From Emma, a participant (September 2019 group):
I wasn’t even looking for a weight loss programme, I was looking for a dance class! But I was really interested in the approach, and felt like the time was right. Or maybe it was my subconscious….whirring away in the background?!? Of course this is at the very core of the AWOYM ethos, the enormous power of the subconscious, and the psychological tools needed to keep it where it should be. I've tried a few programmes in the past, lost a bit of weight, done a bit more exercise… and then lapsed. AWOYM starts at the other end of the problem, looks at the big, deeply ingrained behaviours and issues, removes the outrageous goals, claims and rigidity and works to get the client aware of the issues and responsible for changing them.
I was immediately attracted by the fact that both leaders are nutritionists - reassured that there would be no gimmicks or questionable practices. The programme is eminently sensible and un-prescriptive. Discussions revolve around food and lifestyles that match my own (why is it that so many weight-loss programmes assume you spend your life in McDonalds?).
Support comes at two levels. Sharon and Clem really work hard to find the issues and triggers that could be relevant for each client, and are a fount of dietary knowledge, books and brilliant recipes. They keep a close eye on what you’re eating week to week and are quick to spot patterns and suggest nutritional tweaks.
Secondly, there’s the group. This has been a real surprise. The focus isn’t on who has lost weight, how much etc, but on how people are managing, what behaviours they’ve changed. We swap tips on exercise, family/friend ‘management’, restaurants, work, holidays and the challenges that go with all of these. Someone else always seems to have had the same problem at some point! I didn’t know anyone at the beginning, but feel part of a strong, well-informed and motivated group now.
From Toni, a participant (September 2019 group):
I have been battling with my weight for the last five years, partly due to health complications. I’ve tried to lose weight a number of times, using methods that have worked for me in the past. Nothing has worked...until I met Clem and Sharon. I have lost a stone in 10 weeks and find their programme so easy to follow. I don’t feel that I’m depriving myself or ‘suffering’ but I’m eating much more healthily. What makes AWOYM stand out is the ongoing support from Clem and Sharon and the rest of the group. We spend time talking about the psychology behind our relationship with food and learn strategies for dealing with it. We laugh and we commiserate, we share and we listen...I can honestly say I really look forward to our classes every week.
From Monicà, a participant (September 2019 group):
had been battling with an excessive weight gain for the past 4 years. I knew I needed help but I couldn’t find anything suitable. I don’t do diets any more I’ve tried them all and yes, they don’t work for me! Then came this email from a friend with the information about Clem and Sharon’s program and from the moment I read it I knew that’s what I was looking for.
With Clem & Sharon I felt I could do it. Their approach to weight loss is unique, the group weekly meetings was the best and my favourite part of the program it kept me motivated, excited to see what we were going to learn the following week and on my toes. The tools I learned in every session are to stay with me for life. It is so different how I see and how I make decisions around food. It was funny, it was emotional, it was supportive. I lost 9 kgs (20 pounds) in the first stage of the program. 12 weeks