Sheer determination, good diet and walking well, helped Mary reclaim her body, self confidence - and hair!
07th October 2009
Mary first met Joanna at the 2009 Vitality Show for a personal consultation about her recent health problems and the impact that was having on her exercising. Mary had tough time with her health, suffering from Alopecia Areata and Diffuse Hair Loss for almost 2 years. During that time she had suffered up to 90% hair loss and hit a real low when she was told by medical advisors that there was no more that they could do for her.
It was at this point that you'd expect someone to hit rock bottom and maybe feel helpless and lost. On the contrary for Mary! She empowered herself, somehow finding determination and focus to take matters into her own hands whilst having been told that there was no progress to be made. She relentlessly researched her condition and realised that her hair loss was a symptom of other things which were wrong within her body. She learned that one trigger for hair loss was exercising aerobically on a regular basis, whilst suffering from very low iron levels. In addition, she discovered that she wasn’t absorbing nutrients properly.
So, she set to work devising a diet to combat her low iron levels and the candida she also had in her intestine. Within weeks, her hair started to grow and, amazingly, has continued to ever since! Understandably however, she was cautious when it came to exercise. "The diet I created helped me to lose some weight but no where near enough. By the time I met Joanna in March this year, I was really suffering the ill effects of 2 1/2 years of little exercise coupled with bouts of comfort eating. My hair loss made me too self-conscious to attend any group exercise classes and exacerbated the illness. I was 2 stone heavier, miserable and felt like I was fighting a losing battle. I'd always struggled with my weight and exercise was key for me to manage it. Joanna was very understanding and sympathetic and assured me that walking would be of great benefit and, despite my reservations, would not make my hair fall out. Enthused, I signed up to become a member of her Walkactive Club
Mary began walking using my downloadable Walk Basic Programme which is one of the programmes available to members of Walkactive. She then joined me at one of my Walking Seminars
at Champneys Town and City Spas where she discovered that her walking technique was incorrect. I made the necessary adjustments and she put them into practice. Mary then took part in my 28 day Walk Off Weight programme
and was delighted with the results with losing inches and weight.
"I felt so much better in myself and have since attended a couple of Walk Time Trials
, knocking almost 5 minutes off my first time! I made friends with another Club member and we are motivating each other to do a half marathon in mid-November. It's been 6 months now since I joined Walkactive and I feel so much fitter and happier. I walk 5-10 miles on average each week day (25-50 miles per week), sometimes more and the children always walk to school now so are also reaping the benefits."
Mary is unsure of her total inch loss at this stage, but has lost a huge 5 inches from her naval and 2 stone in weight since January 2009. Most importantly though, she has not lost any hair! "I'd like to thank Joanna and her wonderful team for getting me to this stage. I am half way towards my weight loss goal and fully intend to be in a little black dress for the festive season!"
Stories like this are really touching for me. Mary has shown exceptional courage to not only cope admirably with such a difficult and visible condition but to defy medical advice and find the determination and drive to prove them wrong. I firmly believe in the health and physical benefits that walking correctly, with great technique can bring and Mary's trust in that has led her to the amazing results that she has benefitted from. We applaud you for your effort to walk well, for your courage in taking your condition to task!, and for being such an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and good luck with your half marathon - please keep us posted!