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Rosemary Conley Slimming Club

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      19.09.2011 18:08
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      Don't be put off, but be prepared before you go!

      I recently saw an advert in my local paper, offering free membership to Rosemary Conley classes if you cut the voucher out and took it with you. Thinking that it would be a good way to get into shape before my forthcoming wedding, I decided to give it a go. I found a class a short drive from my house, and off I went.

      The class lasts for an hour and a half, and costs £5.80 each session. You can get a monthly pass which costs around £24, and this gives you access to as many classes as you want, which is useful for people working shifts who can't commit to the same night or day each week, and also anyone who wants to do a couple of classes a week. With the monthly membership you also get a free copy of the Rosemary Conley magazine, and a few other little perks which makes it very worthwhile if you're taking this seriously.

      The class is structured so that the first half hour or so is the "weigh in". This is a very private affair where your result isn't broadcasted to the class. You simply wait in line and then you get weighed by the person running the class. You'll get a card with a record of all these weigh ins so you can track your own progress. After the weigh in, there is a motivational talk where you get tips and advice for sticking to the diet, and you might get news on Rosemary Conley social events (e.g. the annual roadshow), or new products on the market which fit in with the diet. There is also a Slimmer of the Week certificate awarded and all weight losses are announced (but you're not embarrased if you've put weight on or not lost). After that, there is an exercise class which lasts around 45 minutes, and I think it was the combination of exercise and dieting which drew me to this class.

      Unfortunately, I didn't last longer than a couple of sessions before giving this up and deciding to lose weight in my own way. The main reason for this was the diet, which seemed to me to be a little bit like a 'crash' diet and not overly good for the body. The diet is designed to kick start your weight loss, and for the first two weeks you're only allowed 1200 calories per day. You are given booklets with examples of meals which makes life a bit easier, but you're not allowed anything over 5% fat (i.e. it must have 5g or less per 100g), no alcohol and no treats. A lot of the meals involve Quorn which I'm not a fan of, but there are alternatives and the magazine has new ideas for low fat meals. You are given portion pots which help with portion control, although when you see how much rice you're allowed you wonder whether it's worth the bother of cooking it! The calories are laid out per meal so you know what you are supposed to be consuming throughout the day:

      Breakfast - 200 calories
      Morning power snack - 50 calories
      Lunch - 300 calories
      Afternoon power snack - 50 calories
      Dinner - 400 calories
      Milk - 200 calories

      This made shopping quite tricky because it took hours to get round the shop whilst examining the fat content and calories in EVERYTHING. You're not supposed to have butter or margarine, but instead use jam (which is high in sugar) as an alternative. I think the thing that made this difficult for me was having to plan each meal beforehand, to the extent where I was getting ready for work and counting out portions of 12 seedless grapes for my power snack in the morning, and weighing dried apricots for my afternoon power snack. Life really is too short to count out grapes, I mean at the end of the day it's better than eating chocolate so is there the need to be quite so strict?

      After the first two weeks (if you make it this far!) you go up to 1400 calories per day which includes a treat of either alcohol or some kind of sweet treat from a list (e.g one chocolate covered hobnob). After these two weeks are up, the instructor will work out your calorie intake based on gender, age and weight.

      By the end of the first week I felt hungry, weak and quite depressed to be honest. I'd read in one of the books that you're supposed to take a vitamin supplement whilst following the diet, which I didn't like because I'm a big fan of having a good relationship with food and getting all the nutrients and vitamins you need from your diet. I decided after a couple of weeks that this wasn't for me, as it was making me miserable and my poor fiancé wondered what had happened to me! I think the turning point was when we were out shopping and he looked at me and said " You really don't look well you know, I don't think this diet's doing you any good". I looked in the mirror and looked pale and poorly. Lets just say we ended up getting a McDonalds on the way home and I've never enjoyed a meal so much!

      I have adopted some of the principles of the diet and I think it has helped in that it's taught me a valuable lesson in recognising how many calories are in the food we eat, and how many calories we put away each day by snacking for the sake of it. So in future I will try to balance my diet a bit better and will learn to say no when the cakes are flying round work (not every time though!).

      The exercise class was quite basic, but there are advanced versions of the moves. I guess it's quite hard for the instructor to balance the people who are obese with those just toning up, so for this reason it's quite low key. I think I'd be better off eating more sensibly, and maybe joining a more active exercise class, but that's because I don't have a huge amount of weight to lose. I think if you were very overweight this class might work and you might be more motivated, but unfortunately I just think life's too short to starve yourself. I'd rather be a bit overweight and happy to be honest!

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        22.12.2010 21:42
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        There are better online diet clubs out there

        This review relates to the website - Rosemary Conley Online, not the clubs. You can join up for around £35 per month or £50 for 3 months or £80 for a year. Although this was the most expensive option I joined for a month to see if the website was worth signing up to for a longer period of time.

        In principle it is a nice idea to be able to access a diet club from your computer anywhere instead of attending meetings once a week. In practice however this service left a lot to be desired:

        The website is counter-intuitive and cumbersome to navigate.

        The food database that you use for the online daily dairy (where you list what you have eaten) is very, very, very simple. You constantly have to add new foods into your personal database - just basic foods that you would find if you bought a book listing food calories. There are no pre-programmed options for restaurant food - so you basically end up guessing how many calories there were.

        You would be better off buying yourself a calorie counting book and using an Excel spreadsheet to record your calories. It would be far simpler than using the cumbersome add new food to your personal database.

        There is no recipe builder - this is fine if you live on ready meals or buy mostly pre-prepared food but a problem if like me you like to cook from scratch.

        The food suggestions from the diet are included in a separate screen to your daily diary, so you have to go and look for them then go back to your diary.

        The daily diary is cumbersome to add food to, if you want to get the food displayed in order of meals you have to put in the time that you ate it. I found it to be unnecessarily tedious. I think the diary is set up with the idea you would follow the food suggestions and it would work fine if that was all you ate but I found it to be very expensive to follow those suggestions. As I live alone I also found that I had a lot of left over food after the first week - the recipe will say use one chicken breast, well you can't just buy one etc.

        The forums are dead - there are about five people who post regularly but other than that it is completely empty. I could see forums that hadn't been posted in for several months. So if you are looking for a bustling community atmosphere you're best to look elsewhere.

        The website really doesn't offer much more than buying the book. As a subscriber I would not say that the website is value for money. All you get is a database that is lacking in foods (my friend had a calorie counting book about five years old and I could find the calories for the food I had in that book but not on the rconline website)- you have to add most of them, a diary that is tedious to complete, and forums that are populated by a handful of people. There is also a chat room which I never used. You can also find recipes on the website but that is it as far as subscriber only content goes.

        One plus point I did notice that the staff post updates and answer questions quite frequently - there is a diet coach and a fitness coach if memory serves me correctly.

        I also noticed that Rosemary Conley has a large number of videos - exercise, cooking etc available free of charge on rosemaryconley.tv - surely it would be an idea to have some subscriber only content of this nature as well?

        In conclusion Rosemary Conley Online was poor value for what it was - basically an on-line version of the book with a recipe book attached and forums. You would be better off if you bought the diet book, and one of the recipe books. Then used MS Excel to keep track of your calories as I mentioned earlier. There are plenty of free forums on the internet where you can chat with other dieters.

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          11.01.2010 21:19
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          Great plan . . . . . go join!!

          I joined Rosemary Conley Slimming Club last year and it was brilliant. I only went for six weeks as can no longer get to the group but enjoyed it while I was there.

          The plan is basically healthy eating and exercise which we all know is the only way to lose weight. I was eating a low fat diet of around 1200 calories a day and it is suggested that you exercise three or four times a week. I only exercised on the day I went to meeting and still managed to lose 3 and a half pounds in my first week then two pounds every week for the next five weeks.

          When you go to meetings you have such a good time. You start by getting weighed then when everyone is settled your leader then gives a ten minute talk on a different subject each week. Then its exercise time . . . . . The exercise is varied every week so all body parts are being used. Your leader shows you high and low impact ways of doing the exercises so everyone is working in their right range.

          I find it hard sticking to diets and have been on and off plans since my son was born three and a half years ago. I'm going back to Weight Watchers next week but that's only because the meeting is closer to me than the Rosemary Conley class. The good thing about the Rosemary Conley class is that if you don't find time to exercise throughout the week at least you have exercised while you were at the meeting.

          If you want to join a meeting, if you go onto the Rosemary Conley website and print off a coupon, they are doing a deal at the moment where you can register free which will save you £10.00! The meetings are £5.60. When you register you receive information for the new Amazing Inch Loss diet plan, a set of Portion Pots, an Introductory DVD explaining the Amazing Inch Loss Plan and a brand-new Rosemary Conley Magic Measure which shows dieters how many inches they lose as they progress on the diet.

          Overall, the Rosemary Conley plan is fantastic and you will definitely see results if you stick with it.

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          09.02.2009 17:06
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          Only one that actually works - and bets value for money

          UNREAL! This club set up is amazing. I have nearly reached my goal weight, and have lost 3 stones along the way.

          The club set up: For your money you get a weigh in, personal advice and a 10 minute talk topic ALSO you then get a 45 minute exercise session. The exercise is structured so you can take part at any level - from the people who haven't exercised for years, to the girls who are just maintaining their weight. Everyone is made to feel comfortable and no-one, whatever size was made to feel stupid (something which i was worried about!)

          The talk topic was very motivational, and i even received freebies too! (low cal sweets, Hartleys jellys, low cal twigletts)

          All instructors are trained by the guru Rosemary Conley herself, so you know you are following advice from a real person who 'walks the walk'

          I have lost so much weight through her - i have tried all the competition - i put on a few pounds with weight watchers and lost 2 pounds with slimming world (i was told just to eat less......!!!)

          The whole set up is friendly and compared to the rest, much better value too as you get a whole exercise session and a talk. with the rest i just sat around talking to friends until everyone was weighed!

          The Rosemary Conley products fit well with the club atmosphere and are available to buy with a 10% discount if you buy through your instructor. You get lots with your membership - portion pots are included for free - Amazing little gadgets which give you exact portion sizes when cooking (no more counting points or syns!!???!!)

          My advice - go for it - it will be the best decision you ever make!

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          04.02.2009 17:39
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          Brilliant motivating teachers and great support for weight loss

          I have joined Rosemary Conley Slimming Club this year and have to say it is brilliant.

          I was always worried about joining "fat class" as I thought I could "go it alone!". However, I was wrong (as I usually am) and the motivation and enthusiasm it has given me is amazing!

          ****The Theory****
          Is easy, its based upon exercise (three or four times a week) and low fat food (less than 5% fat) and around 1500 Kcals a day.

          It is no faddy diet with shakes and starving yourself and neither is it diet pills or only eating certain foods.

          When you start you get weighing pots to weigh out certain foods to ensure that you keep within the recommended guidelines. The information booklets are invaluable with recipe ideas and calorie values for each foods.

          ****The Class***
          Is around an hour long and each week you get weighed first of all which is logged on computer and your record card, so you can see how well you are doing.

          Then there is a short talk on diet, exercise, meal ideas etc which is informative and very useful.

          Then last but not least there is an exercise aerobics class which is split into low and high impact depending on your level of fitness.

          ***Friendly and Fun***
          Is the attitude of the class. This is meant to be a change of lifestyle not just something you do as a quick fix or for a couple of weeks.

          ***My Experience***
          I will be honest at times it is hard to stick to healthy eating but I know that I will be going to the class and being weighed, that is my motivation. I rarely follow the recipes (as I have a husband and three young children to cook for) BUT I do adapt my meals accordingly, for instance having smaller portions and cutting right down on carbs, such as potatoes and bread, increasing vegetable or salad intake instead.

          For my chocolate fix I now have an options hot chocolate and my crisp cravings are kerbed by snack-a-jacks.

          I also go with friends, which also keeps me well motivated and everyone is so friendly.

          Classes cost £5.50 per week (but when you think you get an exercise class that is pretty good) and joining is £10.00 but you can get a discount voucher on line to join.

          ***Verdict***
          I have lost over a stone so far and have two to go....... ten out of ten for Rosemary!!

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            17.10.2007 21:54
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            It does what it says on the tin. Low GI, low fat & exercise - a winning combination to losing weight

            I joined Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness classes when encouraged by a friend in March 2006, carelessly saying yes without thinking. Since then however i've never looked back and have managed to lose 5 1/2 stones and i'm still on the road to reach my goal weight of 10 stones. Safe to say i haven't looked so slyph-like since i was a teenager.
            The concept is simple - stick to a low GI low fat (less than 5% fat per 100g of food) and you won't go wrong. It works - it really works!
            The other main ingredient is exercise. You can lose weight without it, but you won't look as good, you won't feel as good and you won't lose weight as quickly. You'll very soon have shapely shoulders and stronger stomach muscles. I don't yet have the washboard stomach, and may never achieve it but it's a goal worth aiming for, even at my advanced age!
            Class leaders are friendly and cheerful and most of them have been in a similar body crisis situation with weight to lose so they know what they're talking about.
            Don't waste any more time procrastinating with excuses not to start your new life - find your nearest class and join tomorrow.

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              12.01.2006 13:52
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              friendly people, fantastic exercise routines, easy to follow diet.

              I joined the Rosemary Conley diet and fitness club in January 2005 as a new years resolution to lose weight. Well, a year on and i'm still a member, have so far lost 33lbs (2stone 5lb) and although my progress is fairly slow I am loving every minute of it. Ok, so it hasn't been easy by any means especially if you are a fatty food fanatic like me, but I have to say, this diet or "change of lifestyle" should I say, has been the most effective and enjoyable I have tried...and believe me, i've tried them all.

              ---Joining---
              It costs £7.50 to become a member and then £5 per week to get weighed and do 45 minutes of areobic exercise. If you don't want to do the exercise you don't have to - its optional and nobody will think any less of you if you don't. Once you are a member you can go to as many exercise classes as you like for just £3.70 per class. You should also look on the website www.rosemary-conley.co.uk before joining as there are sometimes vouchers to join for free or a free exercise class. You can also find your nearest class and find out information about the the instructor in your area with a list of all the times and venues that the classes are held.
              There are three different payment options, you can pay as you go, as explained above or you can become a premier member, its £18.99 per month paying by standing order or direct debit from your bank, you get all your weigh-ins and exercise classes (one per week) paid for, you also get a subscription to Rosemary's Diet and Fitness magazine which has loads of recipies and success stories. It works out at a small saving from the pay as you go option. The other option is Premier Plus which is what I do. It is £26.99 a month and with this you get everything you get with normal premier but you can go to as many exercise classes as you like, I go to about 5classes a week as I enjoy it so much! So if you are going to be doing as many classes as I do it works out really good value for money as its generally cheaper than a gym membership.

              ---The Diet---
              In the first two weeks you are put on a "Kick Start" Diet, where you can eat no more than 1200 calories a day and all fizzy or carbonated drinks, alcohol and tea and coffee is banned! But this is just for 2 weeks and basically shocks and detoxes your body so these are the weeks you will see your biggest weight loss, this also gives you the motivation to continue as you are seeing results. You get a kick start diet plan in your first week that you have to follow, you choose a breakfast, Lunch and Dinner from the list of options which is really good as it is designed to cover every level of lifestyle and cooking ability. In the second week you are given your pack which includes a motivational CD of Rosemary conley, which is really good to listen to when you are in the car or washing up etc. you also get a food diary or the bible as I call it which is a little black book of loads of foods with less than 5% fat that you are allowed. After your first 2weeks on the kick start diet, I lost nearly 1/2 a stone in these 2 weeks, you are given a calorie allowance by your class instructor which is calculated especially for you depending on your age, weight and health. From then on you are allowed any foods under 5% fat per 100g as long as you stick within your calorie allowance for the day. You are also allowed a treat every day of any fat content as long as it is 150calories or less. You can also save these treats up and have them all at once if you want to, I often save my treats up for a Saturday night and have a few glasses of wine or a big ol chocolate bar! It is very easy to stick you, you just have to get in to the right frame of mind, to look at everything you eat and make sure that it is 5% fat or less. Its so much easier nowadays as well with all the healthier options avaliable. You do have to be careful though as a lot of foods that are advertised as "low fat" are often very high in calories so you really have to look at the back of all foods you buy.

              ---The Exercise---
              The exercise is a 45 minute aerobic workout including a proper warm-up, the main workout where you can work to your own pace depending on your fitness level. When I first started I was so unfit, I could not do any high impact work, but I have to say I did not feel out of place at all, there are people of all different ages and abilities so its really welcoming. The instructor will plan different routines for you to do (she will usually change these every 6 weeks or so) these include things like ham string curls, grapevines, double side steps, its all very straight forward and you can pick new moves up easily as everyone is in the same boat, the instructor will only work as fast as you can go. The warm up and main workout last for around half an hour after you have cooled down you will do some toning exercises like sit ups or leg raises or push ups (i hate them!) So it is advisable to take a towel or a mat to lay on. If the exercise is in a school or a gym they may have mats avaliable but I always take something just incase. The session is finished by cooling right down, stretching all the muscles and having a relaxation period where you can just "flop" out and chill (this is my favourite part!) I strongly reccommend taking a big bottle of water or squash with you as you do get really sweaty and dehydrated. My instructor has just started doing "Salcacise" classes which is just fantastic, you get to workout and feel sexy whilst learning salsa moves, I would really reccommend this class.

              ---Being a member---
              One of the best things about being a member (other than losing weight) is the people. You make so many friends, and its great seeing everyone doing so well around you. It honestly gives me more motivation to go along so I can see how all my new friends have got on. Every week your instructor will read out how much everyone has lost (she will never read out your actual weight or tell people if you have put on weight that week - it does happen believe me!) We all clap everyones progress and the person who has lost the most weight that week is awarded with a "Slimmer of the Week" certificate. You are also awarded with a certificate with every stone you lose (i got my 2 stone one last night!!) Every week your instructor will give you a short talk about motivation for the next week which is always a good laugh! When getting weighed you stand in a queue with the scales placed well away from anyone else so nobody other than you and your instructor will know you weight.

              ---Instructors---
              The instuctors are highly trained to help you with a healthy weight loss and exercise programme. They are always there to help you with any questions or queries about the diet. They are not like the stereotypical "fat fighters" instructors that will tell you off for putting on or anything like that. If you do happen to put on weight one week your instuctor will go through what you have eaten and any reason there may be for your gain. She may give you a diet sheet to fill out so that you can go through where you are going wrong for the next week. With the exercise, if for some reason you are unable to do a particular move due to health or injury reasons your instructor is there to help you with alternative exercises and movements. I class my instructor as a friend now, she has 100% dedication and genuinely loves to get involved with how well you are doing, its like a little family!

              ---Conclusion---

              In conclusion I have to say that I love everything about the Rosemary Conley diet and fitness club. And it really works! The only slight criticism I have and I will say it now as I want to end on a high note, is that not many men go to the classes, which I feel is a shame as it will suit everyone. A male friend of mine has actually joined the class and he really enjoys it, however I think he feels a little uncomfortable when doing the exercise as he is the only male. So all those men out there that want to lose a some weight and get fit should get themselves down to a class!
              In comparison to some of the other weight loss programmes like Weight Watchers and Slimmers World, Im sure the diets they provide do work, but Rosemary Conley is the only programme that gets you back in shape by doing exercise as well, and I think thats the best thing about it.
              Its not always easy but equally its not a race, and they do say the longer it takes to take off the more likely you are to keep it off. Its more of a lifestyle change than a diet and the people make it the wonderful little community that it is. The diet itself is only a small part of what can be. Together with the help of your instructor you really will see good results.

              Thanks for reading
              Vicki :o)

              *note* I originally posted this review on www.ciao.co.uk under the user name yeahbutnobut. I have changed some of the infomation slightly so that it is completely up-to-date.

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                04.05.2005 13:29
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                My biggest achievement so far in 2005 has been losing 2 stone in 13 weeks. I could not have done it without Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness clubs.

                I have been gradually gaining weight for about ten years. At a size 18-20 on my lower half I was a bit depressed at my appearance. I have tried to diet by myself but I always chuck it in after one too many packets of crisps that have tempted me. I had thought about slimming clubs in the past to motivate myself but I was not sure I wanted to spend £5 a week on being weighed and lectured.

                So what was different about Rosemary Conley?

                The main difference between Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness clubs and other slimming clubs is the emphasis on fitness. I think others would recommend exercise but this one goes further and you get a 45 minute aerobics workout at every meeting. Each meeting costs £4.95 and consists of a weigh in, a talk from the group leader and then the exercise part. I do not mind paying this as an aerobics class at my local leisure centre costs £3.60 so this is comparable. (There is a reduction in price if you just do the exerciser routine as a second class a week without the weigh in). I quite enjoy the classes as I like the comradeship and empathy of others in a similar situation. I also find going to a class keeps me on track as I know I have to face the scales every week. I also like the class as it is not too intimidating Ruth the group leader is friendly and very encouraging and full of good advice if you are not doing so well (something I have never experienced. My new nickname I the ever shrinking woman!!). Your result is private. Weight losses (not gains) are read out anonymously unless you are the Slimmer of the Week. In this instance you are rewarded with a certificate. The only problem I find with the weighing process is that because the class is very popular it seems to go on for ages. I see it as a chance to catch up with everyone else.

                The exercise program is not too bad. The movers are clearly demonstrated and the routines stay fairly constant so you feel confident doing them and thus can work harder on them. I found that I could follow the routine after a couple of sessions pretty easily. All group leaders have qualification in teaching aerobics so they are safe to do with a good warm up, and cool down with the relevant stretches. There is also a floor work section if there is enough time which I can tell you can be a bit of a killer.

                So what is the diet like?

                It is not too bad. It is a caloric counted one with an emphasis on low fat eating. For the first two weeks you are advised to try the Quick Results diet. This is low calorie and pretty strict. You are only allowed 1200 calories and the foods should not contain more than four percent. We were also advised against drinking alcohol. This does seem pretty stringent but I found because it was for only two weeks I could tolerate not having any treats at all. I lost 8 ponds in total in the first two weeks. I can see why it is recommended to keep members interested by instant results.

                After the first two weeks you are given a calorie limit based on your age, weight, height and how much you have to lose. I was given 1700 calories but was recommended to try and aim for 1400 during the week so I could relax a bit at the weekend. This stage of the eating plan recommends most of your food contain no more than 5% fat. There are two exceptions. You ate allowed a portion of oily fish a week due to the Omega 3 oils in them (the good fats). You are also allowed a 150 calorie treat a day. This can be anything with any fat content as long as it is 150 calories or less. If you want a bigger treat you have to save your treats up. There is a milk allowance (either semi skimmed or skimmed) to keep your calcium up and they recommends common sense things like eating 5 fruit and veg a day along with plenty of water. It like the diet as it is a well balanced non faddy diet. You do not have to cut out complete food groups which I would find hard.

                I have found the diet not too bad. There have been times when I have felt like lapsing but have never on in a big way. I do sometimes find measuring out things like pasta and rice a bit annoying but I think that has helped me as I used to eat enormous portions of carbohydrates. It has also made me think twice about what I am eating and really make a choice. I used to eat far too many crisps, cheese and peanut butter (my main weaknesses). Now I have to decide if I want one or the other. I think that is a good thing. The other annoying thing is that you do have to check all the food labels when shopping.

                Membership

                There is a membership fee of £7.95. For this you receive a booklet and a free CD The booklet js handy as it does have recipes, exercises and advice on eating out. . The CD is pointless as it is what is in the booklet and is very boring and repetitive. There are often special promotions in the Rosemary Conley magazine and in the local press to get free membership or your first calls free. I joined as there was a free membership coupon in the local paper. I might not have joined without it. I am glad I did.

                As I mentioned class fees are £4.95. There is also a direct debit scheme where you pay £22 per month. This means you get unlimited classes and also get 10% off Rosemary Conley products including the magazine.


                On joining there was a medical questionnaire you had to fill in and thus are fairly responsible. I am also impressed with the training that the leaders have as they are all trained in nutrition and fitness. I feel reassured by this. I also like it as the different products are not pushed too heavily. The only one Ruth really promotes id the magazine. I would not feel comfortable if all the products such as fitness gear, food, and cooking gadgets were promoted.

                There is one disadvantage I can think of compared to Weight Watchers. Once you achieve your target weight you do not get free membership so have to keep paying infinitum.

                Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness is a common sense program. We all know we should exercise regularly, eat more fruit and less fat and sugar but we often fin it hard. For that little extra support I would recommend Rosemary Conley as a grad aid to losing weight.

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                  05.09.2003 00:13
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                  Recently, I decided to embark on a new diet to help me shift the excess pounds I?d put on following the birth of my second child. Despite breastfeeding, which I was told helped you get your pre-pregnancy figure back quicker, and running after my 6-year old daughter, I was finding losing weight a struggle. With my best friend in tow, I joined our local Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Class. I must admit that it took a lot of courage for me to go there as I have been to many slimming clubs in the past, but found them full of ultra slim stick insects that looked down at you. But kicking and screaming I went in the door and was met by the very friendly instructor, Maggie. She immediately took us under her wing and told us that we had already done the hardest part, now was the time for fun. She gave us both a starters pack, which included a free Rosemary Conley diet magazine, a pack of recipe cards and a really handy pocket-sized calorie and fat converter book. I take this everywhere with me and it is really helpful as it lists almost every food and gives you the amount of calories and fat in a 100g serving. As well as these there is a self-help tape particularly useful for those times when you feel like giving in. Rosemary?s soothing words encourage you to carry on and after 5 minutes or so of listening, you are ready to carry on. We were also handed a form to complete which asked for any medical conditions that we may have, our past diet history, and more personal details like age, address etc. On completion, we handed it back and we received our weighing-in cards. These are to be kept with you and handed in every week so that your weight can be recorded. Next came the worst part, the weighing in. I stood on the scales sweating, willing the numbers to stop rising so quick, but Maggie reassured me and said that I was fine, and that I would soon shift those buggersome pounds. She recorded my weight and height an
                  d worked out my target weight from a chart. This is different to everyone as your age is taken into account. Maggie also wrote down my daily calorie allowance. This is reviewed when you lose weight so you will see the allowance falling, meaning you eat less calories. Unlike some slimming classes, the weighing session is very discreet, in a quiet corner out of earshot, so no-one hears if you?ve had a bad week and put on weight instead of losing. However, people can soon tell how well or badly you?ve done by the look on your face. Because everyone in the class is here for the same reason, there is no animosity towards any other people. Everyone encourages each other and there are many laughs to be had. We?ve made quite a lot of good friends in the short time we?ve been going so I?m pleased I joined. The Rosemary Conley Diet itself is very easy to follow. Although calories are counted, the diet itself works on the principle that everything you eat should be 4% or less fat. This is simple to work out as most foods have nutritional information on their packaging. Say, for a jar of cook-in sauce to work out the percentage of fat, it will give you a 100g serving and for that 100g there should only be 4g of fat. As well as following the 4% rule, Rosemary Conley states that exercise also helps shift pounds and doing the two together you will find the weight will come off quicker. The good thing about this slimming class is the fact that exercise is included. At the moment I attend two classes a week, but I could go more often if I wanted. The initial cost of the slimming class is £6.00 registration fee followed by £4.95 for the weigh-in and exercise. Should you want to attend more exercise classes these cost just £1.50 and last for an hour. The routines are quite high impact, but can be followed at your own pace and no one makes you feel like a dancing hippo, as they are more concerned about what they look like. There are also no
                  lycra-clad bimbos at this class; everyone wears tracksuit bottoms or baggy shorts to cover up, so you don?t feel so self-conscious. Be prepared for an hour of torture though, your instructor will get you in a sweat, but after a couple of weeks or so, you will find your fitness levels rising and will soon be able to get through the session without getting a bright red face. I mentioned before the Rosemary Conley magazine. This has proved to be a great addition to my diet. If I ever need inspiration, this is where I can find it. The magazine features various success stories of other former fatties who have reached their target weight as well as different recipes and ideas to try out. And there are also additional exercise routines to try at home. The magazine costs £2.30 in most supermarkets and newsagents, but they are also available from your slimming class with a small discount. There are other forms of merchandise to help lose weight including videos and recipe books from Rosemary. Although most of your diet will revolve around the 4% rule, you are given a few treats a day, these could be extra portions of fruit, extra potatoes, rice, or even biscuits and chocolate. If like me your weekends revolve around socialising, then it?s possible to keep one treat a day for the weekend, that way if you have a drink, or an evening meal out, you don?t have to worry that you?ve caused damage, as you have saved up for it. I would recommend this class to anyone else who finds losing weight a struggle. I have found the whole experience a good one, and although it is a diet, I don?t feel like it is, as I am eating more than I did before, but it?s obviously healthier. Even my family eat recipes featured in the plan and they can?t tell the difference. I used to hate other slimming classes as I found that preparing two different meals a day made me give up. I always wanted what everyone else was eating, well now I can and I?m still losing weight
                  . For those interested, but can?t find a class nearby there is still hope. Rosemary Conley has now set up an online slimming club where you can diet and exercise in the comfort of your own home. For more details log onto www.slimwithRosemary.com.

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                    29.04.2002 17:09
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                    My annual January 'I need to lose weight' mare occured this January, right on cue. What diet fad shall i undertake this year? i asked myself. The year before had been Weight Watchers. I had got on OK with this but never really enjoyed th classes. It was a good place to buy the products and magazines, but every week i felt i had spent nearly a fiver just to stand on some scales. Weight Watchers never really stressed exercise. The point system works well, but doesn't promote healthy eating - you could eat high fat food all day as long as you didn't exceed you points. So i didn't really expect Rosemary's classes to be a success. I chose them because of the added exercise class - i needed the motivation to undertake at least an hour of cardio-pumping work per week. So along i went to the first class. I paid £35 for 8 classes plus the induction. If i remember correctly, the induction would have cost me around £6.50 and the classes about £4.35 (please don't quote me on them, i could be wrong). I got weighed. Not quite as much as i had anticipated but still a blow to the gut to find you've put on nearly 2 stone in less than a year. With this weigh-in i received a personal calorie allowance - 1525 in my case - a big difference to the normal diets you go on which tell you to eat about 1100 calories per day. I was a bit hesitant at this calorie allowance - it didn't seem to be that much less that what i currently ate. But, i thought it must work so i'll give it a go. I also received a motivational cassette, which ilistened to in the car every morning and night to and from work. In this tape, i learnt the secret to the higher calorie allowance. The whole essence of Rosemarys diet plan is that you need to eat enough calories to stop your body from shutting down. anything less than that would mean you body would use as little energy as possible and weight loss would never happen
                    . The key to this, however, is that all of the calories you eat are low fat - by low fat Rosemary means 4% or less fat. This is how you are allowed to eat more. You are also allowed a daily 'treat' or 150 calories. This can be anything and doesn't have to conform to the 4% fat rule. My first thought were that eating everything that was low fat would be tricky. It actually proved to be suprisingly easy. The next part of the class was the motivational sit down were the instructor gives out a certificate to the highest weight loss for the week - a nice bonus to aim for. People then shared their successes and failures, something which can be a big help when you are left to your own devices. Then came the test - the exercise! I hadn't exercised in over a year. Normal aerobics classes at the gym were no good for me - everybody else was going at full pelt, and it always seemed that going slower was not an option. I always felt like such a failure! So when the instructor demonstrated 3 levels of workout i felt immediately at ease. I felt even better when we got started and nobody was doing the high level. And so it was over. i was all motivated to go and lose weight - i felt like i had no excuses - i had a high calorie allowance, in fact one which i often struggle to use, a huge list of low fat foods to choose from out of my calorie booklet, and an guaranteed exercise class every week. And i'm still going strong - i have lost 1.2 stone since January, have joined a gym and go 3-4 times per week and can do the Rosemary exercose class at full speed. The motivational tape i feel has been the key to my success - when i feel weak, towards the end of the week, i listen to it for 15 minutes and Rosemary soon rejuvenates that desire to be fit and healthy. I would recommend this to anyone - it's so much more focused than Weight Watchers and gives you reason to believe that you can do
                    it.

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                      20.06.2001 23:43
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                      I gained over four stone through having my son. I put it on so gradually that I didn't really notice until it was too late. I wanted to do something about it as I am due to get married in August so my Mum and I decided to go to our local Rosemary Conley class. When I weighed in Jan 15 this year I was horrified to learn that I weighed 14 stone 8.5 pounds. When I was weighed on Monday I came in at 12 stone 6. I am still almost 2 stone from target weight but I get into my wedding dress. I feel much fitter and can now do all the jumping in our routine without feeling like I will pass out. I can run round after my son with confidence and even my soon to be hubby has noticed a change. I have never been an outgoing person but I became more withdrawn as I put on the weight. It seems to work in reverse as well. I feel fit and healthy. I can do all those little things I had forgotten how to do and most importantly my partner finds me more attractive than ever and I am still bigger than when we met! Sometimes you have a bad day, we all do, but it is very easy to pick yourself up. Alex who runs the class is brilliant. She makes you feel good about yourself and truely believes that you can achieve anything you want. With her as inspiration I feel like I can get to my target of 10 stone 7 and never look back again. You meet some wonderful people at these classes and they help boost your morale as you loose the weight together.

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                        14.01.2001 18:55
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                        My wife decided back in October that she had had enough and needed to lose some weight. Part of my degree dealt with metabolism and proper diet, so I have always been skeptical of her various short-lived attempts in the past. I looked over the Rosemary Conley diet, however, and saw no particular danger to health or of gaining the weight back quickly. After 7 weeks my wife lost a stone, and she lost it slowly enough for it to be permanant. Christmas was the real test. We went back to my parents for a week and a half and generally ate what we wanted, and when we got back home my wife hadn't gained anything. On some of the other diets a return to normal eating triggers a quick weight gain. Not this time! The best thing about the diet is that she does not appear to be suffering. She is not ever really hungry, and she gets a treat, like a chocolate bar, every day. She feels great and looks great. This has easily been her most successful diet, and she's been happiest on it as well.

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                        30.11.2000 23:02
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                        I am 29 years old and have never considered dieting in my life. The thought has always sent me cold and, to be brutally honest, I've always thought of those that did as sad, and said that they should be trying to change their self-image instead of their physical one. With this in mind you will know how hard it is for me to admit that I have now joined their ranks. You see, I was at a wedding recently and some nice chap had taken a video camera. I'm sure you know what's coming. Yes, I saw the video and about died. Ten years ago I weighed 8 st and fit in a size 10 - now I'm... more than that and a size 16. It crept up on me!!! Anyway, my brother's girlfriend suggested we go so I thought "what the heck, I could do with it, I'll have a pop". I must say, I was impressed. The instructor, Suzanne was so incredibly friendly, as was the lady that took our money (£6 to join, and £4.25 for the session). She took loads of time settling us in and going through our information and told us that we could ring her at any time, for motivation or advice. The weigh-in was done away from everyone, so you didn't feel a complete flob, and we got advice on eating around Christmas and an excercise sheet to take home. Before the aerobics she awarded the "Slimmer of the Week" with a little certificate (a nice touch, I thought, as people always love recognition) and we applauded all those that had lost something that week, then we did the aerobics session, which was nice and easy, and although I managed to stick it out, she made sure that everyone knew it was fine if you couldn't keep up. Whether I stick to the diet, time will tell, although so far I'm rather enjoying the feeling that I am doing something about my weight and not just feeling miserable about it, but if I were recommending a diet to anyone, this would be it. It's relatively easy to stick to and the support is great.
                        You do have to weigh stuff, which I always thought I'd loathe, although it's actually quite nice to have stuff that's put aside "just for me", and within your daily calorie allowance you have a treat allowance, which could be crisps, chocolate, alcohol or whatever you fancy, so if you save that to look forward to at nighttime the day is made so much easier and at night you feel so naughty that you don't feel deprived at all. So far, I've not been hungry and, in fact, I don't really feel like I'm on a diet. RC - I think you may have a convert!! I must admit, I am probably a little biased as Rosemary Conley only lives in the next village to me, but nevertheless, I'm incredibly glad I made that step.

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                          24.10.2000 21:39

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                          Rosemary Conley clubs are excellent value for money. As well as a good diet programme you get a low impact aerobics session in a class full of other overweight and unfit people. There is a 5 min talk instead of a boring lecture and the exercise class is great. I hate exercise classes which are full of fit slim people in skimpy leotards. At the RC club you are in a class with other people who are not that able and who don't look good in workout clothes. For the first time ever I enjoyed the workout. The class is great with a short talk after weigh in and then your workout which gives overall fantastic value for money. You can even go to another class and just pay to workout if you want to do more than one exercise class a week. Give it a try!

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                          16.09.2000 22:21
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                          This club has an emphasis on a low fat diet with exercise to help you lose weight and get fitter. I was a bit nervous about going along the first time but the atmosphere is very friendly and there were people of all ages and sizes. When you join up, you receive a pack with some recipes and diet information which is expanded over the first few weeks with cards on new recipes and fitness ideas. The weighing-in happens privately and there is no pressure put on you if you have not lost weight or put it on. There is also a talk each week about aspects of diet or fitness and people are encouraged to tell others about low-fat food they’ve found in the supermarkets. The exercise part is also good with the instructor demonstrating how to perform the routines at different levels. She was well qualified and there is a warm-up and stretching part before the main aerobics session. You are encourage to do as much as you can and not to stress out if you don’t find it as easy as the next person. From time to time new routines and steps are introduced and the instructor attends refresher courses. It costs £4.25 a session whether you exercise or not and as a trip to the gym can cost about the same, it is reasonable if not cheap.

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