Bex tackling the weeding at Flower Pod

Bex was starting to experience health issues because she had gradually put on weight. Potentially she was risk of developing serious conditions like diabetes and was unhappy in herself, often saying ‘I’m fat’. Bex was breathless after any physical exertion which was impacting on the activities that she enjoys. Bex has congenital heart problems and sleep apnoea and was advised by her consultant to try and lose some weight to improve her health and fitness.

Bex was supported by Reach to come up with an Action Plan to increase activity and eat more healthily – we took a team approach with family, Reach Care support staff and Reach charity day centre staff/volunteers all working with Bex to support her reach her goals. Bex was also supported by her Reach Care support team to join Slimming World and has attended weekly for almost a year with Reach Care staff.

Bex has made lots of new friends at Slimming World and is a very popular member of her group – she regularly does the ‘welcome speech’ at the beginning of a session. Everyone at Slimming World is amazed with how well she has done and see her as an inspiration. Bex has enjoyed choosing meals to cook from her Slimming World book with her Reach support staff and family. When Bex goes shopping now, she looks for healthier options– checking labels, comparing different products which has helped her to understand how simple changes can make a huge difference. This has helped her to improve skills around shopping and money too. She can also make healthier choices when going out for a meal – choosing a stir fry or jacket potato instead of burger and chips for example.

Just to demonstrate how committed Bex is to healthy eating, on her birthday she took in oranges to share with her friends instead of birthday cake! Bex has also started attending Flower Pod where she participates in horticultural learning and enjoys outdoor life, so increasing her activity and fitness levels.

Bex enjoying exercise equipment in the local park

Bex has recently started attending Reach Southwell Women’s Group where the group has been focusing on fitness – lots of opportunities for walks, swimming and using the new outdoor gym in Southwell. She also plays Boccia once a week, takes part in various sports such as tennis and badminton and loves going for walks at local country parks.

Due to her weight loss, the mask that Bex wears at night for her sleep apnoea fits better and works more effectively which is contributing to her higher energy levels and ability to take part in so many more activities. At a recent yearly review at hospital, Bex’s consultant was amazed to see that BP has lost 1½ stone and is clearly fitter, healthier and happier.

Julie, Bex’s mum says:

Although Bex has always eaten healthily at home, a weakness for coffee and cake and less healthy choices when eating out, had seen her weight gradually creep up. She has always been slightly fixated by food and I was worried that any diet could end up with her becoming very anxious and unhappy about food, so tried to ignore the problem!

When a Reach support worker suggested Slimming World I thought it was worth a try – and I have been amazed how well Bex has responded to this. She has been so well supported by her support staff and in the sessions she attends at Reach and I feel confident that the changes she has made to her diet are sustainable in the long term.

I do have one small complaint though – Bex’s new clothes are costing me a fortune!

Tracey Thurlow
Flower Pod Client Services Lead

Reach Care logo