What started you on your Newcastle Can journey?
My journey began in summer 2017 after a trip to my doctors for a regular check-up (they make you do these sorts of things when you get to my age!). It was mostly fine but they were concerned about my cholesterol. The issue was due to my weight. Earlier in the year I stopped smoking and found that I was eating more instead, which led to quite a bit of weight gain. The doctor wanted me to lose two stone so I said I would give it a go.
How has it been?
Initially, it wasn't great! I wasn’t making the right choices and I wasn’t losing the weight. By the time I got to mid-August my weight was over 17 and a half stone and I now had 2.5 stone to lose to reach my goal. That’s when I decided I couldn’t do this alone and did two things.
- I joined the Newcastle Can team at work (I work at HMRC)
- I joined a local weight loss group
By doing both of these, I created network of support which helped encourage me to continue to lose the weight and improve my health.
What changes have you made?
I look at my journey as not being on a diet but as changing my lifestyle for a better future.
I still live life to the full and I still have my days where I go to beer festivals with my friends. But what I now do is to try and ensure that if I have a day out that I'm proactive in planing it in to my week, and that I offset it where possible to limit the adverse impact it will have on my journey to the new healthier me.
What's been the hardest thing?
Being too busy has been the hardest thing.
When you have plenty time to plan, prepare and cook your meals it is so much easier to do the right thing and keep the losses going. When you are pushed for time and just need something quick for tea it’s all too easy to make the wrong choices. But it still is possible!
How has it made a difference to you?
The help and support I have received - not just encouragement but new ideas on how to eat healthily and be more active - has been invaluable in keeping me on the right track.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of:
I’ve now lost 2 and a half stone since joining Newcastle Can.
I’m still not smoking.
I can run to catch a bus and be able to ask for my bus fare as I get on.
I’m still sticking to the plan I made and although losing weight slower I’m still losing it.
What would be your advice to others?
Never doubt yourself If you want to do something bad enough with the right people around you anything is possible.
More of the same hopefully. I want to be under 15 stone that’s my next target.
I believe that giving yourself small achievable targets towards your final goal and obtaining and celebrating these will help keep you going.