Starting BMI: 46:04

End BMI: 33.96

Weight loss (after 12 months): 37 kilos (5st 11lbs)

Advisor:  Joe Wilkinson

Losing over a quarter of her body weight coupled with a strong determination to succeed led Livewell Coordinator, Paul McGinty to nominate Amanda Ellis for January’s client of the month.

The 35 year old from Oakwood decided enough was enough when she started to struggle to climb her stairs and saw an unflattering picture of herself. Here’s how she developed a whole new mind set…..

“Seeing a photo of myself over a year ago left me shocked at my size.  I was uncomfortable with my weight and how I looked – getting nice clothes in my size had become a challenge.  When climbing my stairs left me breathless and I only left the house to go to work I knew something had to change to improve my health and self-esteem.

Driving to my office job and then sitting behind a desk all day meant I rarely exercised.  After work and at weekends I’d hide away my insecurities by watching television and tucking into chocolates and cake.  It was a vicious cycle.

Everything changed when I joined Livewell.  The advisors really listened, never judged and took the time to explain how to make gradual lifestyle changes and set sensible goals rather than dieting.  I’ve found that a change of lifestyle and a change of mind set has remained a constant reminder throughout my journey. 

Over the year, I’ve learnt a lot about healthy eating through the Lose Weight Feel Great course which has turned my eating habits around.  Missing meals and snacking on fatty foods is a thing of the past and my portions are now more realistic with a third of my plate filled with vegetables.  I’ve become a big fan of batch cooking so I always have a tasty home cooked meal to look forward to.

With gentle encouragement from the Livewell team I started to walk instead of drive and head to the gym and classes instead of slumming in front of the TV.  I feel so much better for it - I never thought I’d say I’ve got the bug for exercise!  I really enjoy being active every day.

Stepping onto the scales at my final review was such a happy moment.  I’ve lost 11lbs more than my 5 stone target and I’m so proud and happy that I’ve adopted this new way of life. 

People tell me I’m brimming with confidence, so much so that I’ve become a Livewell volunteer so I can hopefully spread my motivation to others.”

Amanda’s typical day – before

  • No breakfast
  • Rarely ate lunch
  • Dinner - plate full of pasta or potato, fried foods and anything that included bread (3-6 slices). Takeaway – 3 times a week
  • Snacks - chocolate bars, cake bars.
  • No exercise

Amanda’s typical day – after

  • Breakfast – banana and yoghurt/fibre bar
  • Lunch – bowl of cereal
  • Dinner – home cooked lasagne or Indian cottage pie with sweet potato topping accompanied by lots of veg or salad
  • Snacks - fruit
  • Gym, Spin and Body Pump (four days a week) and walking everywhere!

Amanda’s Top Tips

Take every opportunity Livewell offers you, it’s a fantastic way to try new things and discover different types of exercise that you might enjoy.  There’s the Lose Weight Feel Great 8-week course, Livewell activity programme, walks, Couch to 5k, drop-ins and lots more!  Check out their homepage for full information.

Talk to the advisors particularly if you’re having a difficult time or have reached a plateau, they have so much support, sound advice and encouragement to offer. 

Ask the Livewell volunteers (who are all former clients) about their own personal journeys and how they got through any difficult moments.  I felt inspired talking to people who had been through the challenges of losing weight.

Use an app to log your food calories.  It helps you be more mindful (and knowledgeable!) about the meals and snacks you’re eating.

Batch cook healthy meals at the weekend to freeze in individual portions ready for the busy week. You’ll be less likely to grab a takeaway or a processed ready meal.

Amanda - before her weight loss transformation and with Livewell advisor, Joe Wilkinson (left) and Livewell Coordinator, Paul McGinty.

Livewell client of the month Amanda beforeLivewell client of the month Amanda with advisor Joe Wilkinson and Coordinator Paul McGinty