Client of the month - January 2023
Published: 12 January 2023
Arthritis sufferer, Kathryn could barely move at the start of 2022 and hadn’t been upstairs at her Long Eaton home for two years. Eight months after joining Livewell, the 67-year-old has lost nearly five stone, dropped four dress sizes and can now push her granddaughter’s buggy around the park. Her amazing transformation started after her surgeon recommended she lose weight to prevent further joint damage following hip replacements at the Royal Derby Hospital.
Livewell advisor, Casey Baxter was so impressed with Kathryn’s drive to battle through her pain that she nominated her for the service’s January award.
Here Kathryn shares her story:
Life had become very difficult. I suffer with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis and had knee and hip replacements to repair the damage to my joints. For the last couple of years, I could hardly move and was in constant agony. As a result, I stopped driving and became housebound. My bedroom was moved downstairs as I couldn’t manage the steps and a carer started coming in to help with household tasks and meals. During this time my weight piled on. Well-meaning carers would prepare toast slathered with butter, fatty ready meals and piles of chips. Sympathetic friends visited with cakes and biscuits and eating just one slice was too tempting - I’d often devour the lot! Before my second hip replacement the scales tipped at 16st 4lbs and my surgeon explained the importance of keeping the weight off my joints for managing arthritis. From that point I knew I needed a permanent change, something different to the diet clubs I’d tried before with their confusing rules and limited foods. I started to make some changes but recognised I needed support for long-term success. After researching online, I discovered Livewell and joined the Chaddesden new starter meetings in May. It was a struggle for me to get there but I gritted through the pain and attended all the sessions. My advisor, Casey was great and talked about the importance of a balanced diet for healthy weight loss. She suggested I keep a food diary and it became obvious that skipping breakfast wasn’t doing me any favours and highlighted how much of the wrong foods I was eating. Although I was aware of traffic light food labels, I didn’t really look at them before. Casey supported me to decode all types of labels to make healthier, more informed choices. I soon binned the ready meals when I realised how much saturated fat and salt they contained. Casey explained that foods from a Mediterranean diet can help fight inflammation caused by arthritis and lower my high blood pressure. I introduced nuts, seeds, wholegrain bread and colourful fruit and veg, and stopped eating processed foods.Healthy fats are filling so I didn’t feel hungry. My mantra is that I only eat nutritious foods I enjoy and afford myself the occasional treat. The pounds started to drop off straight away.
Every fortnight, I got weighed at my doctors and Casey called to check in on my progress. She inspired me to keep going and gave me lots of encouragement. I was delighted to lose weight at every visit, I never put on and only stayed the same once. Seeing the numbers go down over the months boosted my motivation. I wore a size 20-22 skirt and top when I was first weighed with Livewell and I’ve worn the same clothes on weigh-in day since for an accurate comparison. I’m a size 14 now so they swamp me but it’s a habit I can’t break! Losing weight reduced the pressure on my knees and eased my symptoms. I started to find it easier to get a round so I tried to stand and walk a bit more. A 25-kilo bag of potatoes is equivalent to the weight I’ve lost. I can barely pick up a sack of spuds now so no wonder I was struggling to move before. On good days I can push my grand daughter’s pushchair around the park. It’s great to be able to tackle the stairs and I’m in the process of moving my bedroom back. I’m enjoying wearing more fitted clothes and love the freedom a healthier lifestyle is giving me. Another major health benefit is that my GP has taken me off my blood pressure tablets – I had been on them for years! My advice to anyone in the same boat is me is that if I can change, then you can too. The start of a new year is a great time to take the step.
Livewell advisor, Casey Baxter added:
Kathryn has done incredibly well to lose weight. She has been consistent with her lifestyle changes, managing her portion sizes as well as eating a wider variety of foods. She used to eat a lot of sweet things but now says she doesn’t miss or fancy them. Kathryn was in the right mindset of wanting to achieve her goal and has stuck to it. As she was unable to move much at the start, nutrition was key and her success shows that changes to diet are vital for weight loss and feeling healthier. I am thrilled she has improved her quality of life - being able to walk, manage her pain and coming off her blood pressure tablets. Amazing work Kathryn - well done!
A typical day for Kathryn:
Breakfast – Dried apricots, walnuts and almonds. Toasted seed bread with beans and a small amount of cheese.
Lunch – Homemade soup with toast.
Dinner – Seabass or salmon with vegetables and rice.
Snacks – Banana, raspberries, orange.
Drinks – Coffee with skimmed milk, 2 litres of water, sugar-free lime and lemon juice.
Exercise – Walk around the park on good days. Pottering around the house.
Kathryn from left to right: before her weight loss, wearing the clothes that are now too big for her and after her weight loss
Starting weight: 15st 12lbs
Weight loss: 4st 8lbs
BMI reduction: 40.3 to 28.6
Clothes size reduction: 20-22 down to 14
Percentage weight loss: 29%