Chatty Louise uses her sunny personality and love to laugh to help clients feel welcome and supported.  Over the last five years, she’s discovered that scales are only one measure of health and aren’t as important as how you feel mentally and physically. She also shares some other valuable lifestyle lessons….

My Livewell Journey

I joined Livewell in 2015 when Moorways was still open and in the first year I lost 21lbs. Back then I felt nervous of even walking quickly as it had been so long since I exercised. I was the most unfit I had ever been. 

At my first class I wore a long sleeved t-shirt and didn’t even think to take water.  Literally no gear and no idea!! My sister joined at the same time and I also took a buddy with me for support. 

Before long I was doing two classes a week and chatting to other people. I talk a lot! I never felt awkward and was welcomed by other members and the advisors.Swimming was really easy for me and an early morning swim was a great start to the weekend. 

I attended the Lose Weight Feel Great 8-week course which was very good. I knew I was overweight because I ate too much but there was much more to learn and tips to put into practice. 

My next step was to get back to the gym and attend an induction. I hadn’t ventured inside a gym for over 20 years but found the pre-programmed sessions really helpful. My advisor told me that everyone else would be focussed on their own session and not to worry about being self-conscious. It was true. The staff were encouraging and helpful. Other members were simply getting on with their exercises. 

Following the Livewell year I took up the Wellness membership and then Derby Active’s monthly membership (I managed to get a discounted offer for a year) and continued to attend various Livewell classes. 

I lost a bit more weight but more importantly I increased my strength, reduced my blood pressure and exercise became part of my weekly routine. Attending regular classes whilst laughing, chatting and making new friends has been a vital part of my Livewell experience. 

Work got in the way unfortunately and I dropped down to only one or occasionally two classes per week. The new timetable didn’t fit in well with my work and I then gradually put on weight again. No excuses other than over eating and feeling too busy to make the effort to exercise. 

Since January this year I have regained focus. I have walked almost every evening this year and use my cross trainer at least four times per week.  As a result, I have now lost 2 stone and 10lbs. 

I use a Fitbit to record my calories and have proven that eating less and moving more is simply all we need to do. If only it was that easy. It’s slow progress but I do know that if I didn’t go out for my evening walk I would miss it now. Plus it’s a great opportunity to chat. 

Just recently, I’ve started Joe’s live exercise sessions on Livewell’s Facebook Group which helps me feel part of the classes even though we’re all at home!

I still have a few more stone to lose but when I look back I am pleased with the changes I have made. The scales don’t tell the whole story as there are so many more positives to my Livewell experience. 

My volunteering role with Livewell 

I started volunteering in summer 2019.

I helped out at a couple of Lose Weight Feel Great courses and at Livewell’s Stoptober roadshow at Intu where I managed the queues for blood pressure tests and chatted to people about what Livewell offers. 

I enjoy talking to people about the exercise classes. I try to encourage them to join in as I think it’s important to gain a sense of belonging and to achieve together. I’ve always tried to welcome people and help them settle in. I am known for helping demonstrate alternative, lower impact moves, particularly to burpees. In spite of all the encouragement I cannot/ will not attempt a burpee!

One of my Livewell friends said that I made her feel welcome at her first class. Apparently I said that it would be good to see her again the next week and she said it had encouraged her to come back. I don’t remember that but I know that feeling included and making a commitment to meet up the next week helps to motivate me to attend sessions. 

Me in 3 words

Supportive, fair, talkative 

My favourite meal

Lasagne, salad and garlic bread.  Still my favourite but I enjoy more salad now. 

My passions/interests

  • Family gatherings, which usually include sharing food and drinks. 
  • Supporting my family. 
  • Musical theatre and dance. 
  • Taking short breaks away - I prefer lots of short breaks to a long holiday.  

My best achievement

My children, now 31, 29 and 25. I’m very proud of them (still have a bit of baby weight to lose!)

What you might be surprised to know

Anyone who knows me will know that there are no surprises about me. Nothing very remarkable and an open book. 

My lifestyle tip

Put family and health first. Everything else is unimportant by comparison. 

My favourite motivational quote

Not an actual quote but when bad things happen I always try to think ‘it could be worse’ which always helps put things into perspective. 

My tips for surviving lockdown

Keep busy - sort out cupboards/tidy, catch up on those things you never make time to do. Do anything other than sitting down, dwelling on negatives and making yourself miserable. Talk to people and laugh together. 

 Join Livewell’s Facebook Group for remote support, tips and expert guidance from the team.  Joe’s weekly live exercise class is suitable for all levels.