Three and a half years ago, at the age of 48, I confronted the fact that I was heavily overweight and had been for about 15 years.
In my twenties and thirties I did mainly manual work which meant that although I ate high calorie junk food I didn't put on much weight. So fish and chips, takeaways, chocolate and crisps were the norm for me and I took little notice of the impact this might be having on my health.
I started noticing my body becoming fatter in my forties but presumed that I was getting older and that it was normal for me to get fatter and less active. I convinced myself there was little I could do about it and that this was just something I had to put up with.
I tried a slimming group for the first time in 2014 and during the first 8 months I lost three and a half stone, but I didn't change my lifestyle, had little exercise and still craved the wrong food. Eventually I regained most of the weight I'd lost.
I started to enquire through my doctor and at a local gym about other approaches to more permanent weight loss and lifestyle change.
The local leisure centre mentioned a 10 week GP referral scheme where a personal trainer would help me get a fitness program together. My GP also recommended seeing Southampton Healthy Living for some support around healthy eating and I started seeing one of their behaviour change practitioners who encouraged me to monitor everything I was eating so I started keeping a food diary.
The gym referral has been fantastic and the support from Southampton Healthy Living has helped me account for everything I choose to eat. Now at 51 I feel the healthiest I have ever been. I know I can manage the lifestyle changes I have made with the support I get. I feel confident I can maintain this journey now for the first time in my life.
My mental health and lifestyle have really changed because of the decision I made to get support and I recommend anyone who is struggling to make a change to get in contact with Southampton Healthy Living.
If you would like to get in touch call us on 0300 123 3791 or use our online referral form.