You might have seen Sarah-Jayne Croft on ITV’s This Time Next Year; a show that follows people’s progress reaching for a life-long goal. Her amazing story, losing ten stone in just 12 months*, opened the first episode last week and it’s an inspiration to anyone trying to lose weight.
Bodychef are proud to have been part of her journey and, though Davina McCall got the scoop, we thought we’d catch up with Sarah-Jayne after the show was aired to see how she’s got on since turning her life around. Has she kept the weight off and what goal is she working toward now?
We started with the last week. ‘It’s been crazy! It’s been bonkers,’ she tells us, ‘You never know what to expect!’
At the end of one full year of dieting on-camera, Sarah-Jayne feels proud to have kept her cool after the show finished. It’s been an emotional and intense period but, ‘I haven’t gone mad’, she says. ‘It’s getting your head around the fact that No, I’m not doing it for a television show – I’m doing it for me.’
Well she may be keeping the weight off for herself, but Sarah-Jayne’s focus is already on how she can help others to achieve what she did. She’s been busy setting up her own weight-loss business, Time To Prove Them Wrong, and is determined to pass on what she’s learnt. By digging deep into the psychology of eating, Sarah-Jayne wants to help people change their lives, to like themselves again and ‘not use food as a weapon.’
‘And if I help other people,’ she adds, ‘it will make me focus as well! I can’t tell somebody to eat well if I’m tucking into a chocolate bar!’
This year, Sarah-Jayne’s got a personal trainer and a packed exercise regime. But it sounds like the drive to share her journey is what’s really keeping her moving.
She says she’s ‘still trying to get used to being me again.’ But it’s clear she’s got no regrets. On her approach to food, she tells us, ‘I’ve definitely made a change! I don’t use food as a weapon anymore… I can stand up for myself. And I like how I look and I like how I feel and I don’t want to abuse that.’
Of This Time Next Year, Sarah-Jayne says: ‘The show’s great, it was nice to see. But it’s a shame they didn’t show the process.’ And it’s true. With all the attention focused on Sarah-Jayne’s before and after interviews, we didn’t get to see much of the hard work she did in the middle!
So what’s her advice for people who are where she was a year ago? And what should they be wary of? ‘The classic mistake people make is that they don’t visualise where they want to be. We think about the end goal, like a holiday or a wedding or an incentive.’ The key, it seems, is to imagine what it’s going to feel like this time next year, no matter what goal it is you’re reaching for.
Memorably, Sarah-Jayne wanted to get into her sexy costume for Re-Wind Festival and, she explains, this was her visualisation, what she used the motivate herself. Sarah-Jayne went as the superhero She-Ra, so was that the trick? Do we all just need a cape in the wardrobe? ‘Not everyone has to be She-Ra!’, laughs Sarah-Jayne. ‘But they need a dress, or something to get into, so that they feel that achievement!’
Sarah-Jayne puts much of her success down to preparation, and that’s where Bodychef come in. She’s clear that nobody’s perfect and all of us snack. The mistake a lot of people make is not to plan for that! Sarah-Jayne explained how, during the year, she was careful to keep some things included in her daily plan for ‘hungry moments, or hanger moments – and I have them all the time!’
After finishing her Bodychef diet plan, Sarah-Jayne kept up the same ethos, packing and calorie-counting fruit boxes and savoury boxes to have at hand when hunger struck! ‘Obviously Bodychef means you’ve got it’, she says, ‘it’s already there! You don’t have to think about it, what [the meal] is. It’s planned and it’s delivered to you by Bodychef. And certainly when I was with you guys, that was really useful!’
Beyond business, Sarah-Jayne’s sights are set on South America and a new fitness goal! In honour of her father, and in aid of The British Heart Foundation, she and her husband hope to walk the Inca trial next year. ‘Because I couldn’t walk when I was 28 stone, I used to limp’ she told us. ‘And Dad was really worried about my weight and, as you saw from the show, he died at Christmas so he’s not here to see my result. I think it’s a legacy for him, you know?’
In business and in walking boots, we wish Sarah-Jayne the best of success!
Visit her Just Giving page to donate money to her effort, and don’t miss this week’s episode of This Time Next Year on ITV1 at 8!
*Results may vary by individual