weight loss

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Ellen: from struggle to success with Numan’s Weight Loss Programme

By Joe Young | Medically reviewed by Ruth Pointon
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Ellen, a 27-year-old tax lawyer who spends her spare time playing Dungeons and Dragons, took a break from battling tax loopholes and goblin hordes to share her experience with Numan’s Weight Loss Programme.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m based in London and moved here over a year ago for a new job. I work as a tax lawyer, which is more fun than it sounds. I also run a Dungeons and Dragons game regularly. It’s nice to escape the real world and indulge in some silliness.

Have you tried other weight loss methods before trying Numan’s Weight Loss Programme?

I've been trying to lose weight for years. I've done calorie counting, restrictive diets, and many different kinds of exercise. I really tried to believe people who said that just living a generally healthy lifestyle would lead to weight loss. 

The diet I've had the most success with is keto, but I found that it was really hard to maintain any flexibility or spontaneity in my life when adhering to the diet’s strict requirements. It just wasn't a sustainable option for the length of time I needed to reach a healthy weight.

Eventually, I realised that I’d put on too much weight and no amount of normal eating or living was going to get me back to a healthy weight.

Did you find traditional methods of weight loss enjoyable?

Not at all. It just becomes this cycle of trying and failing. You start to feel like you've given up or failed at something that everyone else seems to manage easily. It's this constant loop of questioning yourself: "Why can't I do this? What's wrong with me? Everyone else seems to manage just fine. How did I let this get so bad?"

The more studies that come out on obesity, the more evidence there is that suggests something is happening in the brains of people who tend to be obese that many others don't experience. It's not just a lack of willpower.

What was your biggest motivation for starting with Numan and your weight loss journey?

This time, it was genuinely about health. One specific goal was horse riding. I wanted to do it again, but I was too heavy. The horse riding school wouldn’t accept riders over 83kg, and I was over 100kg. This specific goal felt more achievable than the vague idea of reaching a healthy weight.

Was horse riding something you enjoyed as a kid?

Yes, I did it as a kid and a young teenager. I’d go every weekend and every summer to help out at the stables, and get free lessons in exchange. I stopped partly because I got too heavy but mostly because school and life got in the way.

After moving to the UK and settling into a new job, I realised how much I missed horse riding. When I looked up the stables and saw that I was too heavy to ride, it was disheartening. It was one of many wake-up calls.

You've talked about using the medication, but did you combine that with lifestyle changes like exercise or diet changes?

Yes, very much so. Given my weight, exercise was often difficult, and I tended to avoid it. The big changes I made when starting on semaglutide were essential because just taking the medication wouldn't be effective.

One major change was walking more. I built walking into my daily routine. For example, I now walk the first leg of my commute, a nice 40-minute walk. On weekends, I walk to and from archery, an hour each way. I also take the stairs and run up escalators in the tube. These activities have notably improved my cardio.

Did you use our health coaches at all to help you?

Yes, Amy was really great. She helped me come up with ideas on how to incorporate exercise into my life in a manageable way. She’s been very helpful in advising me on how to deal with cravings and what my eating should look like. We've explored different options, especially when I hit a plateau.

What do you think was the main driver of your weight loss?

I think you can’t really lose weight on your own. You need some kind of support system. My support system came partially from Amy but mostly from my partner. The medication alone isn’t enough - it won’t talk you through difficult times or guide you through cravings and diet fatigue. The Numan coach provides that essential support.

How long did it take you to start seeing results when you started with us?

Immediately, I noticed a difference in my appetite. I was happy eating smaller portions, and for the first time in a very long time I was leaving food on my plate. Every week in that first month, I lost weight consistently. The overall trajectory has been consistently downward since then. I weighed 100kg in July 2024 - now I’m 69.9kg (March 2024).

How do you feel about coming off the medication soon?

I’m expected to come off the medication in the next couple of months, having reached a healthy BMI and lost a bit more weight to ensure I'm not just on the edge. After so many years of trying to lose weight, having this new challenge of maintaining it is quite exciting for me. I’ll keep up with walking, weighing myself weekly, and continuing with calorie counting to the extent necessary.

Have you faced any challenges when it comes to losing weight with us, or even before?

Losing weight with you guys has been so easy. It definitely required effort, but it was a normal amount of effort. With other weight loss attempts, it was so much effort for so little reward. With this programme, every week I’d get this lovely payoff when I weighed myself.

The only time it became difficult was just after Christmas due to some personal issues. But overall, it’s been great. I wish more people knew about semaglutide and felt okay using it because it’s really changed my life in a meaningful way.

Before, did your weight impact your confidence?

Yes, for sure. I felt like a failure for not being able to figure it out when everyone else could.  We live in a fat-phobic world where overweight people are viewed as lazy and ineffective. I felt a certain amount of shame about that.

Before the programme, I had accepted that this was how I was going to be forever. My confidence was good, but I heard of semaglutide and thought that one last try couldn’t hurt. My vanity wasn't tied to it. I was coming into it from a health perspective.

What are the main takeaways from your experience?

I used to feel smothered if I lay down. All that weight was on top of me, especially on my chest. Now, I can walk so much further. I love travelling and city breaks, but I used to have to constantly stop to rest my feet. Since I lost the weight, I can walk miles without a break. I feel a lot happier and more optimistic. The lovely feedback loop of seeing it working and staying motivated has been amazing.

The difference is the medication. I’ve tried so many weight-loss methods before by myself but this was the game-changer. I’ve managed to transform my body and it’s something I’m really proud of. I want to share this because I feel passionately that this could benefit many people.

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