Jenny Craig Rapid Results program: Shelly Horton trials weight loss approach

No-one really wants to be approached by a company to trial their weight loss program. I’m sure the PR rep was freaking out about getting people on board.

But I have openly written about my weight for years – it goes up and down like cryptocurrency. I’m back up near my heaviest, and I know it, but I don’t feel bad. I don’t hate my body.

The fact is, I’m hungry all the time. Whether it’s my genetics, habits or my insulin resistance (which I’ve had for 20 years), my body is not programmed like Gwyneth Paltrow and I’m not about to dip myself in gold paint.

I’m 49, so my focus is on health not a so-called bikini body. A recent blood test showed my insulin resistance is now tipping me into the diabetic range and my GP told me to lose some weight (without much empathy, I might add), so it felt like time to work on my health.

READ MORE: The Reset: ‘The part of my health journey I wish I could change’

Shelly Horton has been on a health kick. (Instagram/Shelly Horton)

I think when it comes to a health kick, you must flick a switch in your head and really decide to do it.

When I was offered a chance to trial Jenny Craig Rapid Results program for a month, I wasn’t too keen, but I felt I should. They also offered that my husband Darren could do the program with me, and I’ve got to tell you, that makes life so much easier. It would be so hard doing it by yourself and then having to prepare a meal for someone else. So, like having an exercise buddy, I had a healthy eating buddy.

I remember my mum going on Jenny Craig when I was in high school. It was the late ’80s and back then it was canned food, not even microwavable. It was awful.

Anyway, the first week Darren and I were hyper-motivated, and both stuck to it really, really well.

The canned food has been shown the door and now the food is pretty damn good. There are a few revolting options, like the powdered chicken soup (which can I tell you should be a drink, not a lunch) and the vegetable tikka masala (I really don’t know how vegetarians and vegans ever feel full?), and some of my favorites were the chicken parmigiana and lamb moussaka.

Here’s the catch: The serving sizes are for ants. Well, compared to my normal serving sizes, obviously.

Holy Quarter Pounder, Batman, I was so damn hungry. I know your meat serves need to be less than the size of your palm (no fingers), but when I was confronted with how that looks on a plate I nearly cried.

It was hard. It was really hard. I was very hangry. Darren was calmer than me. That annoyed me. A Lot.

We ended up having to really fill up on salads and vegetables. My stomach grumbled a lot. I grumbled a lot.

I’m also used to eating chocolate every single day, so giving up the chocolate was very difficult. A true addiction. But I did start to enjoy yoghurt as a dessert and trust me, I didn’t think those words would ever come out of my mouth.

After battling through seven days of deprivation, when I checked in with my lovely Jenny Craig consultant, Cathy, I had dropped a whopping 2.5 kilograms in one week, which I’ve got to tell you is very bloody motivating.

WATCH: The He Said, She Said panel discusses the delicacies of discussing weight with your partner. (Post continues.) 

The second week was harder because life got in the way. On the upside, I was moving house (my smart watch recorded that I did 85 flights of stairs in two days), so the microwaveable meals were incredibly convenient. On the downside I had an interstate job emceeing an event, so sticking to frozen meals is a challenge.

I went to Canberra, and you can’t really take your food with you to get microwaved. I did consider it. I mean, The Rock does that when he goes out to eat, he just brings his pre-prepared food and gets them to microwave it. But let’s face it, I’m not The Rock. I love Dwayne Johnson, but I love food more.

I made fairly healthy choices, but I did drink half a bottle of red wine after the event. I tend to eat and drink to reward myself.

I was pleasantly surprised when the scales showed I was down another kilo. Man, I was nailing this JC challenge. Yay me!

Of course, life then threw more challenges at me. I attended the Australasian Menopause Society Conference in Cairns for three days and then had a big birthday celebration with friends in Byron.

In Cairns, my food intake was OK but there was drinking each night, and I didn’t hold back. You are only allowed two alcoholic drinks a week on JC. Two alcoholic drinks a week I would count as booze-free!

READ MORE: The sleeping position ruining your back

Shelly Horton
“My stomach grumbled a lot. I grumbled a lot.” (Instagram/Shelly Horton)

In Byron, I turned 49 and celebrated with exceptional food and truckloads of booze, not helped by a never-ending cheese plate that we refilled as we drank and laughed all weekend. But it was my birthday, damnit.

What was that I said about rewarding myself with food and booze?

The upshot was I was back up a kilo. Well, at least I can’t say I was surprised.

The following week I knuckled down and got back on track. I started Deep Water Running again, plus I did some long beach walks. The result was down 1.7 kilograms.

So, in the four weeks I’d lost 4.2 kilograms, which I’m really happy with considering the splurges.

No-one has noticed I’ve lost weight, but I no longer want people to comment on my weight going up or down. I don’t want to do before-and-afters in 2022. I do feel healthier and like I’m taking better care of myself. I also know what I need to cut back on; those serving sizes are an eye opener.

Shelly Horton and husband Darren
“We’re aiming for disease prevention, not skinny jeans.” (Instagram)

Oh, and for those playing along at home, Darren lost seven kilograms in the month! Instead of being mad and growling that men always lose weight faster than women, I’m proud of his commitment.

Here it is in a nutshell: If you stick to Jenny Craig 100 per cent, you will get 100 per cent get results. But life gets in the way – birthdays, work trips, nights out with friends. But that’s OK too.

Darren and I have decided we appreciate the convenience and portion control of Jenny Craig, so we are now handing over our own cash to stay on the program. We figure if we have JC for most of the week and just a few nights out, it will help our weight get back into a healthier range. Not rapid results, but slow and steady like the way it crept back on.

We’re aiming for disease prevention, not skinny jeans. Life’s too short to be hangry all the time, but my life will be shortened if I let diabetes catch me. So, my journey along life’s weight tightrope continues.

The writer was provided with four weeks of Jenny Craig FOC.