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Against all odds - Jean's Story

I receive emails from time to time. They all move me in one way or another.

This one moved me so much that I (with Jean's permission) scrapped my pitch for a million dollars at Australia's biggest tech conference and decided to get up on stage and read out the letter instead. 

The technology we're building is important, but it pales in significance to the real stories of triumph that come from the crew...

Dear Benny,

I’m not normally one to air my dirty linen, or baggage on social media with comparative strangers, but here goes.

My daughter, my only child, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 15 and after 15 months of chemo and surgery, she lost the battle and died aged 16 and a half years of age in 2003.

I’ve always lived by the mantra that you can do F’ all about the cards that life deals you, but you CAN control how you deal with the deck.

However we all need a bit of help, and my husband and I found that ‘the odd’ drink helped, and in my case, so did the odd bit of chocolate (My job at Mars was to run taste panels – a dream job, or what? In this case NO.)

The weight piled on, of course, but I got through the grief with my ‘twin helpers’. My husband  wasn’t so resilient. He was already unwell, having already had 2 heart attacks and coronary artery bypass surgery before our daughters diagnosis. Worried about her Dad, my daughter had made me promise to take care of him after she died.

He never really got over her death, and he was taken from me in 2016, and as a result I not only lost him, but also the very significant connection to with daughter.

Now living on my own, the twin support from chocolate and alcohol, saw me through to Christmas 2017.

I’d already had ‘the lecture’ about my weight and lifestyle from my GP and several months previously they had given me a referral letter providing 3 months free membership to Weight Watchers or Slimming World.

This referral letter lived in my diary throughout 2017, being transferred from one month to the next with me thinking that I would deal with it ‘later’.

Finally, at New Year in 2017, a little switch flipped in my brain and I made myself either bin the referral or use it.

So I joined WW.

As you know, chocolate and booze are ‘empty’ calories, of no nutritional value whatsoever, so you have to be clever about what you choose to consume.

The chocolate was easy to deal with by swapping it for other things, as despite other opinions, chocolate is a habit, not an addiction.

But the booze was another matter.

I still wanted it.

Then I discovered 101 tokens, I can’t remember how or where, but most probably Facebook.

I was struggling through Dry January at the time, so I signed up  to the app in mid-January 2018.

With this help, Dry January was achieved with relative ease and I still had 101 tokens left going into February.

To cut along story short… I haven’t given up anything that I like, but today, in November 2018, I am 81 lbs lighter and have only used 55 tokens for the whole of this year. Which means I can have a guilt free drink at Christmas and New Year (woohoo!!!) 

What worked?

I have diligently logged all drinking occasions into the app, which has helped immesly, but the powerful question for me has been – Worth it ? Yay or nay?

When I really thought about it, often, but not every time, I’ve thought “Actually, no, it WASN’T worth it”.

That thought took hold in my brain and made it easier to say ‘No’ more often, despite being told. ‘one drink wont hurt’ by some well-meaning friends.

I’ve also discovered it is much easier to say ‘no’ to the first drink, than to the second, third, fourth or fifth.(You get the picture?)

For me it’s all about the ‘mindfulness’, putting it front and centre of my conscious thoughts.

I still miss my daughter and husband, but no longer need any help to deal with the loss.

So thank you Benny (and WW) I am 66% of the person I was a year ago, and much healthier!



It's amazing that Jean and I have been able to continue the dialogue too as we are all in to support our members on their adventures beyond shifting their lifestyle. 

If you're token crew member and want to share a story please send a request to [email protected] 

Or if you'd like to book in a chat to discuss your options for becoming a smart drinker like Jean - book a call here


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