Penny Mcbride

Age: 65
Country: UK
City: Northampton
  • Lost 10.1 kgs on 12 week Hero Program
  • Lost 15.5 cm on my stomach and hips
  • De-prescribed blood pressure meds
  • De-prescribed arthritis medication or anti inflammatories
  • Generally stronger
  • Sleeping without sleeping tablets
WhatsApp Image 2021-10-25 at 14.07.26

Tell us about your approach to your health before engaging with the RMR Hero Program.


I tried many diets all my life, due to having serious worries about being overweight as all my family have always been seriously overweight. When I was in my teens my Mom was attending Weight Watchers and was awarded a super pin for losing a 100lbs on the program. After getting the pin she was still seriously overweight and she put most of it back on. She had diabetes, a heart condition and severe arthritis. She died at 65 as a result of her illnesses. I was the smallest in the family, my mom and brothers were over 6 ft. My father and sister were 5ft 10in and I am 5ft 7”. I always vowed never to be fat, although I was overweight even in my teens.


Over the years I tried many diets like Adkins and Weigh Less. In November 2017 I was attending a Pre-School Principals year end lunch in Johannesburg and during lunch I overheard 2 ladies discussing their weight journey. They were discussing Banting and the various lists and how they dine out without eating on the red list. I was very interested but had never heard of Banting. So I went home and Googled Banting and the different lists. I downloaded everything I could find and read up on it. I then set my mind to try it.


During the next year I lost 25kgs. I went from 98.9kgs to +- 73kg.


How did you see food?


I saw food as the enemy. Whenever I even looked at it I gained weight. No matter how hard I tried I could not figure out how to control it. I had cravings for sweet things and really enjoyed cooking for my family. But whenever I was upset or depressed I would bake and binge and then get depressed over my binging. My father-in-law called me Miss Piggy. You see My mother-in-law was blind and he used to hide ice cream and chocolates so she didn’t know how much he ate of them, but no matter where he hid his chocolates I could find them.


How did your health make you feel?


My health kept me feeling depressed and feeling hopeless. I was always in pain with my arthritis


How bad was your health, your energy levels? Mention physical stats – weight, blood metrics, any other ailments.


My health was not great and I slept badly and had no energy levels as I was tired all the time. Feeling like that and working with children caused me anxiety.

I had high blood pressure, I suffered from Rheumatoid and Osteo Arthritis which restricted my movements and interaction with my students


How did this impact your confidence and other parts of your life like your relationships, your career, love life etc? 


I had always felt fat even when I was at school. I was overweight, although I did sports it made no difference to my weight. And this made me feel judged by others and overlooked. I married young and I remember when my husband and I were living in a farming area and spent time at the country club as my husband played golf. I would always sit in the corner and not interact with many people as I was too shy. Later on I hated going to my children’s school meetings and prayed my kids were not ashamed of their fat mom as I remember how I used to feel about my folks. As the church Book keeper I hated having to stand up in forn of the congregation to give reports. As the Principal of my Preschool I hated  having to stand up to chair meetings as I felt judged by my appearance rather than the work I did. This may seem irrational to some but it was a real fear for me.


What made you decide to make the change?


There were 2 things that were a catalyst for me. One was when my husband in 2015  passed away while sitting in our car in the sun. We struggled to get him out of the seat to try and do CPR as he was overweight. I vowed to myself that I would not cause anybody problems with me if something should happen to me, because I was overweight.. 2nd was when in 2017, I was in a car accident and broke some ribs and as I lay on the stretcher in Baragwanath Emergency unit, feeling helpless, because I was too heavy to move myself onto a bed pan. This was so embarrassing for me as there were no staff to help me and my wonderful son who was with me just stepped in and helped. That  determined me to find a way to lose weight. It was a few months after this that I found out about Banting.


How did you discover the RMR Hero Program?


I found out about the RMR Hero program when I was again searching online for some Banting resources to lose weight. You see, after I left South Africa in January 2019, after I lost my 25 kg, I found myself picking up weight again due to having to eat out of the clients household budget and finding that English ladies are stuck on eating loads of toast and marmalade or oats porridge. Main meals consist of potatoes, peas and carrots with brown sauce, which for us is Bisto gravy. Sometimes being stressed over the client led to eating biscuits and cake which are easy snacks.


What were you expecting?


I knew about the basic process of eating Green List, but I was looking for support, as living in England and not having family or friends to support me I wanted some accountability.


What did you actually get?


I got so much more. I got lots of information about how the body and mind works, I found friends in the Hero Group that were not judgemental but very supportive. I found a coach who was always full of wonderful suggestions, encouragement and who was always looking out for me. I found I was not alone but accepted.


What are some of the significant changes in your life that you believe came from the RMR Hero Program?


Changes in my life have been quite dramatic. I have come to accept that I am acceptable as I am no matter what.

I have a new world view of foods that I understand and can now control.

I have found a boldness in stating to other people what I will and will not eat without feeling embarrassed.

I have a new confidence about myself as a person.


How did your experience differ from other health or diet experiences you have had before?


Other diets helped me lose a few kilos but didn’t help me keep it off, nor did it improve my health, my self esteem or the way I see food. It did not educate me on the effects of sugar in my diet.


Give us some physical stats. How much weight have you lost? What other physical or mental benefits are you experiencing? 


On the Green list, in 2018, I lost 25 kgs. over a year. But going it alone was hard and often discouraging when I hit plateaus or when I picked up weight. I had very little support


But on the RMR program this year, I have lost 10.1 kgs. during my 12 week program.

By following the Hero Program and trusting the process I have been able to maintain my weight during a 3 week holiday in Johannesburg with family and during my stay in an isolation hotel .

My clothes have gone from fitting tightly to hanging loosely as I lost as I have lost 15.5 cm on my stomach and hips


I no longer have High blood pressure so I don’t have to take any medication now. I don’t need Arthritis medication or anti inflammatories. I still occasionally take Paracetamol but not 2 tablets 3x per day as previously.

My arthritis is much better and I can now exercise without much pain. I was able to go out walking long distances without my back and feet hurting.

I can work better with my clients and I feel stronger.

I am sleeping much better and don’t need to take sleep tablets.


What kind of people do you think would benefit from the RMR Hero Program the way you have? 


If you’re the kind of person who is constantly on a yoyo diet or struggling with food addictions and binge eating, the Hero Program is the best fit you will find.


Has this had any impact on your confidence?


Success breeds success is an old mantra but in my case it is really true. As I have been able to understand what my eating is really about, and my understanding of food has increased through the program and the teaching I have received, I have succeeded in achieving the weight goal I set myself and this has given me the confidence to believe in myself for who and what I am.


And what has the impact been, if any, on your relationships, your career or your love life?


The Program has impacted my view of other people in that previously I felt judged because of my weight issues, but through the program I have come to realise that it was I that was pre judging other people. I assumed that they were judging me. But in most instances those people have their own issues and are not always concerned about me and if they are, it is because they have problems of their own and see me as a threat to their self image.


As I have worked through the program I have gained confidence in myself and as a Carer I am better able to work with my clients. As I have lost weight I have been able to engage in doing some exercises and walking and again this has helped me to be fitter and feel healthier. I have more energy and that I am in better shape overall than I have been for years.


Then, if you have any other comments, this is the freestyle section:


I want to thank everyone at RMR for the program. If you had not given your time and talents to help me on hundreds of others, I would still be feeling like that ugly duckling I always thought I was. I could not have achieved this progress on my own. Thank you.