• Weight reduction from 115 to 91 kilos
  • Lost 21% of body weight, 24 kilos or 3.5 stone
  • BMI reduction from 31.86 to 25.2
  • Waist reduction from 38 to 34 inches

“I’m in the best shape of my life!”

Colin Robbins from Oakwood is proof that you can stay active and healthy as you age.  Nine months after joining Livewell he’s at his physical peak, shedding three and a half stone and reducing his obese body mass index (BMI) to a healthy range.

 Like most of us, Colin’s weight didn’t become an issue until his late twenties when he found he could no longer eat what he wanted without putting on weight.  From then the pounds steadily crept on until he reached his highest weight of 115 kilos.

Health scare

Things finally came to a head at a routine doctor’s appointment. Hearing that his blood pressure was dangerously high - placing him at an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke - gave Colin the wake- up call he needed to take action and to join Livewell’s weight management programme.

“The shock of being told that I could develop serious health problems made me re-evaluate my lifestyle.  Although I was fairly active it wasn’t enough to burn off the excessive fatty and salty foods I was eating.  With my weight at an all time high, I struggled to walk briskly or do any exercise that would make a difference. My knees ached and my foot hurt whenever I tried, partly due to the pressure on my joints from carrying the extra pounds.

High blood pressure and cholesterol runs in my family but when you know you can control these to some extent with lifestyle changes, then it seems a good idea to try.  Thanks to Livewell’s healthy eating resources and guidance I transformed the way I ate, cutting out salty and fatty processed foods and reading labels and packages more carefully.

Changing habits

Fruit and vegetables barely featured in my diet so I introduced lots of different types which I now really enjoy – food tastes so much better with a rainbow of colour on your plate.  When eating out, I check the menu and opt for lean proteins and a good helping of veg or salad.

As well as diet support, my advisor, Joe designed me an exercise programme that I could do in the gym or at home, which worked well in between lock downs and during COVID-19 restrictions.  Through a mix of cardio and strength I aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity every day, and I’m proud to say I haven’t missed a single session since February.  As my fitness improved, I increased my amount of vigorous exercise and found working out at night really suited me. I also started walking more and tackling hillier routes at a brisker pace.

The quarterly reviews with Joe gave me the opportunity to discuss my progress and ask questions. It’s motivating to have someone encouraging and enthusiastic to talk things over with.

My recent blood pressure and cholesterol results were spot on and my joint pain has reduced considerably.  It’s strange to think that doing more makes you less lethargic but without the excess weight to carry, I have so much more energy.

No going back

Now that I’ve lost the weight, maintaining my slimmer self is my new goal. Snacking at the wrong time or saying no to cakes when friends offer them is tricky but it’s easier to turn them down when you know that you shouldn’t. Keeping my walking routine is harder during winter as it’s tempting to stay indoors when it’s cold and dark but I’m determined to stay fit and a waist size 34 despite having to buy new clothes.

As you get older, it’s easy to think that it’s too late to change but honestly, I’ve never felt so good. With lockdown there was a long gap between family and friends seeing me. They could hardly believe it when they did!"

Colin’s typical day





 Cereal/bacon buttie

 Cereal with almond milk, blueberries, glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon


 Pastie, crisps, cake

 Baked fish, rice, carrots, courgettes, peppers and fruit


 Fish and chips or pie and chips or a quick and easy processed meal

 Rice,lean chicken/turkey and vegetables


 Chocolate bars, biscuits

 Seasonal fruit

Joe’s top tips for getting fit later in life

  1. Speak to your doctor before doing any new exercise.
  2. Find an exercise you love doing – you’re more likely to stick to it!
  3. Build up your exercise gradually – don’t push too hard to avoid getting injured.
  4. Exercise with friends or make new ones!  They are more likely to support and encourage you.  Livewell’s free led walks are a great way to start.
  5. Set a goal – walking further, training for an event or increasing your time
  6. Include some strength, balance and flexibility exercises to help make you stronger and feel more confident on your feet.  Livewell’s YouTube channel offers a variety of home exercise workouts for all levels.

Colin Robbins before and after