#‎SlimForTheSummer‬: The Realisation That It’s Not All My Fault

AS some people reading this will already know, earlier this month I was inspired by my good friend Stuart Robinson who started a public campaign through his radio show to get #‎SlimForTheSummer‬ and in typical Stuart style he’s got half the country behind him.

In my first blog post: Is It Just Physical Weight I Need To Lose Or Is There More To It? I talked about how Stuart had inspired me – in just one of his video blogs – to “sort my life out” and I started thinking about what weight meant to me and what it was I was trying to achieve.

I realised quite quickly that a simple weight loss plan was not going to work for me, no matter how much I wanted to “publicly shame” myself into doing it. I realised that what I was looking for was a ‘change of lifestyle’ and more often than not that can be more difficult than just shifting a bit of excess weight…I wanted to challenge everything about myself, every habit I had and every lifestyle choice I made.


Stuart Robinson Day 3 (left) and Day 50 (right). On Day 50 he had lost a staggering 2st 8lb taking his weight from 19.1st to 16.5st

Stuart Robinson Day 3 (left) and Day 50 (right). On Day 50 he had lost a staggering 2st 8lb taking his weight from 19.1st to 16.5st

Now, this isn’t a new concept for me. Around the middle of 2015 I decided to begin embarking on a number of complementary health practices after realising that putting my trust in the NHS to deal with my existing conditions (hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia and a screwed up lower back) just wasn’t working. I wasn’t being taken seriously, I was being fobbed off, I was made to feel like I was lying and to cut a long story short I wasn’t actually being medicated properly or efficiently for anything – but then again, when a test result pops out the word “normal”, even if it’s in the lower range of normal…who are we mere mortals who actually live in our bodies to argue…well, I did and what that gets you is even worse treatment and a letter from a consultant at a hospital telling your GP that they aren’t allowed to change/increase or amend your medication without their approval – which of course they won’t give.

So, there I was in mid-2015 with a 2-year-old boy, a body growing in size (albeit slowly) and beginning to fail and a mental and emotional state that was becoming more and more fractured.

Out of all 7 GPs and consultants I’ve seen over the last few years every single one of them blamed every symptom, ailment and medical issue I had on my weight. One decided I was so fat that she prescribed me “weight watchers or slimming world because they can be very good to get rid of excess weight quickly”. I was absolutely horrified, mostly because my diet isn’t actually that bad. This was also after a 4 month gym obsession that garnered me absolutely zero results.

Time for help

At that time I enlisted the help of the The Health & Wellbeing Co and received some Mindfulness sessions with mental health expert and life coach Jimmy Smyth as well as complementary therapies from Liz Elliott and Mary Jane Burns. Finally, I began to feel “well’er”. My body and mind were responding positively and I was taking notice.

But that wasn’t enough…a couple of busy weeks and suddenly I had forgotten their techniques and found that I was losing commitment to what had been so life-changing. I had to ask myself why?

Jimmy Smyth, Mary Jane Burns & Liz Elliott

Jimmy Smyth, Mary Jane Burns & Liz Elliott of The Health & Wellbeing Co

It wasn’t their treatments or their advice or even their techniques that they showed me. It was me. I needed to stop taking a “sticky plaster” approach to my health and wellbeing, ironically, something Mary Jane, Liz and Jimmy all explained. It had to be a change of mindset in order to effectively change and break the habits of a lifetime.  Blog post to come on the work I did with The Health & Wellbeing Co.

Cue #‎SlimForTheSummer‬, this was the perfect time for me. I knew I wanted to make a change and I had a medium by which I could do it that would allow me to “join” other people as they made a change too. Only I wanted a different type of change. And I knew I couldn’t do it alone.


Tessa Greer

So here’s my confession…I drafted in the big guns. Not only am I continuing on with the support offered to me by the Health & Wellbeing Co due to their fantastic approach to looking at holistic health but I’m also now receiving what I can only describe as vital-to-my-success support from a friend and colleague Tessa Greer.

Tessa is the creator of the TONIC Health & Wellness movement, who aim to promote a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. I believe so much in what they’re doing – she can’t get rid of me….and I’m really excited to be collaborating on their first TONIC Festival, taking place across Northern Ireland from May 29 to June 4.


Through my involvement with TONIC I learned that not only was Tessa a Sound Healing specialist through her company The Sound Healing Spa but she was also a holistic wellness coach who works to guide her clients through a range of holistic health solutions looking at everything from their mindset and lifestyle choices to how they develop their behaviours surrounding fitness and nutrition through her Project Me company.

Essentially, she’s like a personal trainer with a difference. Our goal isn’t solely focused on weight loss meaning that for me success is measured in more ways than one.

In just two weeks, with Tessa’s help, I have made extraordinary changes to my life, observed a huge amount about my habits and lifestyle and been able to really analyse what isn’t working for me, why it isn’t working and begin to discuss and take action on ways to deal with those elements of my lifestyle.

T10393713_263876680467615_3123029461037166587_nhe difference being involved with Project Me has made in my life is so massive that I’m actually having to do a post solely on my progress so far. For me admitting that I needed help in any aspect of my life is huge, actually taking the help and support from both the Health & Wellbeing Co and Tessa at Project Me is even bigger.

What’s more is I definitely couldn’t even attempt this if it wasn’t for my partner Ciaran McElhinney who has recognised how important this is for me to do in a way that works for me. His practical support in physically shopping for items he wouldn’t normally shop for and making small changes to meals he is cooking has been absolutely vital to my success so far.

My journey didn’t start with Stuart’s #‎SlimForTheSummer‬ campaign, however, what it did do was get me to stop procrastinating – something I didn’t even realise I was doing.

I suppose Nike were right when they coined the phrase “Just Do It”.

About the Author

Tina Calder
Journalist, commentator, author and content creator specialising in showbiz, entertainment, business, trade, human interest and lifestyle.