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How Diana quit calorie counting and lost 43 pounds at age 70

From a young age, Diana was taught that losing weight was the key to happiness and health, but the pressure to constantly count calories and track her progress became overwhelming. As she grew older, the medical profession failed her, always focusing on her weight rather than her overall health.

Sam Allen
Sam Allen
Community Lead
How Diana quit calorie counting and lost 43 pounds at age 70

Meet Diana Selby, the inspirational woman who decided to take control of her health after the pandemic. With concerns about her weight and joint pain, she knew it was time for a change. Enter Embla, our cutting-edge health and wellness program that gave her a new weight-loss approach. Instead of counting calories and restricting her diet, Diana found a supportive health mentor that helped her achieve her goals. In this interview, we dive into her motivation for joining Embla, the results she achieved, and the tremendous impact it's had on her life. Get inspired by Diana's journey and the power of taking charge of your health.

Member bio

Name and age: Diana, 70 years old

Lives in:
Banbury, UK

Retired Occupational Therapist

Weight loss:
19.6 kg / 43.2 lbs / 3.1 st between October 2022 and July 2023

Who is Diana?
Diana enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren and exploring her passion for needlework. She also plans to rekindle her love of sailing in the near future.

Diana's weight journey is one that many of us can relate to. From a young age, she was taught that losing weight was the key to happiness and health, but the pressure to constantly count calories and track her progress became overwhelming. As she grew older, the medical profession failed her, always focusing on her weight rather than her overall health.

But with Embla, Diana finally found someone who saw her as a person, not a number on a scale. Steph listened to her concerns and encouraged her to make mindful choices about her food without the pressure of strict rules or calorie counting. Through the program, Diana rediscovered her love for cooking and found that taking photos of her meals helped her pay attention to her portion sizes and the nutrients on her plate.

For Diana, Embla isn't just about losing weight; it's about reclaiming her health and happiness. She no longer dreads going to the doctor for fear of being judged and instead feels empowered to take control of her well-being. Through the support of Steph and the Embla community, she has learned that weight has very little to do with what you put in your mouth and that proper health comes from treating your body and mind with kindness and respect.

“I felt there had to be something better than counting everything.”

Approaching her 70th birthday, Diana knew she needed to take action on her weight for her health. Her family, especially her son, had expressed concern, heightened by the Covid pandemic. Despite having lost some weight with Slimming World in the past, Diana felt it was time for a new approach.

"I just knew I needed to lose weight. My joints were beginning to complain, and I knew that if I lost just half a stone, then my joints were reasonably happy."

Counting every calorie and restricting her food choices wasn't appealing anymore. That's when she stumbled upon Dr Large, a friend on Facebook, who introduced her to Embla.Embla offered a refreshing and empowering way to approach weight loss. Rather than being bogged down by strict rules and limitations, Diana felt she had more control over her choices. She could still enjoy the foods she loved while learning to balance her meals and make healthier choices.

But more than just finding a new program, Diana knew that her mindset was vital to her success. She believed in herself and her ability to make positive changes. And with Embla, she found the support and guidance she needed to stay on track.

Diana's journey with Embla wasn't just about losing weight but finding a sustainable and fulfilling approach to wellness. By prioritising her health, she could improve her overall quality of life and feel better in her skin.

Then she met her Embla mentor Steph

Diana has been on a weight loss journey for a long time, and it started in her early teens. This mentality stuck with her throughout her life, and even during pregnancy, she was criticised for putting on too much weight. So when she recently went for a health check, she refused to stand on the scales because she didn't want them to be in control.

"It was about control. If I stood on those scales, those scales would have been in control."

But then she met Steph, who listened to her and understood her struggles.

"She understood that my weight journey started in my early teens. And back then, you were told, “You need to lose weight and count calories”. And it's with you the whole of your life. It's just horrible."

As a member of Embla, you always start with the lowest medication dose. If you are on Ozempic, it is 0.25 mg. After that, we assess you every 4 weeks to determine whether you should increase or decrease the dose or stay at the same level. Diana started on 0.25mg in November 2022, stayed on 0.25mg until the end of January, and then increased to 0.5mg in February (so only increased after 3 months) and is now beginning to taper off the medication.

Steph encouraged Diana to take photos of her food to be more mindful of her eating and share them with her. Steph's positivity and regular check-ins were a game-changer for Diana, who felt more accountable and honest about her journey. Although Diana still has moments of frustration, like when she desperately wanted to be below 70, now she knows that setbacks are a natural part of the process.

“If that's happened at Slimming World, I'd have gone home and had fish and chips. But I don't feel like that now. So think, okay, it didn't happen today. But, you know, it'll happen soon."

Working with Steph has given her a newfound sense of control and positivity, which has made all the difference in her journey.

"Steph has been amazingly positive, "I found working with her good. “I don't do needles, and I was very worried about learning to do it."

Diana was initially apprehensive about self-injecting, but with the help of Embla's doctor, Ollie, she learned to do it and found that it was not a problem. She was also worried about how her son would react to her using medication.

“I thought, 'I'm not telling my son Richard about the medication.' But I went up to stay with Rich and his family, and I thought I am going to tell him, and he just said, 'Mom, that's great, that's absolutely wonderful.' He works in the science world, so he was perfectly happy."

A positive mindset has helped her overcome her old habits of over-indulging.

At Embla, Diana found a nurturing environment that allowed her to embrace her preferred way of doing things. For example, she realised that having chocolate in the house was not a problem as long as it was her choice not to have it.

"The main problem in the past was ‘slimming world’ or whatever; you're counting things. Constantly counting things. And that makes you think you can have this much protein or veg and so many ”sins”. That makes you very aware of the things you're missing, so in the past, if I had one piece of chocolate, I'd have the bar."

This positive mindset helped her overcome her old habits of overindulging when she did have sweets. And even though she still feels the pull of the scale and the desire to be below a specific number, she knows it's okay and has the support she needs to succeed.

“I think this is really important, that people know there's science behind this.”

Diana's journey with Embla has improved not only her physical health but also her mental well-being. She feels more energised and in a better place mentally.

"My joints say thank you very much, and I'm much more energised. I think I'm mentally in a better place. My general well-being has improved".

As a personal advocate of the program, Diana encourages others to join Embla but stresses the importance of being honest with oneself. Cheating oneself will only hinder progress and growth. The mentors at Embla have been a crucial support system for Diana.

"I would highlight the amazing support that mentors give you”.

The communication with the medical team reassured her that her progress was being monitored and evaluated holistically. Diana emphasises the significance of Embla's program. It's not just calorie counting and eating low-fat foods; there is a genuine scientific foundation.

“I think this is really important, that people know there's science behind this. So, you know, it's not just whoever set up a slimming world who thought it would be a good idea if we all had 1200 calories a day and a few treats, but I think that if people know that there is science behind it."

As someone who has tried various weight loss programs, Diana knows that adhering to the changes in lifestyle is the key to maintaining weight loss. Unless one is committed to making the changes.

“In my history, I've taken tablets to fill my stomach. I've tried it all; slim fast, all the things meant to stop you from eating as much. But, unless it can become your norm, then yes, it's likely that the weight will creep back on."

Diana's journey with Embla has transformed not only her physical health but also her outlook on life. Her success with the program has left her feeling grateful and excited for the future!

You can hear more from Diana in this video!

In this article
Sam Allen
Sam Allen
Community Lead

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