Bubbly volunteer and former client, Jules overcame debilitating injuries from a fall 44 years ago to gain a new lease of life. As our very first client of the month in May 2019, she shed 2.5 stone, discovered jogging and loves her new healthier lifestyle so much that she decided to inspire others to change their lives.
My Livewell Journey
After becoming a single parent I hadn’t realised how much weight I’d steadily gained until I tried on a favourite dress for my daughter’s friend’s wedding. I hadn’t worn the dress for 4 years but I got stuck in it and the zip broke. I felt so embarrassed but that gave me the push I needed to do something about it.
I had a health MOT at work with Livewell and that was the start of a journey that still continues today. I badly damaged my pelvis numerous years ago and was in constant pain - the last thing I wanted to do was exercise, but with the advisors’ encouragement I eased into gentle activity and built up the intensity. I knew it was going to be difficult but it was the best thing I’ve done in years and completely changed my life. I lost two and half stone, came off all my pain killers and I now actually enjoy exercise – I run and attend classes most days. The advisors and other clients are so supportive and motivating, no-one judges you and I’ve made many new friends.
My volunteering role with Livewell
As a volunteer I support Monday’s activation sessions for new starters at Max Road in Chaddesden. This involves meeting and greeting new clients, measuring weight and height and also sharing my own experiences. I was pleased to be asked to support the Lose Weight Feel Great course at Sinfin (an eight week weight management courses) which gives clients the tools they need to develop life-long healthier eating habits and understand why previous diets haven’t worked for them. I carry out measurements during the course so clients can see the difference it’s making. Exercise classes can be a bit daunting for new clients so I offer to meet them so they have someone to walk in with and a friendly face to turn to during the session. I know how nervous I was when I first started.
Me in 3 words
Feisty, witty, loving (my daughter came up with that one)
My favourite meal
It would have to be a roast dinner but I admit portion control goes out of the window when I cook one. However, I do extra runs to compensate!
My first passion is horses. Even though I can no longer ride because of my injuries, I still get involved as a volunteer with British Eventing. I got into running through Livewell’s Couch to 5k course and now baking is more fun as I create treats for our long Sunday runs (10-15K).
I’m a life-long Rams fan but tend to listen to games rather than watching at the stadium unless my family come over from Australia then going is a must. I enjoy watching rugby and my future son in law plays so there’s no excuse not to. To chill out, I garden or walk.
My best achievements
Having a wonderful grown up daughter who I’ve inspired to do the Couch 2 5k.
Conquering Carsington Reservoir by running around it and achieving a personal best time.
What you might be surprised to know
For the last 45 years I have held the record at my primary school for 100m!
My top lifestyle tip
Never give up, you can do it!
My favourite motivational quote
This quote from O G Madino (American author) is one I try to have in my mind if I start to struggle: “Always do your best, what you plant now you will harvest later. “
Jules’ top 3 tips for coping in lockdown
- Try and get out for a walk (if you are able) even if it’s only for a few minutes. Just listening to the birds singing helps me to relax as the reduction in traffic means you can hear them a lot better.
- If the weather’s poor or you’re self-isolating, use your stairs or a single step for exercise. Walk up and down them so you are still doing something.
- Keep your hands busy, I find knitting and sewing prevents me from continually snacking.