It sounds like one of those annoying adverts you see whilst perusing the net. You know the one, the jelly belly one… But, jelly bellies aside I lost the easiest stone my life the four weeks after my trip to Allen Carr’s UK clinic in London.
May 5th 2013,
Weight: 13 Stone 9,
My diary, if I was a Bridget Jones type of a guy.
Okay, I’ll admit, I’m not the gym bunny I once was. As the editor and chief of TheGayUK my schedule doesn’t allow for anything but swift runs down to the kitchen for coffee and a sandwich. I know that I should be all Anna Wintour and get up at 6 for half an hour of tennis, showered and in the office by 8, but it’s not going to happen.
Changes that massive don’t just happen.
Or do they?
As I took my seat on the top floor of the Allen Carr centre, I thought it strange,. This isn’t the room where miracles look like they may happen. Where were the candles, the dry ice, and the evangelical preacher? There were however, mumblings and hushed excitable claims; claims of salvation from smoking and drinking and deliverance from the jaws of addictions.
The woman next to me, positively brimming with excitement, said that she had done the course years ago, and was, for years after, ‘too thin – and loved it.’
My fellow weighty-warrior’s excitement reached a palpable levels of rapture.
Something amazing would happen here today, people were sure of it. I, jaded about weight-loss was not so sure.
I’ve always felt I was over-weight, although looking back on old photos; I was just a whippet of a person. I’ve tried every diet from Cabbage to Californian, from Atkins to Abstinence. When I was 21, I was bulimic for two years, and from my twenties onwards my life has been dogged with weight-worries and yo-yo dieting which leave most people spinning from the absurdity of it all. No calorie was left uncounted, no gram of fat ignored.
So you understand my dulled view on the enraptured clientele dotted around the weighty warrior’s room.
Chris our mentor for the day, formally an Allen Carr veteran having lost a nearly an entire man’s worth of weight, is a calm, softly spoken and considerate person.
He asked us why were here and what diets we had done in the past. One by one each person recited a litany of failed diets and crushing stories of unsuccessful ‘get-thin-quick’ schemes. After each Chris genuinely reaffirmed:
“You did not fail the diet, the diet failed you.”
A number of my fellow would-be weighty warriors also recounted miraculous stories of renouncing their smoking habits. People who had formally been a 40-a-day chain smoker had walked away from the clinic, throwing their cigs into the bin as they walked out free, never to return to the habit again.
These, I thought, are clearly paid actors, or zealots – fanaticals that should be ignored at all costs.
After all, I’m here to prove that no weight loss claim is true – I have tried every single one.
His soft tones and talk of a healthier, brighter, leaner me was ticking all the right boxes. Yes I did want to be healthier, eat healthy, be healthy, yes I do want to stand in front of a mirror naked and be happy! His well-trodden homily was enough to send me into some kind of blissful outer body experience. A bit like when Mr. Tumnus plays his magic flute to Lucy in Narnia. Yes I would be fitter, healthier and leaner, yes I would learn to love lettuce and radishes.
I don’t want to give too much away about the experience, because I want you to experience it for yourself, but something incredible happened when I left that day.
For an entire month, I didn’t drink alcohol, I gave up my 7-to-10-a-day coffee habit, I gave up diary, bread and eggs – and I add, without pain or suffering, something truly miraculous had occurred.
Within a week, I had lost 7lbs. Going from 13stone 9, to 13stone 2. I can’t remember when I was this light.
Week two another 2lbs, week three another 3lbs. Within a month I had lost 1 Stone and 1 Lbs.
What’s more I had become an Allen Carr zealot – and with results like these why wouldn’t you. I relished the moment, when someone would say: ‘Have you lost weight?’ and I would proudly, say my scripted bit,
‘Yes I have! I went on Allen Carr’s Easyway,’ invariably the questioner would look at me with suspicion, and I would add,
‘Not Alan Carr – “Chatty Man” (always doing the voice), but Alleeeeen Carr, the guy who invented Easyway!’
People began to think they were paying me – they aren’t.
Even now I’m still loosing a pound a week – and I look set to be 12 stone by mid August – and I’m genuinely excited.
Do I miss coffee, tea, bread, and eggs, cheese? No absolutely not. What I thought were my favourite foods were actually the ones making me most miserable.
When I first contacted Allen Carr Easyway to book myself on the one day course, the head of marketing John, who presumed I was in the business of trying to sell advertising, very politely told me that Allen Carr never advertised, surviving on customer testimonials.
Well Allen Carr has clinics in over 150 cities worldwide, they help tens of thousands of people every year and Allen Carr’s books have sold over 13 million copies.
Clearly there are a lot of Allen Carr fans.
Today, 15th July, marks the 30th anniversary, so to every Allen Carr Veteran, I applaud you and wish you a happy thinness.