Working mum, Gemma Siddle, is celebrating her new-found confidence after overcoming weight gain struggles caused by medication for post-natal depression, thanks to The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan.
County Durham-based Gemma, 37, was nationally recognised in her career and had a healthy baby daughter, Holly.
Yet her post-natal depression left her seeking medication which led to her piling on the pounds and stuck in a vicious circle.
“With a history of recurring depression, I suffered severely with post-natal depression after the birth of my daughter. Due to its severity, we struggled to find a medication that was effective,” said Gemma.
“When I was prescribed medication which worked, one of the side effects was significant weight gain.
“Despite weight never being a huge issue for me previously, the doctor ultimately took me off the medication when being obese became a bigger risk to my health than the depression.”
By this point Gemma had developed numerous bad habits including comfort eating and avoiding social situations.
“My confidence was so low. I just wanted to hide away from the world.
“Stress and anxiety levels were at an all-time high. I worked hard but I didn’t want this to be the future me.”
In November 2019, Gemma won the flagship trophy from her professional body – the coveted Chartered Financial Planner of the Year Award. What should have been a highlight was plagued by negativity instead.
“Even though I was at the height of my profession, I felt like a failure. I thought about giving it all up; I avoided family life and no longer had belief in my ability to lead the firm. I didn’t even dare publish the photograph taken at the gala dinner because of my weight and the way I looked.
“Something needed to change and I decided to use lockdown in a positive way to try to overhaul my self-confidence.
“Lockdown gave me headspace to take action. I switched to healthier eating patterns and I managed to lose about 11 pounds.
“I didn’t really understand the contents of food and quickly realised I needed someone to support me in my weight loss journey and keep me focused. That’s when I reached out to my local consultant, Jenny Egginton.
“I came away after our first conversation feeling someone truly understood me – I could be open and honest with her, and her enthusiasm and positivity was contagious. I cried with relief and had a new sense of hope!
“The Plan was so straightforward and I didn’t feel alone.
“Jenny has been invaluable. Whether it was helping me find alternative snacks, or encouraging me to celebrate the ‘little wins’, Jenny has become a true friend.
“My confidence and self-belief started to return. After only eight months I lost four stone five pounds.
“It started with small things such as agreeing to play with Holly out in the garden, which quickly helped to develop our bond. But it has also led me to accept my new role as managing director at my firm.
“I’m going from strength to strength and my anxiety and stress symptoms have almost disappeared.”
Gemma’s new-found confidence has seen her swimming – something she’d given up.
“I can now enjoy spending time with my daughter, playing in the water, without the crippling self-consciousness I had lived with for too long.”
It wasn’t only Gemma’s daughter who reaped the rewards.
“After witnessing the life-changing differences in me, my husband, Jamie, wanted a piece of the action too! He joined me on the diet, and now we both work with Jenny to reach our goals.
“Despite us being very different in terms of the style of support we need, Jenny is absolutely fantastic at connecting to us as individuals.
“This entire experience has given me the confidence to shine in my professional and home life. I feel like we now have an incredibly bright future ahead of us – full of opportunity.
“The gift of self-belief must be the most precious thing anyone can give and Jenny has given me and my family, exactly that!”
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