I’ve always been a portly chap, but a COVID blowout at the end of 2020 had put me into hippopotamus territory. The mental and physical lethargy was crippling and my blood sugars were heading into code-red. So I stopped boozing and changed my food to salad with benefits. I lost weight but I’d been here before and knew I could easily slide back into the yo yo familiar to any fattie. The first 10 are the easiest. After a recommendation I signed up to Aston. Given I already had a solid month behind me, the transition was fairly smooth. The food plan is simple. No calorie counters required. That simplicity is the key and there are no grey-areas. No snacks are allowed (even healthy ones), which I realised was a weakness, especially when feeding three kids round the clock. By week 4 I was eating once a day and never felt hungry or like I was torturing myself. If my energy dropped I went back to the Aston rules, drinking a litre of water and topping up with salt. I started walking to work and if I missed that, I’d walk the streets at night. Thanks to my new Fitbit I ended up clocking 380,000 steps in 28 days. The dog was happy but the great thing is that it just got easier and easier and I no longer had that lazy impulse to say ‘Stuff it, I’ll sit on the couch.’ Same for the gym. I have not had a Diet Coke, which was a compelling daily ritual. Over the four weeks on the Aston program I lost 15 kilos, so I’m now down 25 all up. That is a solid pair of dumbells to carry around so I can only imagine how my heart, lungs and liver are feeling. I’m not just lighter on my feet, I feel smarter, less inclined to procrastination and my productivity is through the roof. I sleep like a baby and my snoring has vanished. More than that, I have control back over an aspect of my life that was out of control. I had a few times where I could easily have gone off the rails, but staring down those moments was a powerful feeling. I also think the camaraderie of being visibly part of a team through the forum posts was really helpful. It’s nice when someone notices the changes and gives you a compliment. Anyone who carries substantial weight will know that mental anguish and guilt is the heaviest load of them all, so this was a nice boost. I can feel ‘the real me’ that is trapped inside the rest of the blubber I’m still carrying around. There’s still more work to be done, so I’ve signed up for another month. You can say Aston is life-changing and it is, but really, at the end of the day, the real battle is within yourself. Do you want to change? Do you have the discipline – or the emotional resilience as DA calls it – to follow these basic rules for life? When all else fails, I think Aston is the one plan that works. The science is undeniable. ps. This morning I tried on that pair of magic pants we all have in the closet. I bought them five years ago with the motivating idea that I’d lose weight and fit into them. Never came even close but today was the day and on they went. They’re almost a perfect fit. Thanks DA!