S came to live in Thetford six years ago. Before he moved S had a very active lifestyle and even though he enjoyed the odd takeaway his weight was never cause for concern. Since moving to Thetford, S found he was not as active as he once was. He had bouts of depression which lead to him comfort eating and panic attacks that meant he found it impossible to go out. By November 2009, S’s weight had crept up to 43 stone. At this point S still did not recognise that his weight was any cause for concern until he went to his son’s sports day and found he was unable to run or join in. The biggest turning point for S was when he mistook a panic attack for a heart attack and had to wait for a larger ambulance to be dispatched from Ipswich to attend to him. S said “To think that if that had been a real heart attack and I had to wait that long for help to arrive, I wouldn’t be here and that really hit home”.

It was then S decided that it was time to make changes to his lifestyle. He began to set himself small challenges, such as walking up and down stairs and by doing this more and more times each day. S even sold his car so that he would have to walk more!

S revisited his GP surgery in March of this year, by this time he now weighed 32 stones and 8 pounds. There he was given some information for Thetford Health Trainers and S decided that he was going to contact them. S said “I wasn’t living a full life; you’ve got to start somewhere. My attitude to life changed and I stopped feeling sorry for myself”. S said his Health Trainer gave him the motivation and it was nice to have someone to say “well done”. S began by looking at any negative habits that he had and one by one he began to change those using simple techniques such as food swapping and reducing fats and sugars. S started attending Joy of Food classes which he found very informative and helped him to understand portion sizes and to recognise that eating healthier meals does not have to be expensive. In fact, S believes that his change may even be saving him some money. S says “I was spending forty-five pence on a packet of crisps, now I’ve swapped them for carrots and buy a big bag. I still get the crunch but none of the fat”. S has also worked hard to reduce the size of his meals by reducing the size of his dinner plate. After S decided that he was happily able to set his own goals around his diet, he started to look at making goals to increase his exercise. S and his partner started to attend local salsa dance classes and continued to walk everywhere. S’s commitment and motivation has paid off and in a little over three months S has lost 3 and a half stone. S has now set himself his next goal: Combat Boot camp sessions!

When asked what he would say to other people who wanted to make changes, S replied “Just stop trying to do it and just do it. Anyone is able to change as long as they want to. It’s not realistic to look at quick fixes, think about the long term”. S is looking forward to continuing with his challenges with the continued support from everyone involved. S says “I can deal with life, I feel excellent, better than ever!”

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