Livewell Client of the month - March

Published: 16 March 2022

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When Caroline was diagnosed with a serious health condition, she decided it was time to tackle her weight, losing an amazing 2 stone 12lbs.

2021 was a difficult year for most of us but a particularly devastating time for client, Caroline who lost both her parents, found herself homeless and was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver.

Hearing that she had liver disease was the turning point for the 47-year-old from Derby who also suffers with a multitude of health conditions including fibromyalgia, aneamia, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, psoriasis and plantar fasciitis. 

Being heavily overweight was the main cause of Caroline’s form of cirrhosis (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) so her doctor signposted her to Livewell for support to reduce her Body Mass Index (BMI).

Since joining the service in September 2021, Caroline has battled chronic pain to walk regularly whilst discovering ways to eat more fruit and vegetables thanks to support from her advisor, Andy Varney.  In six months she has lost 13% of her body weight, and has a stone to go to reach her target weight and a healthy BMI.

Last year was a really tough year but I made a promise to my late mum and dad that I’d fight back and reclaim my health.  Losing weight was an obvious starting point to get my liver disease under control and getting help from a specialist service seemed a good idea.

My advisor, Andy helped me set some short-term goals and talked through what a healthy, balanced diet looks like.  He explains things in a way I understand, like how to check food labels and tips for choosing healthier options when eating out. He also suggested ways I could blend fruit into a smoothie and cook vegetables so they are easier for me to eat with my bowel conditions.  Now I only eat foods low in sugar and fat and I enjoy packing in my five a day. 

Andy eggs me on to try new things like joining the Facebook Group and returning to swimming.  From barely moving out of my chair, I’ve steadily built up to one hour walks three times a week.  Despite my pain and fatigue, it still feels good to be getting fitter and knowing I’m doing my heart and liver some good. 

Dropping two dress sizes, I enjoy treating myself to new outfits.  I also reward my mini-goal achievements with craft supplies which is one of my hobbies. 

With physio starting soon and the pressure on my joints easing due to my weight loss, I’m hoping to come off my pain medication in the near future.

My grown-up sons have noticed a huge difference in not only the way I look but my mobility and confidence. 

I’d like to think my mum and dad are looking down and smiling at my achievements too. I hope I’ve made them all proud!

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