18-year-old Ben has lost a staggering 6st 2lbs (31% of his body weight) in the last year thanks to the support of Livewell’s specialist weight management programme for people with disabilities called, Liveability.

Due to various medical conditions, Ben struggled with his weight throughout childhood and his parents were concerned about the long term health implications, which prompted them to seek help from Livewell.

Ben’s dad, Jay said:  “Ben finds the outside world a frightening place and it’s a challenge for him to join in group activities.  Advisor, Mark came up with a home exercise plan that Ben could do every evening after college and he soon discovered a new love of star jumps! As a result we’ve transformed part of our home into a bit of a gym with a treadmill and weights which Ben uses with his brother. 

Ben will only eat certain foods which are mostly unhealthy but Mark gave us pointers around measuring and weighing portions to ensure we stuck to Ben’s calorie limit.  We also switched his sugary fizzy drink to a zero sugar version which drastically reduced his calorie intake.”

Getting weekly support from Mark built up Ben’s confidence and seeing his weight drop each visit spurred him on to get out and walk the family dog, something that would have been impossible for him before.

Jay added:  “Ben is much happier; he’s steadier on his feet, more energetic and not out of breath like he used to be.  It’s been a learning curve for us as a family.  We’ve all reduced our portion sizes and are more careful with snacks.  We couldn’t be prouder of what Ben has achieved.”

Liveability is Livewell’s free 12-month programme for people with learning and other disabilities.  Specialist advisors work with parents/carers and the individual to develop a flexible plan of healthy eating advice and exercise that cater for any physical and emotional difficulties.

Find out more about the Liveability programme