Jo Thompson lost four stones in weight in just over a year with help from her local health trainer and the Fresh Start weight management scheme.
Mother-of-three Jo, 39, from Minster, Sheppey, found that her weight had crept up and up over the years, until Christmas 2011 when she weighed in at more than 15 stones.
Jo is a full-time carer for her youngest child Ben, 14, who has a disability. She felt that her weight could be having negative impact on family life.
She said: “I felt so lethargic all the time. I realised that I had to do something. My grandma suffered from weight-related strokes and diabetes – Ben needs me to be fit and healthy to be able to look after him.”
Jo was introduced to NHS Health Trainer Julie Calder at New Road Community Centre, a short walk from her home.
“Julie was very friendly and helpful,’’ said Jo. “The advice she gave me was excellent. I’ve tried various diets before with no success, but this time something just ‘clicked’.
“I had been convinced that I was eating healthily but I realised that I needed to pay more attention to things like the fat content of food and portion control.
“Julie supported me all the way and made it easy to stick to the changes. I never felt like I was on a diet – it was a lifestyle change and it felt great.”
Jo lost the weight gradually by following British Heart Foundation guidelines which lie at the heart of the Fresh Start scheme. She also started to introduce exercise into her daily routine.
She said: “I’ve lost four stones gradually over 16 months, which is amazing. I feel much more energetic and my whole outlook on life is more positive. Julie was brilliant; I couldn’t have done it without her.”.