Healthy Lifestyles and me – the final chapter

It’s been six months since I began writing about the work of the Telford & Wrekin Healthy Lifestyles Team by signing up as a guinea pig to share with you what the service is all about.  Despite me being a real client, my meetings have taken place monthly so they would fit in with the regular drop-in sessions that take place in Madeley Community Library, so if you signed up you would have six meetings over approximately 12 weeks.

You may have only just read the previous update on how Healthy Lifestyles and me are doing, and you might not yet be as bored of the words “gluten free” and “coeliac” as my family are probably getting, but despite the short timescale in the publishing of my story, our meetings weren’t quite that close together, not quite a month, but certainly not a day!

If you’re not bored of the words “gluten free” or “coeliac”, you’ll definitely be bored of me going on about hopping on the scales every time I see Steph in the library.  But that’s not going to stop me though, because once again, without fail, I removed everything I could safely do so in public without being arrested and stood on the scales just three weeks after the previous time.  In fact, I got on twice to make sure the number was correct as it was lower than before.  I had inadvertently lost 2lbs.  It was a surprise as I had not been particularly trying, I was merely attempting to get to grips with my new way of eating.  It had included more fresh food though that doesn’t need checking for ingredients as it would be hard to find a way to get gluten into broccoli, spinach and nuts to name just a few, but it still did come as a surprise. 

I’ll admit I am a little concerned that this will shortly turn the other way as my body starts to fully absorb the nutrients from food that it was previously failing to do, but as Steph always does, she reassured me that I have now got a good grip of how to lead a healthy lifestyle regardless of any dietary restrictions and will continue to make the good choices that I had been doing since we started to meet.

She also knows that it’s not just about the food, and is giving me the confidence to get back to exercise as soon as my energy levels improve and everything settles down.  What I have noticed most recently is that I have made a start in getting the house straight and started to clear old clothes out just last week.  Only afterwards did I realise that I wouldn’t have been able to do that a couple of months ago (a couple of weeks even!).  It also occurred to me that the motivation I used to have, that had got up and left to have some far flung holiday without me, has been creeping back in; let’s hope it didn’t pass through France bringing pesky little motivational bed bugs with it. As a bonus my step count is starting to show an improvement once again, in fact if I was to see a bed bug, I may even be able to muster up a little run!

Now I’ve had my six sessions with Steph, albeit over a longer time than anyone else would have, she is setting me free, but she is confident that I have the skills and knowledge in place to make the appropriate choices going forward to positively impact my own health and wellbeing.

Here’s some of the things I have learned from being a Healthy Lifestyles client:

  • Your [healthy lifestyles] advisor is there to help start you on the path to reach your own goals, not theirs
  • Don’t be embarrassed, your advisor will not judge you
  • If your goals change your advisor will help you navigate those changes
  • If your advisor feels you might benefit from other help alongside your healthy lifestyles meetings, they may suggest appropriate contacts
  • The more open and honest you can be with your advisor the more they can help
  • Advisors are passionate about what they do and have a lot of knowledge to share
  • Your advisor is your cheerleader and biggest supporter

While my meetings with the Healthy Lifestyles service have generally been based on making healthier choices around food and improving my fitness, there is so much more that the service can help with, such as;

  • Stopping smoking
  • Drinking less
  • Improving your wellbeing
  • Eating better
  • Reducing your weight
  • Exercising more
  • Lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Reducing your risk of type two diabetes

It’s definitely been interesting, I have learnt a lot and plan to continue using that knowledge in my everyday life.  Without Healthy Lifestyles I probably wouldn’t have even visited my GP. I know I wouldn’t have joined the gym without Steph’s encouragement, and so wouldn’t have noticed that despite exercising my fitness wasn’t improving.  Now you have to admit, that’s quite the result!

If you’ve been spurred on by my story about Healthy Lifestyles, Steph will be continuing her drop-in sessions at Madeley Community Library on a monthly basis.  Why not come along and have a quick chat with her before you decide whether to sign up, the service is free so what have you got to lose (perhaps a little weight if that’s your goal!).

Steph will return to the library on Wednesday 25th October from 9.30am-12noon.

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