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Brian, South Leicestershire

82-year-old Brian has always led an active life, with rugby, cycling, running and hiking among his many outdoor pursuits. After recovering from both a stroke and prostate cancer two years ago, exercise remained central to Brian’s lifestyle – but, in spite of his regular bike rides, he gained weight around his gut as a result of his cancer treatment.

“My cholesterol was high and I wanted to lose the weight I’d put on around my middle. Another motivation for changing my approach was my six month spell as a community responder, as I saw first-hand some of the potential effects of obesity on people’s health.

“I spotted a leaflet about the weight management service at my GP surgery and left my details over the phone, then I was contacted and put in touch with my adviser, Uzma.”

Brian’s programme consisted of three telephone calls covering a range of topics, from diet and eating habits to overall wellbeing. He was also given access to the Weight Watchers app, a resource available to weight management service users.

Together, these approaches reminded Brian of which foods to eat, and in what quantities, in order to achieve a healthy balance between diet and activity.

“The phone calls kept my mind on the job and helped me to stay motivated. The advice helped to reinforce healthy eating information that I already knew but had forgotten – it was just a case of getting my head around it again.

“It also helped that I’m used to cooking healthily with corn oil and avoiding things like butter, so I had these habits to build on too.”

Having lost 7.3kg – over 9% of his body weight – during the programme, Brian was asked how losing weight has changed his lifestyle. He explained:

“I’ve found everything a bit easier to do – and I want to continue losing weight so I can do more! It’s not only improved my physical health, but also my emotional wellbeing. Getting down to 75kg is my overall goal.

“Alongside eating well, I’m still managing to keep fit. I do exercises like squats every day, plus a lot of walking – and, before the lockdown, I was involved with Walking for Health and its group walks in South Leicestershire. They’re a great way of exercising sociably.”

Finally, Brian’s words of wisdom for others hoping to take control of their weight are as follows:

“My interest in sports psychology has taught me that staying healthy and making progress with things like weight loss is all about having the right attitude – a lot of it’s in the mind.”

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