I was approaching 50 and was unhappy with my life, I blamed all the external factors – my job, my home, the stress of life in Hong Kong, my friends moving overseas…then one sunny July afternoon I decided to truly search my soul – and I was finally honest with myself – I loathed myself for allowing myself to become so obese and have so little energy and optimism, and yet I have so much to be grateful for. My Health (amazingly), my friends, my family, a lovely home, and a great employer. I applied for a 6-month career break to focus on getting healthy. It was the best decision I ever made.

I arrived at H3 in January, not knowing what it would be like, who I would meet, what they would “make me do” and “make me eat” and worst of all “make me exercise”. Imagine my delight when I was greeted by so many friendly, caring, supportive encouraging professionals. I was also lucky to have some wonderful housemates and fellow guests to share my journey with. Having literally put the rest of my life on hold, I was determined this had to work. I didn’t want to just lose weight, I had been there and done that several times before. I never kept it off and I never changed. I knew I needed to change my life and in order to do this, I had to change my behaviors, my attitude, my mindset. Within weeks this was happening, In my journal – on 11th February I wrote “It’s all coming together and making sense – Keep on Keeping On!” And that is exactly what I have done, I still just keep on keeping on.

I wanted to know how to live healthily, I wanted to enjoy exercise and not dread anything beyond getting off the sofa or out of the car, I wanted to learn how to cook healthy meals for myself, I wanted to be a happy healthy person. And thanks to H3 – I can honestly say that I am!! My first stay was 12 weeks, it was an amazing journey, with so many highs and so many firsts. I don’t even think there were any low points, it was just one day after another of finding new things that I could do. On 15th March I completed a 5k event, part of which I actually ran – for the first time in over 30 years. Words cannot explain the pure elation and pride that I felt having achieved this, this was literally just 9 weeks into my journey.

So I went back to the UK for a couple of weeks, celebrated my 50th Birthday with my family and friends, and then returned to H3 for a further 4 weeks in April. I have since continued my journey at home.

I live in a city where walking and cycling are the normal modes of transport. I walk 30 minutes to work every day – through choice! I cook the meals that I learned at H3, and I enjoy them. I also eat out and I enjoy a glass of wine every now and again. I ride my bike, and yes I actually enjoy exercising. I am in a Fitbit group with 10 colleagues around the world, we cheer & taunt each other and I pride myself on staying in the top 3 every week. Although an injury took me down to 5th position the last 2 weeks, I am back on track now! It is over 12 months since I started my journey and I think nothing of running for the tram when I see it coming and I am still 250 meters away from the stop! I realize this is what “normal” people do. Having spent my entire adult life being morbidly obese, I feel like a child learning to walk. I keep having moments where I feel like a “normal” person. I never knew what it was like to just randomly wander into a shop and look at clothes and then have so much choice and to walk out having bought something that I like, and not just because it fits me!

I returned to H3 the next January for a healthy holiday and a kick start for the new year. It was the same but different….. the same familiar friendly faces, some of the same guests, some of the same recipes to enjoy lovely healthy meals…..but it was also different! During my first 30 minutes there and 2 staff didn’t even recognize me. that was until they spoke and recognized my English accent. There is also new menus, new selections for breakfast and lunch and the spa was open. I was not disappointed with my return stay. I got back into the pool to enjoy Bob’s classes, I got to enjoy boxing with my personal trainer,  plus I got to share stories with fellow guests. What was different was that I realized I was so much fitter and healthier than I had given myself credit for, doing some of the same exercise classes as I had 12 months earlier, but with much greater ease. The lectures all made more sense the second time around too. I could truly relate to them and one day I dream of being one of Bob’s famous “we had a guest here once” stories…..I truly achieved turning my life around with the help, support, education & motivation of everyone at H3. I thank you all.

So if you are reading this and you are wondering about the numbers – its been 13 months, I have lost a total of 110 pounds, I have walked over 2000 miles, I have disposed of $1000’s of clothes, and my journey is not over – I just Keep on Keeping on……


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