An emergency dash from the other side of the world back to her home town in Devon has proved to be truly life-changing for Sarah Valentine.
After achieving an incredible 5.5 stone weight loss during an extended visit to the UK, she has finally been able to return to New Zealand – surprising her husband and son with her transformation, who had no idea what she was up to!
She was in the UK for six months, returning to be with her mum after she had a stroke in June 2021. It was an emotional and difficult time but working on her health with best friend of 40 years Alex Martin, who is an independent consultant for the The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan in Newton Abbot, gave her something positive to focus on.
Before her trip to the UK, Sarah had been struggling with both her physical and mental wellbeing.
“If I’m really honest, I thought I was dying. I was horribly depressed, in constant pain and genuinely thought my life was as miserable as it could get,” she says.
With Alex’s support, she decided it was time to make a change and set a goal to lose as much weight as possible while in the UK, following The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan.
Sarah thought it would be fun to keep her husband and son in the dark until they could see each other in person. She spoke to them via Facetime each day but was careful to angle the camera so that they couldn’t see her changing as she shed the pounds.
During her time in Devon, Sarah dropped from a 22 to a size 16 and is in no doubt about what this means to her.
“Being able to walk into a shop and try on things that actually fit feels amazing! But it’s about more than just clothes. It has completely saved my life. I can walk and breathe normally, I can tie my own shoes easily, I can nearly run without killing myself! I can sit on a chair without being scared it’s going to break. It’s brilliant!”
For Alex, working with her best friend has been very special, although she feels strongly about all of her clients and the results they achieve.
“It’s an incredibly rewarding role to play in people’s lives – it can be quite emotional,” she says. “It’s been lovely to spend that time with Sarah while she’s been here, and being able to help her has been wonderful. I feel like she’s changed in all recognition, it’s not just about the weight.”
Thanks to the accountability of weekly appointments and “bite-sized, simple steps”, Sarah found the diet straightforward to stick to.
She replaced all of her meals with the specially-formulated The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan products, which are nutritionally balanced and designed to help the body burn fat efficiently and maximise weight loss safely.
“I always have a ready-made shake for breakfast, soup or bar for lunch, spaghetti or a ready-made meal for dinner. It’s so easy,” she says.
She’s also appreciated the support of Alex’s other clients via a dedicated WhatsApp group, where Alex provides daily motivation, encouragement and advice. She has been able to fit the plan around socialising, catching up with old friends and even taking a week’s holiday in Spain.
After a momentous six months, Sarah has returned to New Zealand slimmer, healthier and happier. Her husband Brian’s jaw dropped when he was finally reunited with her. “I had to look twice! That’s Sarah but not Sarah – she looks stunning! Oh my goodness how did she keep that from me. She has done an amazing thing!”
She’s been so impressed with her results that she has trained as a consultant so she can help others make their own transformation.
Now she is excited to be back home again, starting 2022 as she means to go on.
“Between my mum getting me over to the UK and Alex – well, they both saved my life and gave me purpose again,” she says. “If you want to lose weight, then Alex is the person to help you get there. She is simply amazing!”