It’s given me a chance to see the good in myself again, and has not only helped with my physical wellbeing, but also my mental wellbeing.
28 year-old Jenny, from Andover, is back in clothes she hasn’t worn for years, wearing new dresses with pride, and attending weekly Zumba classes.
Jenny is being supported to improve her health and wellbeing by Hampshire County Council’s weight management service. We’ve commissioned Weight Watchers to help adults who want to lose weight and have been identified as obese. Almost seven in ten of Hampshire adults are overweight or obese, and the cost to the NHS in Hampshire of managing diseases related to excess weight and obesity is estimated at almost £340 million per year. The service is in line with our Healthy Weights Strategy to tackle obesity, supporting residents, especially those at risk of ill health, by providing them with the advice they need to find their way to a healthier and happier life.
Weight Watchers is offering, to those who are eligible, a free, tailored service, which includes digital support, as well as being able to join a weight loss group for 12 weeks. It is hoped that individuals will lose at least five per cent of their initial body weight, which will have a significant impact on their current and future health.
Jenny’s journey started when her baby was born last May by emergency caesarean. She began to suffer postnatal depression and, through group sessions run by the Health Visiting team in Andover, she was given a healthcare referral to Weight Watchers.
“Lots of smiling people was the first thing I saw. Kirsty my leader was super friendly and chatty, made sure I was welcomed and completed the right paperwork. She helped me weigh myself, set up my app and start my journey the right way,” said Jenny. Her starting weight was 13 stone and one pound.
Jenny says she found the first couple of weeks ‘tricky’, wanting pizza most of the time. With a fierce love of Italian food, she found ways around it by eating the tortilla pizzas from the ‘eat’ booklet, which she savoured in her first few weeks.
“Kirsty asked at every meeting how my week had been and I always felt comfortable being completely honest. She would always say ‘draw the line in the sand and we’ll move on’, but sometimes, surprisingly, I almost always lost weight anyway. I totally love the programme. My favourite thing is that nothing is off limits, and I don’t have to think about confessions after letting chocolate touch my lips. I’ve learnt what is good (all fruit!) and what is bad (say goodbye to eating whole Jaffa cake roll). I’ve found my taste palate has totally changed, and my appetite has gone down considerably.”
With 22.5lbs lost, Jenny’s journey hasn’t come to an end. “I’m still on the path and I’m still going to be walking it for a bit (occasionally tumbling to the side). But I know that Kirsty and Weight Watchers are there to keep me going, and I’m aiming for that gold membership. I can wear a gorgeous dress for my baby’s christening, and I’m definitely finding a great one for the summer weddings this year.”
Find out more about our support for adults who want to lose weight and have been identified as obese and how to access it.