plan content
Nutrition  Stress  Physical activity  Mood  Sleep

PUBLIC GUIDE: My personal success story by Dr Holly Whelan, Founder

Summary

Living Younger helped me get back in control of my life. I lost 11 lbs and over 8 cm off my waist. It also helped me to sleep better and be more able to deal with stress. I felt so much more positive about life and back to my younger more vibrant self. Loads of people noticed the difference, and one friend even asked me if I had had "work done"!

  • Age: 47
  • Years "taken off":  5
  • Key lifestyle improvements: Stress, Sleep, Mood, Body Shape & Weight, Physical Activity, Life Satisfaction

My Story 

As someone who had always prided being able to "do it all", I was dismayed to find that I had started feeling overwhelmed by the life I had created (work, children, hobbies, friends and relationships etc).  I felt out of control, was sleeping badly, and was increasingly turning to artificial stimulants like as caffeine, chocolate and alcohol. At 45, I was putting on weight, wasn't really enjoying life and felt old before my time - I hated it and was starting to hate myself.

I know it sounds a cliche, but creating and then living a Younger Life literally changed my life. 

I realised that the areas that were "ageing" me were my emotional eating, lack of physical activity, high stress levels and poor sleep. But most importantly, the research showed me that they were all inter-related, and the key to being able to change my life first had to come from me changing my outlook on life and believing that things could change.

Specifically I knew that my stress levels were causing my sleep problems, however, I hadn't fully realised that this meant I had no energy to exercise and was instead relying on caffeine, chocolate and high fat rubbish to get my energy highs. It was a vicious cycle I had to break.

I found I really liked eating the Mediterranean way, and it was social and it allowed me to have a glass of wine. It also wasn't too difficult to keep to the 1500 cals a day using the recipes. I did however find starting to exercise hard, but I forced myself to do a 20 minute workout 5 times per week. After just two weeks I had lost 4lbs and 5 cm off my waist, I couldn't believe it, and it really gave me a massive confidence boost to continue and I even stepped up my exercise intensity levels.

At around 4 weeks in, I had a very stressful week, and realised that the initial high of losing weight was not going to be enough to keep me on track long term. I started to also focus on developing stress management techniques and force myself out of my usual mode of having to prove I could do everything myself. I asked my friends and family for help and was in incredibly touched by their support. I also found that doing the gratitude diary every morning and night really made me think more positively than I might usually do.

Within 7 weeks, I had taken 5 years off. I had also lost 11 lbs and 8 cm off my waist, was significantly fitter, sleeping better and able to deal with stress better. My more honest approach had also got me closer to my friends and family, and I felt much more positive and in control of my life. 

Postscript: 1 year later I have maintained the good habits I learnt, and although I sometimes I have a few bad days, I am always able to come back to the principles of Living Younger and get back in control. I feel a much greater sense of happiness, purpose and life satisfaction living this way, and I wish you the same success - good luck!