A policewoman who gained four pounds in perimenopause says she is now a “lean, mean fighting machine” at 51 – after having dropped nearly 60 pounds in 10 months thanks to an app developed by her cyclist, Chris Froome was preferred.
Plagued by bad moods, anxiety, and weight gain as her hormones changed in the run-up to menopause, Maria Fox, 51, watched her weight rise to 14st 10lb despite being a fitness fanatic.
A trained fitness instructor, she admits that her relationship with food has never been ideal, and with a tendency to gain weight, she had tried diets in the past and watched her dress size decrease, but it was difficult to maintain.
When she turned 50 in September 2020, the policewoman hit rock bottom at 27, eventually changed her eating habits and managed her weight problem with a 299lb high-tech handheld weight loss device called Lumen – which Chris Froome used to “better understand” how his body uses food eaten before and after exercise.
Maria, a single from Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, said: “My weight has been a lifelong problem – although I’ve always been an athletic person.
“By the time I hit perimenopause, before I knew it, I had gained four stones in four years.”
She added, “I felt stupid and unattractive so I decided to give it a try when I saw the advertisement for Lumen on Facebook.
“Now I feel great. I am slimmer than at school! It’s pretty incredible. “
At her tallest, 5-foot-8-inch, Maria weighed 14.10 pounds, wore a dress size 18-20, and had a body mass index (BMI), which was used to measure a healthy weight of 31.2, compared to the NHS health range of 18.5 to 24.9 – that makes them obese.
Now a 10.7 pound size 8 to 10, with a healthy BMI of 22.4, she feels as fit as she did as a young woman when she played netball for the county and enjoyed hockey and soccer.
Despite being active, she admits that she always struggled to stay slim.
She said, “When I came to the police in 1994, I had to answer.”
She added, “I dropped two stones and joined weighing 11.7 pounds.”
In her early thirties she regained weight and started the yo-yo diet.
“I would put on weight, then take it off, and then put it back on,” she said.
She added, “I lost a lot of weight on a low fat diet from Rosemary Conley in my early forties, which was great, but not a sustainable lifestyle for me.
“Then, between 2015 and 2019, I slowly gained two and a half stones.
“When I reached the actual perimenopause, I gained even more weight.”
She added, “Before I knew it, I had gained four stones in four years.
“I was still quite fit and qualified as an indoor cycle instructor in 2013, so I gave indoor courses, did a lot of outdoor cycling and I’m an avid skier.
“But even though I was pretty aerobically fit, I was pretty overweight.”
And being tall was very bad for her self-esteem.
She said, “I felt trash. It influenced my self-image a lot.
“I didn’t want to buy any clothes or take any photos of myself.”
When she asked her doctor for help during the menopause because she was in a bad mood and anxiety, she was offered medication.
“The stress was no longer manageable,” she says.
“I kept going to the doctors and being offered antidepressants, but that wasn’t what I wanted.”
Then when Covid-19 appeared in 2020, Mary’s symptoms got worse.
She said, “I developed severe menopausal stress which manifested itself in physical symptoms.”
When she suffered from thrombophlebitis – an inflammatory process in which a blood clot forms and one or more veins, usually in the legs, become blocked – her doctor even advised against exercise.
Then, when her heart rate rose to 200 beats per minute while she was in a meeting, she was admitted to the hospital.
A 48-hour electrocardiogram (EKG) to monitor her heart rhythm and electrical activity revealed that she had superventricular tachycardia – when the heart suddenly beats much faster than normal – but she later reversed this through weight loss.
“I took blood thinners for the clot and was told not to drink or exercise,” she said.
She added, “At that point, I was really overweight and obese – it was a vicious circle.”
After Maria finished working with stress in October 2020, she decided to make her health a priority.
After buying a Lumen after seeing it on Facebook, she started following his customized meal plans.
She said, “Chris Froome used it and I’m an avid cyclist so I thought I would give it a try.
“I hit a wall with my nervous system and was canceled from work with symptoms of stress and burnout.
“It was a pretty dark place for a couple of months, but I focused on my health – food, sleep, and exercise.”
After her new eating plan, the weight initially decreased slowly.
“The app gives you a plan every day,” said Maria. “You need to eat a ratio of fats, carbohydrates and protein every day, and it does macronutrient manipulation – which means your ratios change daily based on what you burn for fuel when you measure your metabolism in the morning.
The program is designed to make the users’ bodies more efficient at burning calories as their bodies adapts to the diet plan.
Maria said, “I slowly but surely lost 4 pounds in the first month, but it got faster over time.
“I lost 6 pounds then, then 7 pounds, then 8 pounds in February.”
Maria also sought private medical advice at Newson Health Clinic and began taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to relieve her menopausal symptoms.
“I think that helped too,” she said. “I can eat a lot now. I’m never hungry. “
By May 2021, Maria had lost 50 pounds – four kilos by September – and started a fitness channel on YouTube.
She said, “I feel amazing. I just feel great. “
She added, “Every time I walk into a room where I haven’t seen people in a while, their jaws hit the floor and you could tell they were thinking, ‘Oh wow’.
“I got my exercises right and integrated too, so I’m pretty lean and defined now.
“Not only have I lost 60 pounds, I also look like a lean, mean fighting machine, and I look younger than I was a year ago, which is pretty incredible.”
For the first time, Maria also feels that she has a really healthy relationship with food.
She said, “I had a very unhealthy relationship with food.
“I didn’t prioritize the food because I was so busy. Now my diet is amazing.
“It is remarkable. I still have to look in the mirror in shock.
“People at work say, ‘You look so good,’ and I say, ‘Yeah, I’m not fat anymore!'”
Lumen is the world’s first wearable device and app that measures your metabolism in real time with just your breath and gives insight into how efficiently your body is using fats and carbohydrates for fuel. For more information visit: www.lumen.me
Follow Maria on Instagram @mariafoxwellness or subscribe to her YouTube channel youtube.com/c/MariaFoxWellness
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