When Simine Khan returned from a holiday in India and flicked through her photos, she was shocked. “I was aware that I’d put on weight, but the photos made me realise I needed to rethink my lack of exercise and bad eating habits.” It was time to make changes – small, gradual ones that didn’t disrupt her daily routine, but would eventually lead to a 17kg lighter version of herself.
Time required to reach current weight: 16 months
Lesson learnt: “The scale doesn’t matter. The way you feel is what’s important.”
Secret weapon: Making simple, easy-to follow lifestyle changes.
Being active kept Simine fit as a child; she participated in outdoor sports, loved aerobics and made full use of her family swimming pool until her early twenties. “Exercise was slowly phased out of my routine and the ‘good life’ kicked in: I ate out a lot and spent way too much of my free time in front of the TV. I enjoyed fried food and biscuits with hot chocolate were my weakness.” At 23, Simine was a size 40.
“The idea of totally cutting out treats was horrific, so I cut down.” Simine limited her intake of bread, puddings, fizzy drinks and fried food, while snacking on fruit and yoghurt instead of her usual treats. “I started walking with a friend or my dogs, found other forms of exercise like climbing stair and signed up for Pilates.”
Encouraged by her weight loss and a desire to help others, Simine established The Perfect Fit consultancy. And now she treats herself to her favourite pastime, shopping: “Because I can find more clothes that fit.”
Get a fitness buddy. “Having a friend is the best way to ensure you don’t lose your focus.”
Change focus. “Keep your eyes off the scale and on your plate.”
Start off small and slowly. “The big changes are hard to follow through.”