People are being encouraged to lose weight and be healthier with the help of a free, pioneering scheme running in St Helens.
Choose to Change, run by ABL Health on behalf of St Helens Council, promotes lifelong change by supporting clients in making sensible food choices and getting more active.
Read our previous report on concerns about women’s health in St Helens here.
After spending years on fad diets, something finally clicked for Beryl Jones when she joined the programme. She has achieved and maintained a two stone weight loss.
She said: “I’ve had health issues and piled on the weight when I had breast cancer in 2006. I got to the point where I thought ‘this is getting ridiculous!’ and knew I needed to do something about it.
“Choose to Change covers a different topic every week in a format that people can understand. Our lifestyle coach Meadhbh spoke to us, not at us and I found it really helpful.
“For example, I used to pick ‘non fat’ foods but didn’t look at sugar levels or other ingredients. We were re-educated about simple changes that can transform your life.
“The other great thing is that you are surrounded with people who are in the same boat but just need the motivation. It’s good to know you are not alone and that we can make long-term changes – this really does work!
“You do have slip ups – you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t – but I feel so much better, both physically and mentally – people notice that I’ve lost weight and pass me a compliment which really boosts my self-esteem.
“I’d encourage other people to get involved. Look at me, I’m 72, if I can do it so can you!”
Meadhbh Westwood, Lifestyle Coach at ABL Health, said: “Beryl is a great ambassador for Choose to Change and I’d encourage anyone who thinks they could benefit from our support to get in touch. Our sessions can make a real difference by showing you the small changes to how you eat and exercise that can make a huge change to your life.”
To find out if you are eligible for the scheme and for further information, please call 01744 778359 or visit www.choose-to-change.co.uk