An Australian mother has revealed how she lost 27 kg and stopped taking her high blood pressure medication after an alarming visit to the doctor gave her a ‘wake-up call’ for her health.
Judy Fallens, of Perth, was in her fifties feeling tired, unfit and overweight and startled after leaving a routine visit to the doctor with abnormally high blood pressure.
The visit was the shock she needed to get her health back on track, so with a close friend, she started exercising lightly and tidying up her diet until the pounds started to fall off.
Less than a year later, the mother of two has gone from a size 16 to an 8, feels better than ever, walks 4 miles every day and no longer needs to take her blood pressure medication.
Before and after: Judy Fallens (pictured) lost 27kg in less than a year by cleaning up her health after a scary visit to the doctor gave her a much-needed wake-up call
Judy, who has two sons, Mitchell, 17, and Lachlan, 13, said she was active until she became “sedentary” thanks to an ankle injury and started to gain weight gradually over an eight-year period.
High Blood Pressure: What Are the Risks and Causes?
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for chronic conditions such as stroke, coronary artery disease, heart failure and chronic kidney disease.
About 21 percent of high blood pressure in Australia in 2015 was due to a diet high in sodium – higher for men (23 percent) than for women (17 percent).
In addition to high salt intake, other risk factors for high blood pressure include poor diet, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and insufficient exercise.
High blood pressure can be controlled with lifestyle measures and medication, reducing the risk of developing chronic conditions.
“You slowly start to accept it and I only really realized how unfit and unhealthy I was starting to get when I went to the doctor,” she told FEMAIL.
Judy’s doctor was amazed at how high her blood pressure was after a routine checkup, and words like “stroke, heart attack and diabetes” were brought up.
“It was quite shocking that I was diagnosed with high blood pressure – I didn’t even know I was sick or suffering. You can’t feel high blood pressure and that’s the scary part.”
Judy, who runs a business from home with her husband Ed, said the doctor’s visit was the “wake-up call” she needed to turn her life around and her goal of being “fit and fifty.” to be reached.
“When I turned 50, I didn’t want to be unfit. This is worse than inappropriate,’ she said.
“I thought this was the beginning of the end if I didn’t do something positive to turn it around.”
Judy had “no plan” as to how she would begin her journey to better health until late last year, just a few weeks after the fateful doctor’s visit, she learned about the 1:1 Diet from her esthetician, Nicola.
She and her friend Christine visited Nicola every three weeks and saw for herself the results of the diet she was following.
“I could see how much weight she was losing and she was so excited about what she was doing,” Judy said.
“One day we walked out and said, ‘Let’s call Michelle, the advisor. We sat down and listened to what she had to say about the plan and diet and started the next day.”
The Cambridge Weight Plan 1:1 Diet is a low-calorie meal replacement diet that Judy combined with healthy meals of protein and vegetables and regular exercise.
Judy started with the 1:1 diet, a low-calorie meal replacement plan combined with healthy dinners of protein and vegetables and regular exercise
Five Foods to Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure — and Five to Avoid
what to eat
- Vegetables – the more colorful the better! – beetroot, bell pepper, leafy greens or root vegetables (carrots, radishes or sweet potatoes)
- Fruits – apples, bananas, oranges, pears, plums, kiwis or berries
- Whole-wheat – whole-wheat pasta and rice, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat or high-fiber breakfast cereals (oats, porridge, or toasted granola)
- Legumes, nuts and seeds – chickpeas, beans, lentils, walnuts, sunflower seeds or almonds
- Reduced-fat dairy – reduced-fat skim milk, cheese or yogurt
What to avoid?
- potato chips
- Salted nuts
- Commercial sauces (e.g. tomato, soy, fish)
- Processed meat
- Most takeaways
Source: Heart Foundation
Judy is a self-confessed “picky eater” and was hesitant to start the diet but found it fit easily into her life and family.
As a lover of Coke Zero and wine, which she had to cut, Judy confessed that she struggled at first, but followed the diet along with Christine to hold her accountable and seeing results kept her motivated to keep going.
‘Having a big loss the first week was motivating and ‘I thought this could work’. I’d had constant losses after that,” Judy said.
Judy and Christine slowly started training together, going for walks and hikes until they regularly ran 4 miles a day.
Judy said she was thrilled to go shopping to buy a whole new wardrobe for her new figure eight, but it’s how she feels about herself that made the hard work worth it
Three months in Judy was 15kg lighter, walking every day, off her blood pressure medication and feeling better than in the past 25 years.
As the weight continued to decrease, Judy’s total loss reached 27kg and she was able to reduce the amount of meal replacements she consumed.
“I do five and two — during the week I still eat the plan food and protein and veggies for dinner,” she said.
“On Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays I can eat what the family eats and the wine and treats and everything and then I’ll be right back Monday morning.”
Judy said she was thrilled to go shopping to buy a whole new wardrobe for her new figure eight, but it’s how she feels about herself that made the hard work worth it.
“So many people kept telling me I looked so much happier,” she said.
“I never thought I was unhappy, but when you stop doing the things you used to like, you just have to change something.”
Eight things you can do to improve blood pressure
1. Get regular exercise
2. Quit Smoking
3. Avoid unhealthy fats and foods high in salt –
§ People with high blood pressure should limit their salt intake to less than four grams per day (equivalent to less than one teaspoon of salt)
4. Include fresh foods in your diet. Recommended intake: five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit per day
5. Maintain a healthy weight
6. Limit your alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks a day for men, or one drink a day for women with high blood pressure
7. Seek help from a doctor who can prescribe blood pressure medication
8. See your doctor regularly to have your blood pressure checked