Advisor, Sufyaan nominated Tracy for her ‘can do’ attitude which has resulted in her losing over a stone and better managing her asthma in the three months since she started the programme.

Despite a busy and often stressful job in accountancy, Tracy has seized the opportunity to get stuck into healthier activities including our exercise sessions at Alvaston Park, walking, swimming and joining our Facebook support group.

Here’s Tracy’s story so far….

Time to change

“My weight had crept up after going through the early menopause at 45.  I used to be a size 8-10 but my dress size had increased to a 14-16.  I was unhappy with my stomach and I noticed myself wobbling when I walked, which mortified me.  My grown-up children had left home but I was still preparing meals for four for just my husband and I (double what we should have been eating).

I got into some bad habits during lockdown – eating chocolate every day and drinking processco in the evenings.  Working at home meant I was hardly moving to burn off the extra calories.

Battling a nasty respiratory virus that hospitalised me a few years ago, taking medication for chronic migraines that makes me really hungry all of the time; and then shielding due to my severe asthma left me feeling worried about the increased risks of Covid due to my weight. 

The turning point came in mid-January when I felt really unwell and stepped on the scales.  I hadn’t weighed myself for months so when I realised I’d put on another two stone I could have cried.  From that point I started eating sensible portions, reduced my drinking and tried to get out and walk a little more.

Taking control

I joined Livewell in March through the virtual meetings with advisors, Suf and Aimee.  I met others starting out on their journeys and joined a few of them at the outdoor exercise sessions which advisor Andy delivered. The group is so friendly and we have some fun whilst we exercise. I’d much prefer to be active outside than stuck in the gym though I have given it a go!  I’ve started swimming again which is gentler on my joints and I enjoy it.

Reporting my weight losses in the Facebook Group’s weekly Weigh In Wednesday helps me stay on track.  It’s lovely to get some positive feedback from other clients and the support from advisor Louise keeps us all going even if we’ve had a tough week and the scales aren’t moving in the right direction!  The regular check ins with my advisor, Suf also help keep me motivated.

I’m much more mindful about keeping active at home – if I’m in a virtual a meeting, I’ll march or do a bit of boxercise.  I also run on the spot whilst the kettle boils.  My colleagues are now used to me combining exercise with work!  I also walk whenever I can.  I could barely walk a mile a few months ago, now I happily walk 5 miles in one go with my husband and dog. 

Feeling the benefits

I already feel so much better and much more energised.  The days of falling asleep on the sofa in the early evening are long gone and I enjoy playing and running around after my young granddaughters. It’s the little things that make a big difference to your quality of life.  Putting my socks on is easier and I have the strength to bend down to pick up my grandchildren without feeling in pain.   

My long-term aim is to get down to 9 stone, which is just in the healthy BMI range for my 5ft 1” height.  With Livewell’s support I’m determined to get there!”

Tracy’s Top Tips

Bulk up meals with vegetables – veggies like broccoli and cauliflower are filling and nutritious.  It feels like I’m having a huge meal but I stay within the recommended calorie count.

Sensible takeaway choices – I love an Indian takeaway at the weekend but I’ve swapped my usual high fat curry for a lower calorie grilled Chicken Tikka Shashlik which I enjoy just as much with a homemade salad.

Guilt-free sipping – I now only drink alcohol as a treat at the weekend.  Gin and slimline tonic or vodka and sugar-free cranberry juice contain less calories than my usual tipples and they make refreshing alternatives for the summer. 

Block out time for exercise – if you’re time poor like me then planning is key to fitting in exercise.  I diary in my lunch time walks and make sure that I get a dose of exercise every day.