When I was a child…

From as far back as I can remember, I’ve always thought of myself as fat.

I was always the tallest in the class at primary school. I certainly had the largest feet. I was size 4 at age 10.

As I went to Secondary School, we could not get my school uniform locally, they did not stock my size. My mum and I had to travel to London to get the correct material so that she could make my dresses.

Throughout Secondary School, my gym teachers would put me in the least active physical roles: I was the hockey goal keeper (although very few balls got past me). I was put into the remedial swimming class, despite the fact that I had been able to swim since I was 6! AND… because I was left handed, I was never allowed to be the Goal Shooter, instead, I was the Goal Keeper.

My history with exercise is a chequered one and my relationship with it very poor!

Given this background, it will come as no surprise to any of you that my mum took me to the doctor’s as a 12 year old and asked what we could do to help me lose weight. She’d finally given in to the pressure of the cat callers at the local market who said “still chubby – not done anything yet?” To which mum always replied “It’s puppy fat, it will go when she hits teenage”

When I look back at photographs of me at school, it is true that I am larger than most of the others but proportionally so. Fortunately when I was at school the peer pressure that surrounds many teenagers had only really just started to be a “thing”. I was teased about being fat, rather than being bullied – and that is a significant difference.

The Popular Diets…

Over my lifetime I have tried The Mayo Clinic Diet. The Cabbage Soup Diet. The Weetabix Diet. They Hay Food Combining Diet. Atkins, Weight Watchers, Slimming World. Herbalife, Slim-Fast, BranStop. I’ve tried eating 1500 calories a day, Rosemary Conley…. I’m sure there are others but these are the ones that I can remember.

I have tried Swimming. Belly Dancing. Gym (I’m great on the rowing machine). Aquarobics. Aerobics. The Greatest Loser Exercise Video. The Rosemary Conley Exercise video. Dance The Rosemary Conley Way. Playstation Dance Nation. Wii Fit Tennis and all the others.

Does this resonate with you?

Nothing I tried was ever permanent – they were all temporary fixes – I got bored and I reverted to my old way of life. Between 2003 and 2005 I lost 7.5 stones in weight. I was featured in the local paper as a role model for slimmers nationally. (Not slimmer of the year because I’d not reached THEIR goals, but still a poster girl for the group!). Then one day I went to work and one of my students punched me. I spent 3 months at home, scared of my own shadow – and that pulled me straight back to old habits. The weight went back on, slowly.

New Year Resolutions

As we start 2019, the TV is full of Weight Loss tips and techniques. The Celebrity Chefs have their latest Healthy Eating plan and associated recipe book out. The slimming clubs are offering January offers to join them. Gyms are offering special deals on membership.

Many people have made New Year Resolutions to get fit, lose weight, do more exercise – but by now it is seriously wavering!

Remember yesterday’s post on the Feeling Awesome group….. Google defines dieting as “restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.”

It is exactly this restriction that leads to resentment, or cheating, or falling off the wagon.

Every person reading this blog is different in several ways from the next person reading this blog. For this very reason, no one diet plan can ever be equally successful for two people.


And here we come to the title of this blog “Diets vs Diet”

Every living thing on this planet has a DIET – a selection of foods, nutrients, vitamins, gases that is specific to their existence.

Trees take water and nutrients from the earth, they extract CO2 from the atmosphere and they give off O2 (without which we could not live).

A top class athlete will have a very specific combination of Carbohydrate, Fats, Proteins, Vitamins and Minerals, all washed down with water and other fluids. This enables them to perform at the top of their ability.

And so I bring this blog back to you.

You will need a specific balance of Carbs, Fats, Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals and fluids to be YOU.

If, like me, you are overweight and doing something about it, then your percentage of each of these areas will vary depending on how your body processes the fuel you put into it.

Lifestyle Changes

I started my lifestyle shift on 24th October 2018 with a 66 day walking challenge. Since then I’ve gradually added more little sustainable changes. I created a Facebook group to help me be accountable and to help others. If you want to join us, pop on over to and see what we are up to!

To get into optimal shape For Life will mean that you might need to make some changes in what you eat and drink, For Life. Not just for 30 days to shed some pounds, but Lifestyle changes, day in day out, mindfully preparing and consuming what is right for you.

Over the coming weeks we are going to look at various plans, some short term, some lifestyle. I’m not recommending one way over another. I am putting in front of you some things to consider because your body is different to mine. It will react differently to the food we put in it. It will break that food down differently. What’s right for you, may not suit me at all.

But one thing I am sure of…

A diet plan is for January, Diet is for life!

Samantha Marshall

Samantha Marshall

I'm a business coach and mentor specialising in social media and management. I tailor packages to your requirements and your first 30 minute discovery call with me is FREE. Coaching & Mentoring packages Social Media Management contracts Social Media training Book your Discovery Call today

One Comment

  • Jan Mcskimming says:

    Nice one Sam. Too true! Diets come and go. but gold standard nutrition is the basis of gold standard lifestyle.