Spotlight Sunday – Serena Stone! “My old habits are now so old it would take a lot of effort to go back to them!”

I joined PW Physique and Fitness nearly 3 years ago. I remember it clearly, I had a holiday approaching and wanted to lose a few pounds! Pretty much story of my life throughout my 30’s, even more so since having my 3rd child.

Serena Before and After
“After” photo by Sophie Bowden-Caldwell

I was always looking for ‘Quick’ results, every time I had an event approaching, wedding, night out, party etc. I found myself researching the latest celebrity diet. We all know the ones ‘Drop 7lbs in 7 days’ by following the CLOSER diet, ‘Lose up to 10lbs in a week on the DUKAN diet, the 5-2 diet, the CAVEMAN diet, the BLOODGROUP diet… Blah, blah, blah!

I tried them all, every single one, did they work? Yeah ok I may have lost a few pounds, but was the weight loss maintainable? Nope!

The scales told me I had lost 5, 6, 7 pounds but did I look any different? No! Did I feel better for ‘Nil by mouth’ for 10 days, Hell no!

Nevertheless, there I was looking for another way to fight the flab for my upcoming holiday. My friend Laura asked me if I fancied joining her on a 28 day Bootcamp challenge, her husband Kevin (on the Wall of Legend at the gym) had shifted mega amounts of the wobbly stuff doing the same thing so I thought why the hell not!

I signed up, had my weigh-in and body composition taken on the Sunday and started on the Monday.

28-day Transformation
The challenge that started it all – Serena lost 11 pounds in just 28 days!

At this point I had no intention of continuing after the 28 days, this was another ‘Quick fix’, but I found myself loving it.

The exercises, the new food plan and if I’m honest the competition!

In the 28 days I managed to shift 11lbs, but this time it was 11lbs of actual fat! I even came second in the competition and won 6 months Bootcamp!

I have a much better understanding of food which is mainly due to Anthony’s emails, posts in the PW inner circle on Facebook, and general ad hoc advice. It makes perfect sense and the best bit is IT WORKS!

I had done it properly, and I looked different and felt so much healthier. I ditched my diet coke habit (7 cans per day!) changed my eating habits, and had the inch loss to prove this had actually worked!

12736366_10153439769150878_432621809_nIt all rubbed off on the Hubby too, he shifted 16lbs when I did the challenge, eating what I give him – rice cakes instead of crisps, cut right back on booze and fewer starchy carbs! He feels great and is now out of the diabetic danger zone, and we even completed two Nuts Challenges (army assault courses) together!

But was it maintainable? YES!

Here I am 3 years on, my weight has gone down even more, my body fat reduced and my body shape has completely changed, and the best part is I have managed to maintain the change. How? Simple, I swapped old unhealthy habits and replaced them with new healthy ones.

I online food shop, and my ‘favourites list’ is now a million miles away from the old one, not a hint of diet coke fridge packs, salami, white bread, crisps, bags of pasta, full fat cheese, and 8 bottles of wine! It now consists of cottage cheese, tonnes of veg, lean ham, egg whites, cereal bars, rice cakes, low fat yoghurts, and 2 bottles of wine which more often than not is still there Monday!

I have a routine and I stick to it. Even now, 3 years on I plan my meals for the week, so I know exactly what I’m cooking. This stops me picking at things while I decide what to cook. I NEVER make things complicated, everything I cook is from scratch and is quick!

I have 3 kids, at different schools and different finish times, I’m never home before 5:30 so speed is my friend! I still have a ‘cheat night’ or ‘cheat day’. If I want to drop a few extra pounds ready for a LBD or I have an indulgent weekend coming up then I stick to one cheat meal. If I’m just maintaining then every weekend I have a whole cheat day, usually Saturday.

The funny thing is, what I now class as an ‘indulgence’ is a snack in comparison to my old habits! My fridge is full of healthy options; not only does this help me but also encourages healthy eating for my kids.

I go to Bootcamp 3 times a week, I get up, put my gym clothes on, and go straight from the school run.


Are there mornings where I wake up and think “really can’t be arsed today”? Yep, but I make myself go, because I remind myself that of all the mornings I have felt like this, I have NEVER left a class and wished I hadn’t gone! I’m always glad I made the effort and feel better for it. I no longer worry about going back to the ‘old’ me.

My old habits are now so old it would take a lot of effort to go back to them, and quite frankly why would I?!

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