Grandmother-of-three Janice MacPherson, 52, had her NHS Health Check at work and it’s led to a new lease of life for her as she’s taken control of her health and wellbeing.
“In the past I’ve been conscious of my weight, but after some serious dieting about 15 years ago I was a healthy size ten,” explains Glasgow-born Janice, who now lives in Ramsgate. “However after a relationship broke down unexpectedly I started comfort eating in the evenings. I would binge on chocolate, crisps, biscuits and ice cream. I would have takeaways every night because I just couldn’t be bothered to cook. I would sometimes make myself sick and I knew my health was suffering as a result. I was a size sixteen, heading for a size eighteen and I felt totally out of control.”
Janice has worked as a claims handler for SAGA in Thanet for the last eight years, and last year the company organised for a team from Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust to carry out an NHS Health Check session for staff. Janice said; “The email came round asking if anyone wanted to sign up for one and I thought, why not, it would be good to know how things are and it was convenient for me to have it at work.”
Janice’s results weren’t good. “My cholesterol was high and my BMI was almost 32 which is classed as obese. Sam, the checker, told me that my heart age was two years older than my actual age. That scared me. I thought, I’ve got grandchildren, I want that two years back to spend it with them! Sam was so kind and helpful though. She gave me some great advice about exercise and healthy eating and I just though, OK, it’s down to me now. I started walking before work and during my lunch break, and I joined the gym too. I use all the machines, the treadmill, the cross trainer and the rowing machine. I also enjoy going to spinning class. I’ve been cooking from scratch and starting to enjoy my food again. I’ve even cut down on coffee and Irn-Bru!”
Janice managed to lose a stone in weight which took her BMI down to 29, but she’s not finished there: “I’m at the gym five nights a week now and I’m going to cycle to work when the weather improves. I know I’ve still got more to do but I feel much more positive about the future now, and so much happier in myself.”