Hotter, healthier, happier: Get The Gloss reader and hypothyroidism sufferer Donna Welsh, 46 shares why losing weight the Project Me way is one of the best decisions she's ever made

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When it comes to the endless supply of weight loss tips, fad diets and latest exercise crazes, what actually works when it comes to getting hot, healthy and happy? We wouldn’t blame you for feeling disillusioned by plans that constantly don’t deliver - Get The Gloss reader Donna Welsh, 46 felt exactly the same way, until she signed up to our 12 week Project Me Part 1 fitness and nutrition plan  that is.

Suffering from hypothyroidism and feeling disheartened by other plans she'd tried in the past, in discovering Project Me Part 1 she found a new and refreshingly addictive way of exercising and eating that benefitted her weight, waistline and overall wellbeing. Now in week 5 of the program, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing her Project Me progress on Instagram ( @dopeydonblue  in case you’d like to check it out) and so we decided to ask Donna to share her journey with us to find out why Project Me has held the key to her weight loss success so far and has her feeling hotter, healthier and happier than ever before.

GTG: Why did you decide to give Project Me Part 1 a try?

DW: I decided to give Project Me a go as I felt frumpy, fat, unfit and slightly depressed being unable to lose weight due to my hypothyroidism. I felt like I had tried absolutely every diet and exercise plan I could with no or very little success and being a regular reader of Get the Gloss, came across Project Me and decided to give it a go. I always find inspirational and realistic advice on the site, so I had faith that this might work!

GTG: Could you describe your Project Me journey so far for us?

DW: So far, my journey has been thoroughly enjoyable. The food has been delicious - absolutely scrumptious and filling. I’ve felt more inspired and excited than before which is great because it leaves me looking forward to completing the next day, whereas normally I would be dreading it. The results have also been a great motivation. Seeing the change happening has definitely pushed me to stick with it!

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GTG: How does it differ from other workout and nutrition plans you’ve tried in the past and how was it able to address your specific needs?

DW: The nutrition plan differs because the food is very very enjoyable compared to others where the food can be quite bland and leave you feeling like you’re missing out and wanting more. I enjoy cooking the meals and find it’s straightforward without being flavourless and boring.

The workouts are incredibly well explained and I didn’t struggle to follow the instructions and guidelines, which is something I’ve found difficult in the past.

In my opinion, the plan as a whole (both food and exercise-wise) was so straight-forward to follow that I didn’t find myself losing motivation. I actually looked forward to the food and exercise which is something I most definitely could not say I ever found before, (I was always searching for a Mars Bar and was too tired to move!) Also for the first time, I found that the weight stayed off, which has been a major issue due to my hypothyroidism.

GTG: What have been the best parts so far?

DW: For me, one of the main highlights has most definitely been the food. I love the variety of the meals and I am a huge fan of the raw fennel and pink grapefruit salad, along with the Mexican breakfast! There’s no meal I’ve tried so far that I could honestly say I have not enjoyed!

I also love the results. It’s a huge confidence boost to see all of the statistics going in the right direction and knowing that all the work is finally paying off! If I lose 1lb a week I would be highly delighted!

In fact, I shout it from the rooftops to all my friends and family and have arranged for my niece to come stay with me for a month to show her the ropes regarding the food and exercises.

GTG: Have you had any setbacks?

DW: I had a wee setback when I got carried away with my exercises and made a very stupid mistake of using far too heavy weights while my head was hanging off an exercise bench, (I know - it was totally silly, but I’ve got a brand new bench now which is long enough!) This resulted in me doing something to a disc in my neck and being unable to do any exercise for three weeks.

I recognise it for what it was - a hiccup, a silly mistake and I’m feeling much better and right back on it again. I’m hoping that in the next seven weeks I will carry on in the same vein as the first now that I’m moving again.

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GTG: Would you mind sharing with us your best Project Me stats to date?

DW: They are definitely heading in the right direction.

My best stats from week 1 are:

A loss of 4lbs;

A loss of 2.3% in fat;

Gaining 1.1% muscle;

A reduction in my BMI from 25.7 to 24.9.

Although I couldn't exercise for a few weeks due to my injury, I did stick to the food plan. Normally if I am unable to exercise, my weight just goes up and up.

Currently at the start of week 5:

A loss of 3lbs (so I only need to catch up 2lb to get back to my target of 1lb a week);

A loss of 1% in fat;

A gain of 0.3% in muscle (which is incredible for me considering I’ve been totally inactive!);

A reduction in my BMI from 25.7 to 25.1.

GTG: What would you recommend to other Project Me newbies?

DW: I would recommend that all other Project Me starters just focus on the final goal of getting healthy and most importantly enjoy the journey as they work towards their own individual aims.

I would also suggest preparing their meals ahead of time if busy with work or more tired than usual. This way, everything's ready leaving no excuses to give in. However should they have a hiccup, see it for what it is and don't beat themselves up about it. If they do feel like they're faltering, have a read over the inspirational tips in the plan and get straight back on it. The guide is so straightforward - it even gives you shopping lists and I felt ordering my shopping online was really helpful. I would also recommend to believe you can do it and that it’s most definitely worth throwing yourself into it and embracing it 100%.

If I can do it anyone can!

Feeling inspired? Buy the Project Me bundle (parts 1 and 2) for a special price of  £24.95 here  - a saving of £4.95 and stay motivated by following us  @ProjectMeGTG  on Instagram.

Follow us  @getthegloss  and Ayesha  @Ayesha_Muttu .