There is no Silver Bullet
Kathy Moss (49-year-old competitive equestrian)
I first started Jerzy and Aniela's Happy Body program in January 2008, when I was turning 48-years-old. I worked closely with them for a year. The Happy Body program fundamentally changed my approach to both diet and exercise, and I am very happy with what I learned and have been able to do.
When I first came to The Happy Body, I was fairly fit and strong. I had been running an average of 4 miles a day since college, did two fairly strenuous yoga classes per week, and complimented that with a weekly private pilates class, to better use and develop my core muscles. I rode horses competitively, played tennis, could climb the Alps on my bike, and skied regularly during the winter - both downhill and cross-country.
However, I had two complaints about my level of fitness and my body. For most of my life I had wanted to lose five to ten pounds. From age 35 to 45, I had pretty much accomplished that goal. But after three children, and approaching age 50, I had gained those pounds back. Also, I was a fairly stiff person with tight hips that often hurt and a fairly limited range of motion in my shoulders and back.
I was obviously working on my flexibility with yoga, pilates, and regular body work. But I was making only slow progress. I had regularly tried a variety of diets in my life, too, starting in my twenties and still at it in my forties. I regularly visited a fitness book camp where I could drop ten pounds in a week but very quickly would gain the weight back.
Since beginning the program, I have replaced my daily runs with 30 to 40 minutes of The Happy Body exercises, with several unexpected results in the area of flexibility. I still wake up in the morning fairly stiff, with the aches and pains of an active 49-year-old woman, however, after doing my exercises, I feel active, mobile and ready to take on any challenge, be it mental or physical. My range of motion has expanded greatly. For example, within one month of starting the program I increased the mobility in my shoulders so much that I could do a full Wheel Pose in yoga, something I had never been able to do before. I am still working on my hips, which have also shown great improvement. Despite my long-term relationship with it, and to my surprise, I do not miss running. And I feel freer to enjoy the day and my various activities without worrying about burning calories.
From a diet perspective, I spent one year sticking fairly closely to the prescribed regimen. Despite my sweet tooth and chocoholic nature, I did not eat desserts or snack on sweets the entire time. I found that, in general, I was happy with the food and the quantities recommended by The Happy Body program. I also appreciated Jerzy's view that I was not going to be perfect all the time, and that splurging on a special meal, or eating dessert now and then, is really just a part of life. What was important was getting back on the scale and being able to return to the regimen when necessary. The Happy Body approach to diet works perfectly for my lifestyle.
Working with Jerzy and Aniela, I learned some key lessons that have changed many of my attitudes in life. I now truly believe that there is no silver bullet; that there are no exceptions; that if you eat ice cream every single night you will definitely gain weight, even if you exercise aggressively and regularly. I can't hide from the truth by staying away from the scale and wearing sweat pants so I don't have to face how tight my jeans have become. I now understand and embrace a healthy lifestyle of regular, moderate exercise and diet. I understand that small changes, done regularly, add up to big changes, and that making small changes is a much happier and healthier way to live than wild swings in eating, exercise and moods.