When Tom joined Livewell to lose weight seven months ago, his aim was to lower his risks of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.  He now knows that his actions are also reducing his chances of becoming more seriously ill from Covid-19.

Weight before:  128.8 kilos / 20 stone 2lbs
Weight after 7 months:  111 kilos / 17 stone 7lbs
BMI before: 38.9
BMI after 7 months: 33.5
Body weight reduction: 13%

“Keeping motivated to lose weight during a global pandemic is tough but with the right frame of mind and support it can be done.”

Losing eight inches from his waistline and almost three stone, Tom’s aim to lower his blood pressure and reduce his risks of some serious health problems have been realised.  Despite the lockdown and being furloughed from his warehouse job, Tom has kept going on his weight loss journey with remote support from Livewell advisor, Sufyaan.

He shares his story so far:

“My weight had crept up over the years.  The crunch point came when my doctor told me I had high blood pressure and that my weight was putting me at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other health diseases. Hearing those words knocked me for six so upon my GP’s advice, I joined Livewell.

I was sceptical walking into my first activation session back in October.  I’m not one for talking to strangers or getting involved in groups but my inhibitions melted away when I realised all the other clients were similar sizes to me and that the advisors really knew their stuff.  Not only that, they didn’t preach, they shared their advice in a friendly, practical way and helped me to understand where I was going wrong.  I soon realised why diets don’t work and that making some small changes can make a big difference. 

Walking 7 miles a day for my warehouse job, I thought I was active enough but Sufyaan explained that your body gets used to doing the same activity all the time, so it starts to burn fewer calories.  He suggested challenging my body by doing more intense exercise on top of my working miles.  With my high blood pressure, I couldn’t do much right away but as soon as it lowered to a safe level, I tried Livewell’s circuits classes and quickly recognised the value of different exercises in building my strength and getting my heart pumping.

Increasing my activity and changing my eating habits lowered my blood pressure further.  Before I had nothing to eat, not even breakfast until the evening when I got in from work and then I’d munch away until bedtime.  Two of the best pieces of advice Suf gave me was to eat breakfast and drink water.  Sounds simple stuff but when you don’t realise that actually eating three proper meals a day can help you lose weight and that drinking lots of water prevents your brain from signalling that you’re hungry when in fact you’re hydrated, all start to make sense and the pounds gradually dropped off.

That’s another reason Livewell is different, no big loses in weight in one go but because I’ve lost 1-2lbs a week, it’s staying off even if I have the occasional treat. 

I had just completed by commitment card and was excited about using the Council gyms when lockdown happened.  Thankfully Suf reassured me that all current clients will get their full 12 month leisure centre membership once it’s safe for them to re-open and he’s called me weekly offering support and tips to keep me on track.  For the last six weeks, I’ve channelled my energies into giving my whole house a facelift – a job I’d put off for years.  Not being able to bend to paint skirting boards and being too out of breath to climb ladders meant this was too big a task to undertake before.

Monitoring my blood pressure at home, I’m really pleased that it’s consistently in the healthy range. I’m looking forward to my GP giving me a far better outlook at my next appointment.  I still have a way to go to reach my 100 kilo target but I’m getting there. At a time when obesity and diabetes is linked to a higher risk of COVID-19 complications, I’m so thankful I took the decision to improve my health 7 months ago and that I can take this opportunity to prove to others that serious health risks can be reduced or even reversed.”

June Client of the Month - Tom Kavanagh