Which Programs did Nicola do?
I caught up with Nicola Diggle, one of our loyal, successful and long-standing members to find about how RMR has added value to her life. Here is the interview. Enjoy!
How did you see food?
I saw food as reward and comfort, as well as fuel. I was scared of being hungry. I ate and snacked regularly.
How did your health make you feel?
I had low energy levels, low fitness, and regular headaches/migraines. I felt like my health came last after other priorities: bringing up young kids, having a busy job as a lawyer and dealing with other family stresses..
How bad was your health, your energy levels? Mention physical stats – weight, blood metrics, any other ailments.
My weight topped out at about 80kg in mid-2019 (though it was a lot more than that in the months after having kids in 2012 and 2014, but I didn’t weigh myself or I’ve chosen to forget the stats…). I didn’t have a blood glucose medical issue that I was aware of but I was very sensitive to blood sugar issues: if I didn’t eat regularly my mood would seriously break down – I was often “hangry” and therefore unpleasant to be around.
How did this impact your confidence and other parts of your life like your relationships, your career, love life etc?
I hated not fitting into the clothes in my wardrobe. I realized I could fit into only about 10% of my clothes and I was nervous about being caught on camera etc. This affected my confidence in all areas of my life. I felt beholden to food to prevent me getting “hangry”.
What made you decide to make the change?
In 2019 I had a stressful time in my family which caused my stress eating to go through the roof. I then had double foot surgery shortly afterwards which had me off my feet for months and, again, comfort eating whilst taking no exercise.
How did you discover RMR?
I originally discovered RMR in 2013/2014. I was keen to lose weight after my first pregnancy and my parents had brought the first RMR book back from their holiday in South Africa. They had successfully lost weight after over-eating on holiday in SA, and I gave it a try to lose the baby weight.
What were you expecting?
I was expecting weight loss. I also thought rather naively that better nutrition had the ability to get rid of all my problems: stress, migraines etc.
What did you actually get?
The initial weight loss was great. I initially saw it as a quick fix, so once I achieved my goal I soon got back to what I then perceived as “normal” eating. I was also soon pregnant again, and wanted to be careful not to be on a “fad” diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding. I used RMR again as a quick fix after Baby No 2, and again went back to normal eating. I thought I was eating a version of low carb but the reality is that I was eating far too much fat and carbs, and when the stress hit followed by my foot operation in 2019, the weight very quickly piled back on.
Whilst I was recovering from my foot operation I googled RMR again and discovered you now offered 1:1 coaching. I decided it was time (at last) to invest in myself and signed up. My Orientation session was watched from my bed whilst I was still bed-ridden from my foot operation. I worked with Petrolene as a coach initially. She was very helpful in helping me understand and follow the “mechanics” of the keto diet: I lost 6-7kgs back to my “normal” weight and, again, thought I was done and stopped coaching.
As soon as I was back on my own, lockdown happened and I gradually fell off the wagon and the weight piled back on again. 6 months later I rejoined the Coaching Program, this time with Sam. We spent most of our coaching sessions exploring my mental relationship with food, my behaviours, my values, my goals, my self destructive tendencies, how I saw food as reward and comfort, and the origins of these issues.
I also joined the pilot Hero Group Support Program and started focusing my efforts away from the scales to my energy levels, my exercise, and my body shape/waist. I have been a regular attendee at the Friday workshops for 18 months. I have found these invaluable to understand the nutrition background from Bridget, how important mindset is to a transformation from Jonno’s mindset sessions and lastly, but far from least, Victoria’s psychology of eating workshops which helped me unpack and work on my emotional eating issues. I often used the coaching sessions with Sam to unpack my reaction to the Friday workshops, a winning combo.
I have now stopped the 1:1 coaching with Sam, but I am now part of a group on the Hero Group which is a fantastic source of daily support, motivation and accountability to help keep me on track.
What are some of the significant changes in your life that you believe came from RMR?
Weight loss, improved body shape especially waist, no longer being beholden to food: I feel in control of my relationship with food rather than the other way round. Better energy levels and wish to exercise. Very rarely if ever hungry or hangry. Very rarely if ever overfull or bloated after meals. I enjoy cooking and eating delicious meals. Increased confidence in self and values, which in turn helps strengthen relationships with self and others. Better sleep patterns. Getting control of my eating has not (as I had naively hoped) cured my migraines but they happen much less often, and I now have the headspace to seek further medical and other help to work on that challenging area of my life.
How did your experience differ from other health or diet experiences you have had before?
I had previously done the GI/GL diet. This worked in terms of initial weight loss but I found it very easy to slip back into old ways because carbs were still a significant source of food. Also I felt very on my own with no support or accountability, so it was far too easy to give up before it came habitual.
Give us some physical stats. How much weight have you lost? I am now 73kgs, so I have lost 7kgs. My waist is down from 89 cm to 78 cm. I had hoped to get to 70kgs but I have realized that this may have been unrealistic, or may take a bit longer. I’m focusing on waist measurements and exercise at the moment rather than weight.
What kind of people do you think would benefit from RMR the way you have?
If you’re the kind of person who wants to lose weight/improve body shape/change your relationship with food then the RMR team will help you understand what, why and how, and give you invaluable support and accountability to help you get to your goal.
How has this impacted your confidence?
I have much improved self-confidence. I enjoy wearing my clothes (which now all fit me except for the “fat jeans” which I have thrown out) and I enjoy shopping for clothes confident I will fit into the size I want to be. I also feel stronger in my body.
And what has the impact been on your relationships, your career or your love life?
I am much more prepared to embrace vulnerability (whether in the Friday zooms or with friends and family at home) and that has improved relationships and my sense of personal values.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
My “transformation” has been more subtle than others in terms of physical stats but I believe it’s very much still work in progress. For me it’s no longer about a destination but enjoying the journey and feeling great along the way. My key challenge at the moment is that my old brain still sees food as reward and comfort. Gaining awareness of that has been a crucial step but I’m still working on it: old habits die hard.
My goal for 2021, which my Hero Group is supporting me with, is to train for a triathlon in September, working up to that from a completely standing start given low fitness levels last year followed by a broken leg in December 2020 which had me off my feet (again). I did a triathlon in 2010 before I got married and had kids, and my road bike has been gathering dust in my garage for over 10 years, so the time has come but I’m taking the training very gently. I have also told my hero group that I hope to be able to fit into my wedding dress on my 10 year wedding anniversary on 18 June 2021. That is a goal I would never have thought possible over the last 5 years but it’s now in reach. Not long to go now!
Finally I wanted to mention something about my experience with fasting. It’s a popular thing in keto dieting and amongst those following RMR. It’s also something very close to the heart of my coach Sam. I tried it out at various points with support from Sam and my Hero Group. I could do it, and it helped with weight/waist goals but I found that it does not work for me, because I often get headaches/migraines afterwards. I have since found out that fasting is not recommended for migraine sufferers: instead keeping a routine around sleep and meals is crucial. So I now don’t fast save for a standard “circadian” fast. Whilst that may have meant I haven’t achieved transforming weight loss like others on the programme, I have found that by listening to my body, I can work with it for health and wellbeing, rather than strictly following a programme 100% for the sake of it.
Just to recap – Nicola did a LOT of work on herself over her time at RMR. These are the programs she participated in while on her journey.