cheese or mackerel or even a bowl with tuna and salad, I will eat some then when I experience that sigh of satisfaction i'll stop, but I know I can go back to it anytime im hungry.
Tea time at my house for me is totally different, I no longer have a full plate and even what's on it I don't always finish. I will always have a big glass of water 15mins before my meals, you'll be amazed what a difference this makes, as lots of times your body is thirsty not hungry.
I try to stay away from caffine, sugar, wheat, lactose, red meat, too much salt and too much alcohol. I did cut them all out completely for a few months and don't buy them but now if I'm out or on holiday I will treat myself. Yet there are many times when I do, and my body just is not happy one bit!!
 
I have most definitely been eating incorrectly all my adult life, if its following a routine, fitting in, stuffing food down me quickly on the go. Eating confiniant rubbish, not chewing, not stopping even when I'm full. Then eating snacks on top of being full!! Comfort eating to supress hurt, I just never listened ever to my physical body, even when I was so ill so many times over.
 
It is now just over 6 months and I am still loosing weight. I love the famous Tiana b Lace dress and treated myself when we went away at new year 2016 to a size 18, yes I wore it with control underwear as it wouldn't fit over my hips properly if I didn't. Around June 2016 Qvc had a one time only, it was the dress, I knew my size 18 was too big so I quickly ordered a 16, it arrived, but too big!! Luckily they changed it for me, fantastic I now have my favourite dress that fits me in a size 14. September I try it on, you guessed it too big, I now need a size 12!
 
 
So NSV I have gone from a size 18 to 12 in just over 6 months. I was very good with the type of foods I ate, still am but now I will treat myself and have clear alcohol when I'm socialising. Though I haven't missed alcohol one bit, loosing this weight is like loosing my baggage and that for me compensates for everything I've cut out my diet, the more problems life threw at me, the more weight I gained.
 
Freedom eating is really about freedom for me personally, I now choose what I want to eat and the way I eat. I love it this way, and could never go back. I'm not without anything, I'm educated with foods and what suits me personally to maintain my health, as I am healthy now. Plus I still sit at the dinner table with family and eat the same meals, no diet meals for me any more or for a certain amount of time. This is a way of life, my life, so I can maintain my weight loss and stay confident, happy and healthy. I love it.
 
Thank you Debbie it truly has changed my life x
 
 
 
 WOW - HOW PROUD AM I!!

if you've read my books, available on Amazon HERE, maybe you'd like to join the group, and do let me know your story too.

Penni Rowe made me so proud this week and has done a wonderful testimonial about how it's changed her life. Freedom Eating really works to break you out of food prison - even if you've been in there your whole life! 

Keep me informed!

More on the TTFLS tab above!

best wishes

debs

x

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