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CASE STUDY: Health Trainers help turn Valerie's life around

CASE STUDY: Health Trainers help turn Valerie's life around

71-year-old Valerie had reached a moment where she knew she had to do something to change her life around.

The self-confessed cheese addict from Beeston wasn't exercising, was eating fatty foods and large portions. And she loved indulging in her favourite food - scones with butter and jam! Her weight had increased to 68.6kg.

But then the Health Trainers stepped in and helped her turn her lifestyle around.

Valerie said: "I wasn't exercising and I'd gotten lazy. I was taking statins - for my eriditary high cholesterol - and I got an idea that I wanted to come off them. I spoke to my doctor, who also said I needed to lose weight, and referred me to the Health Trainers."

Health Trainers help address the health and wellbeing needs of local people. They encourage people to make behaviour changes which could include diet, physical activity, emotional wellbeing and access to educational opportunities as a step towards achieving better health outcomes.

Valerie was paired with Health Trainer Shabana Mohammed, who has supported her over the past eight months.

"Shabana's been brilliant - a real inspiration. She put me on a 1,500 carbs diet, helped me to manage my portion sizes, and eat the right number of carbohydrates and vegetables.

"I try to walk a lot more and I run up and down the stairs and do the basic exercises Shabana gave me. It's the little things that can make a difference. I don't sit down very often these days!"

Valerie now weighs 56.3kg - an impressive total reduction of 12.3kg.

"I feel great!" she says.
"I have much more confidence about myself, more energy and I'm much happier. I even sleep better at nighht. It's made a big difference.

"Without Shabana I'd have never had the confidence to do this and would probably have given up. Writing down my diet every day gave me motivation and focus, and I didn't want to feel I was letting Shabana down!

"And I love my new wardrobe - I've moved from a size 16 to a 12 Brilliant!"

Health Trainers understand the day-to-day experiences of their communities so are in a good position to offer support and advice.

Structured support is offered on a one-to-one basis over six to eight sessions for people wanting to develop and implement a  personal health plan.

Health Trainers, funded by Leeds City Council and run by Health For All, provides free support.

To make a referral, please ring 0113 2725170 and give your name, telephone number and postcode.

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