Newest Review: ... on the market which fit in with the diet. There is also a Slimmer of the Week certificate awarded and all weight losses are announ... more
Empty your fridge before you go!
Rosemary Conley Slimming Club
Member Name: Holland1
Rosemary Conley Slimming Club
Advantages: Combines diet and exercise, instructor very supportive, lots of classes available
Disadvantages: Expect to be hungry, exercise class quite low key
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!
Summary: Don't be put off, but be prepared before you go!
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