About the Book Back to top
Size Matters is both a personal story about weight loss and a practical guide that can be followed by men and women of all ages to achieve a healthier way of life. It is written by someone who lost 154 lbs. the "easy" way and quided over 1,000 others to successful weight loss.
This book is for you if the following feels familiar
· You can't take a bath because you can't get out again
· You don't even fit sideways into the shower
· You get desperate late at night when the chocolate shops are shut
· You are ashamed to take your clothes off in front of yourself
· You don't fit into airline seats and have to have a seatbelt extension
· You struggle to get out of the car
· You can barely walk 10 minutes down the road
· You can't fit into public toilets
· People ask you when the baby is due
· You hate shop assistants coming into the too-small changing rooms
· You have stopped doing everything you once loved to do
· You have stopped sharing activities with the ones you love
· You are obsessed with where your next food is coming from
· You crave sweet foods
· You wish it would all go away!
Size Matters is not just a story about one person's weight loss-- it shows how to construct your own individual program. It shows you how to lose weight that you have never been able to lose before and it is also an inspirational story about the struggle of one very overweight person who discovered how to do it-- an has guided many others to success.
At forty-three years of age, Georgina Cronin suffered from high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and chronic joint pain. She weighed 330 lbs. She had been on a constant diet since her early teens. Georgina decided that starving herself was obviously not working. So, she thought she would try eating instead --six times a day to be exact.
Over a period of five years, Georgina lost over 11 stone-154lbs. She has considered herself a "hopeless case" and was stunned by how simple the key factors for success were. Having discovered how to do this for herself she felt obliged to share what she had learned-- to help others to release themselves from the misery of being overweight.
She developed a straightforward program to guide others towards the same success. The program is based on simple common sense, which we can all relate to, and it works--even for the hopeless cases who have decided that enough is enough.
In her research of her own life as a dieter, she discovered that there were some underlying medical causes for her problem that had never been identified and she was able to easily identify the same problems in others.
Georgina has been working with clients in Ireland, UK and Spain for the past ten years. She designs individual programs to suit each person -suited to them as individuals and based on their particular lifestyle -since no single diet suits everyone. During the past few years she has successfully taken over 1,000 people through the program. They have lost weight and, perhaps more importantly, kept it off.
This book is different! It is not written by a "thin" expert -who probably could never truly understand what you have to go through if you are overweight. It is written by someone who has been through the struggle of losing weight, and gaining it back again, time and time again for 20 years -sound familiar?
It is everyone's dream to live life to the fullest. For many people their weight problem means that they are just existing! Size Matters shows how you can take control fo your life, without feeling the pain and deprivation that goes hand in hand with a traditional diet. It explores the mental and emotional dependencies that we all have on food and explains how to find alternative support systems. It explores the concept that our bodies will begin to store food if we starve it long enough and most women, and more recently, men are doing precisely that every time they attempt a crash diet or fad diet.
Size does Matter
You have to read this book! Share the struggle, be inspired by your own success.
Some comments from users of the CRONIN PROGRAMME Back to top
I came to see Georgina in November 1999. My weight at the time was 336lbs. and to be honest I was feeling tired and unwell in myself. I was put on a food plan that sutied me and I have lost 98lbs. in eleven months and feel great. L.B.
Over the past twenty years I have tried everything that came on the market in order to lose weight, spent a fortune and still ended back in the "yo-yo" dieting syndrome. In the last ten weeks my life has changed. I have lost 28lbs. Doing what? Eating!--eating properly and regularly and exercising sensibly. The hard part-remembering to eat all that I'm supposed to. M.M.
I have had a weight problem since I was pregnant with my first child nine years ago. The weight balooned up with each pregnancy since. I have tried many diets. They work for a little while and then it's back to square one. I called into the advisory centre with the idea for a quick diet in my head and was told there was no such thing. When I heard this I was very disheartened but I made an appointment three months ago and I have never looked back. It has been a life-saver to me because I thought there would never be a way back to the old me who was happy in herself and not always making myself feel like an outsider. M.B.
I lost 38lbs. eating six times a day on the Cronin Programme. With an easy, healthy eating plan- and support from Georgina- I acheived my weight loss for the first time in fifteen years. I was shown how to stick with it and have patience. Believe me, if I can do it you can. H.L.
For the first time I have lost 14lbs. and I feel great, full of energy and very healthy. I reccommend this approach to losing weight. M.W.
I have tried all the diets available, had some weight loss but no change in my dietary attitude or behaviour, until the Cronin Programme. Wow, it is really something! I have lost over 23lbs. to date with a few more, but my idea of eating has changed for the positive. My health has improved and my energy levels are those of a woman at least twenty years younger. It is brilliant. F.R.
I think it is very good. I have lost 42lbs. in three months. I feel much better, I am getting my confidence back and I have loads of energy. It has changed my life. I would recommend it to anybody who finds other diets difficult. It is great to see that you can succeed at something when you really try. J.K.
Since starting the programme in October I have lost 17lbs. I thought that I would never do it. I kept to the programme and it really works. It was the first time I ever kept to a programme and it was not so hard. I feel a lot better and have lots of energy. I would recommend anyone to do this. You never feel hungry when you eats six times a day. I feel good. M.K.
I was 205lbs. when I came to see Georgina. I walked out feeling a different woman after just one hour of talking. It has changed my life and it is the best I have ever felt in twenty years. G.C
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This is an anti-crash-dieting book. After a lifetime of dieting, I reached the devastating weight of 330 lbs. (over 23 stone). After five years of trial and error and a great deal of research and determination, I have achieved a weight loss of over 154 lbs. (11 stone).
However, this was not achieved alone. There has been a lot of help along the way: my husband David has been a loving and constant support; family, friends and colleagues have given me time and encouragement; and my bookcase is filled with inspirational self-help guides. Without a doubt, all these different factors have contributed to my successful weight loss.
Where I was once gripped with a gluttonous greed for food, I now have an overwhelming greed for knowledge and discovery. There is no shame in taking someone else's ideas and converting them to your own needs, and I would like to acknowledge everyone who has helped me become the slim person who is writing this book today. However, that would take a book in itself.
This book is not about promoting a diet, philosophy, product or belief. It is simply a personal story that was not originally intended for publication. It has been a way of recording my journey towards a healthy weight and my efforts to ensure that there would be no return trip. Whether you need to lose 14 lbs., 50 lbs. or 150 lbs., it is still necessary to understand how you managed to become overweight in the first place. There are emotional, physical and intellectual reasons that affect our lifestyle and remembering those difficult, formative, times in our lives can sometimes be painful. I was lucky, in that I had many happy memories too. There was also the joy of discovery, the pieces of the jigsaw falling into place.
Along the way I have travelled a very steep learning curve. For instance, I came to appreciate the power of that little word NO. Instinctively we want to fit in, to have people like and accept us, and so we say YES, but trying to please everyone is stressful and unrewarding. The satisfaction of eating a bar of chocolate is nothing compared to the satisfaction I feel now when I say NO to eating one. I can now say NO to many things that have caused me harm, though I have had to learn to say it graciously.
While it would be lovely to be rich and famous and to appear on chat shows, my reason for sharing the darkest and brightest moments of my life is to show others who have a self-destructive problem such as obesity that you can say NO and transform your life. Furthermore, saying NO to dieting and YES to eating is a lot more fun!
I now work with people on a one-to-one basis, helping them to achieve their desired weight loss. The programme that they follow forms the second part of this book. Everything is there for you to design your own healthy eating programme around your personal likes and dislikes and lifestyle. If you are overweight, you need to take back control of your life and your eating habits, and this programme is a tool to do just that. No gimmicks, pills or special diet foods, just good healthy eating, six times a day, with some walks thrown in. Nothing hard about that. We all possess the ingredients to ensure the success of this programme determination, willpower and patience. All that remains is to discover how to activate those particular skills and start using them.
My life has been transformed, and there is no way in the world that I will go back to the old life. The new life is too exciting and rewarding. If this book makes a similar difference for just one person, then it will have been worth it.
If I can communicate a single message it is that obesity, and the misery attached to it, need not be for life.
CHAPTER ONE Back to top
Whatever people might say, size does matter. It matters when you can no longer take a bath because you cannot get out of it unaided. It matters when you cannot put the tray table down on an aeroplane and so you have to eat your meal off your husband's table instead. It matters when you are in a restaurant and get stuck in your chair, to the point where you are in danger of taking it with you when you leave. It matters when you look in the mirror and two-thirds of your body is on either side of it. It matters when you are too embarrassed to take off your clothes in front of anyone, including yourself.
One of the things I have been very successful at is putting on weight. I love food: the taste, the texture and the satisfied feeling at the end of a wonderful meal. My problem has been that I have always enjoyed most things to excess. At certain times in my life I have drunk too much alcohol, smoked too many cigarettes, and by the age of forty-three had eaten myself into a size 30 pair of jeans at a weight of 330 lbs.
The trouble was that being large seemed to fit my personality. At six foot tall, at my top weight, I was almost as big around. People used to say that I could carry the weight and still look smart. A great deal of money was spent on clothes, always looking for that outfit that would make me feel better about myself. I mostly wore black or navyblue, but occasionally I would defiantly buy something white or bright and cheerful for the summer.
To the outside world I appeared to be fat, happy and super-efficient. Nobody knew about the tears when I saw myself naked in the mirror, nobody saw me starving myself all day and then raiding the refrigerator late at night, stuffing myself in an eating frenzy. I was someone who cracked jokes at my own expense to make people laugh. They would have been horrified to see the real me, so I kept it hidden. As far as other people knew, my diet consisted of cereal for breakfast, a salad sandwich for lunch, and chicken and vegetables at night. That was actually true. What was equally true was that I consumed vast quantities of food in secret. On the way to work there would be a stop at the drivethrough for two breakfast rolls. There would be at least five chocolate bars throughout the day, fried ham and cheese sandwiches, a tub of rich ice cream and a takeaway most week nights. I was in control of many parts of my life, such as my job and my relationships, but I was out of control with regard to my own body and my eating habits.
Then the nosebleeds started. Sitting in a meeting or watching television, I would suddenly feel the blood seeping from my nose. I had enough common sense to know that I was in serious trouble and, although I tried to ignore the signs that my body was failing, deep inside I knew things could not go on much longer.
The crunch came when I went home to Portsmouth for my parents' fifty-fifth wedding anniversary. My father, who was nearly eighty and suffering from cancer and a blood disorder, looked healthier than I did. I sat bolt upright in the only chair in the room, since getting onto and then off a sofa was beyond me at this point. I was wearing an expensive new outfit, which, on reflection, resembled a brightly coloured circus tent covering me from head to toe. My mother and father had prepared a beautiful buffet lunch. I visited the table two or three times and was aware of a number of pairs of eyes watching the amount of food I put onto my plate. I am sure that my mother was more than a little concerned about her elegant little chair, which creaked every time I sat down.
Later that day, as I drove along the motorway on my return to London where we were living at the time, I suddenly began to cry. Luckily there was a service station nearby and, pulling into an isolated part of the car park, I cried my eyes out. I honestly believed that my life was over. I blamed everything and everyone, hating myself and, for the first time in my life, contemplating suicide. At that point, I was unable to see my husband, who has loved and supported me always, or my family, my lovely home or any compelling future. All I could see was a fat, middleaged woman with a bloated face and an awful pain in her heart
Somehow I got home that evening. Most of the night I spent wallowing in self-pity, grieving for myself. Thankfully, I did nothing to hurt myself further. I say 'further' because I already had several years of self-destructive eating behaviour behind me. And that is the point. Nobody had caused me to be fat but myself. Yes, so-called experts had played their part, but I did not know this until I started to learn about the human body and the lengths it will go to protect itself.
That day was to be the beginning. At that time I was a forty-three year-old, obese woman with a limited future. Today I am a forty-nine year-old, slim woman with an unlimited future. For the last six years I have invested my time, effort and willpower into unlocking the doors that had held me prisoner for most of my adult life.
I had spent a lifetime dieting. I knew that if I went on another crash diet, I would just put on more weight than ever. I needed to learn why this was. I had to learn, and learn fast, what compelled me to eat and eat when I had so much else of value in my life. There was something fundamentally wrong with the way I had approached my weight problem. I wasn't sure if it was physical, mental or emotional, but I had to find out and fix it.
What began as a painful journey into my past became an exciting adventure in the present with expectations of a much brighter future.
From Design your own programme Back to top
Let's look at two sample menus of around 1,500 calories.
* You could eat three chocolate bars, which would be 1,500 calories or around 60 fat grams
OR, you could have all of the following:
* Bowl of cereal (30 g) with skimmed milk (150 calories)
* Slice of toast with lowfat spread and sugarfree jam (130 calories)
* Cup of tea with skimmed milk and a glass of cranberry juice (50 calories)
(Total: 330 calories)
* Two pieces of fruit (100 calories)
* Salad sandwich with chicken (350 calories)
* Fatfree yoghurt and one piece of fruit (105 calories)
(Total: 555 calories)
* 150 g grilled cod (140 calories)
* 100 g potato (85 calories)
* broccoli, cabbage and carrots (120 calories)
* tomato and basil sauce (100 calories)
(Total: 445 calories)
* Fresh fruit salad and lowfat custard (200 calories)
* Crispbread with light cream cheese and tomato (50 calories)
(Total: 250 calories)
Total for the day: 1,580 calories or 28 fat grams
What you should notice here is just how much food you can eat and still lose weight. You would not be hungry with a daily menu similar to this. But, if you had eaten only three chocolate bars throughout the day, you would not just have been very hungry at the end of the day but you would also have filled your system with many times the amount of sugar you need, and your fat intake would have been far too high. Back to top