Lyndsey de Mestre recently completed our six week TRANSFORM programme, followed by a six week BALANCE programme and a three month review, and is so delighted with her results and new lifestyle, she has decided to become a Louise Parker brand ambassador. Lyndsey tells us all about her journey below…
My Louise Parker Journey
Out of all of the things that are truly wonderful about the Louise Parker Method, the focus on each client as an individual is one of its greatest features. While I imagine that many are, rightly, drawn to the amazing and sustainable weight-loss results Louise and her team produce, that wasn’t my principal motivation. It probably ought to have been because as it turned out I had plenty of weight to lose (!), but the truth is that I have never been particularly conscious of my size or weight and have always felt pretty content when I look in the mirror.
I needed something that could fit into my life without making me a slave to a rigid set of anxiety-inducing rules and I was looking for something that was sustainable, consistent and absolutely fad-free.
During a lifetime of prioritising thinking at work and being absorbed by fun and responsibilities at home, I had left anything to do with diet and exercise entirely to one side and had been perfectly happy with that! So it was not a desire to lose weight, drop a dress size or look different that brought me to the orange door. Instead, I was starting to feel a nagging sense of worry about my health (which I had always taken for granted) and to feel my body wasn’t quite delivering as it had done before. That, coupled with an increasing sense of responsibility to model some common-sense, gentle and healthy patterns for my children in terms of eating and exercise as they approached their teens and were beginning to become more influenced by the views of their friends and pictures online, started me looking around for some guidance. And I was very fussy because I had not been a dieter before and didn’t intend to become one now. I needed something that could fit into my life without making me a slave to a rigid set of anxiety-inducing rules and I was looking for something that was sustainable, consistent and absolutely fad-free.
A chance conversation with a friend who looked wonderful and was glowing with confidence, after many years of fluctuations in her weight and associated unhappiness, led to me discussing these goals and requirements. The revelation of her route to diet-free contentment introduced me to the wonderful world of Louise Parker.
Bespoke I wanted and bespoke I well and truly got!
The 6 week Transform programme ticked every box and so I arrived at Walton Street for my first session with my dietician Ariana, who went on to become the most fabulous inspiration, support and guide I could ever have imagined. Bespoke I wanted and bespoke I well and truly got! From the outset Ariana understood precisely my motivations and also the things I didn’t want to jettison along the way (daily chocolate? It was still happening). She was excited about them too and plainly got a huge kick out of supporting me to achieve them.
We started gently by increasing hydration and from there worked into the other areas the programme covers so intelligently: thinking successfully; living well, with its helpful reappraisal of bedtime routines and management of stress; working out intelligently, where, out of all the elements the programme, I made the biggest and most rewarding changes of all; and eating beautifully, which gently re-educated and re-set some basic habits with dramatic results.
I was amazed by how easy it was to fit into both my working life (despite travel and long, tiring court hearings and mediations) and our family life, where I had not expected my husband and children to fit so easily into changes. I cooked from scratch more than before, but found myself more easily able to do that when Ariana helped me pre-plan my week to ensure I covered the shopping and prep (although every LP recipe I followed was wonderfully simple and fuss-free). The food was delicious and covered family favourites that I didn’t want to lose from our weekly repertoire, as well as introducing many new and inspiring ideas.
And when I was too busy to cook there was abundant guidance on what I could pick up from a whole host of cafes, shops and chains nearby…
The inclusion of planned snacks was a complete revelation and led to a completely new sense of being on an even keel throughout the day, rather than rushing, starving, to the nearest biscuit tin in desperation mid-afternoon as had previously been the case. Breakfast suddenly felt grown-up, exciting, varied (omelettes, smoothies, birchers, blueberry porridge…) and well-managed. I looked forward to it, instead of cramming cereal or something – anything – in on my way to work or school. And when I was too busy to cook there was abundant guidance on what I could pick up from a whole host of cafes, shops and chains nearby that got me out of several tight spots and opened my eyes to the ways in which eating well can, and should, be really effortless.
…a year on and I attend classes more frequently than ever and love it even more.
As for exercise, a base-line of absolute zero meant that I approached this with real trepidation. I was in the camp of those who scoff internally at others in Lycra whilst simultaneously dreading the thought of having to do anything physical beyond the basics of walking and the odd length of breaststroke in the pool on holiday…Ariana had the measure of me though and with her encouragement I tried a number of things with only one purpose in mind: was it easy and fun enough to make me want to do it again? I tried many new things from barre to trampolining, and applying that ruthless measure of “do I want to do it again?” we arrived, totally and utterly unexpectedly, at what is now a real addiction to spin classes! There’s absolutely no requirement to be quite so full on and aerobic as that, I should add, and Ariana was as surprised as I was that this was what stuck (she had suggested many gentler alternatives). But a year on and I attend classes more frequently than ever and love it even more.
The idea of moving daily and finding genuine enjoyment in getting fitter has been the biggest and happiest surprise of the programme for me.
The associated increase in fitness has had the additional knock-on that I was recently able to face my fear and embarrassment to attend Park Run with my family and we now make that part of a regular weekend routine together. On days when spinning isn’t convenient, the exercises in Louise’s books plus a couple of apps on my phone suggested by Ariana from her encyclopaedic knowledge of everything related to health and wellness, enable me to do varied, guided workouts in short bursts while on the go and with only a hotel room or bedroom floor to work with. The idea of moving daily and finding genuine enjoyment in getting fitter has been the biggest and happiest surprise of the programme for me.
I didn’t notice the fact that weight was dropping off.
During the 6 weeks of the Transform phase, while I was busy enjoying the sensations of a greater sense of control and enjoyment in my everyday food and the changes to routines and exercise that I planned with Ariana, I didn’t notice the fact that weight was dropping off. I don’t ever bother to weigh myself at home and so Ariana’s weekly records always came as a shock – I was losing around 3lbs a week! I loved the fact that it wasn’t just weight that was measured, though. In fact Ariana seemed much less concerned with that than the fact that, via an amazing machine in the clinic, she could record that my muscle content (and therefore metabolism) was increasing exponentially, my hydration levels were increasing and my metabolic age (worryingly high at the outset!) rapidly decreased as we progressed. I was there driven by the desire to take control of my health, specifically the avoidance of a family history of type-2 diabetes, so these weekly statistics were a huge motivator and I was delighted to feel that, without any severity or grim-ness, I could make such notable and important differences to my body.
I had acquired a habit of exercise based on pure enjoyment and felt secure and organised around food choices, without having to completely throw out the things I loved, like baking with my children, eating chocolate or enjoying dinner out with friends.
Christmas approached and I reached the end of the 6 week programme. I booked in for a follow up early in the new year and got some steers from Ariana about how to maintain my progress gently over the holidays, without denial or pre-occupation. It felt completely easy and natural. When I returned for the follow-up I had lost even more weight and increased muscle mass even further. In total I had lost over 1.5 stone since my first appointment only a few weeks before, vastly reduced my body fat and increased my muscle mass. I had acquired a habit of exercise based on pure enjoyment and felt secure and organised around food choices, without having to completely throw out the things I loved, like baking with my children, eating chocolate or enjoying dinner out with friends. Those things were now much more conscious choices – and enjoyed far more as a consequence – and balanced as part of an overall picture I felt I had control over.
I came to Louise Parker for reasons of health and I have enjoyed benefits far beyond what I had hoped for – and as an added bonus have been delighted to find myself looking and feeling so much better into the bargain.
The totally bespoke, intelligent, passionate support I received from Ariana was the key for me. When you feel someone really expert is invested in your achievements and is working in a completely supportive partnership with you, it makes the most enormous difference towards success. Her focus on finding enjoyment in the food, rest and exercise choices I make has been the bedrock of wonderful changes that have seamlessly become part of my daily life.
If you’d like to hear more about the results our clients achieve, we’ve lots more testimonials here, or, if you’re interested in finding out more about the programme, please use the contact form below to get in touch with the team who will be delighted to help.