Lyn's Take Twelve Story

Facing mental and physical health challenges by living well

"I've always had a problem with weight. I managed to lose four stone and drop some dress sizes nearly a decade ago through healthy eating and exercise. But then a relationship came to an end and I started eating and drinking again. I got more unhappy and put the weight back on."

"Four years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a long-term condition. Then, last year, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I knew I had to do something to help myself deal with both of these challenges. Because of fibromyalgia, I couldn't exercise or get out for a walk - it just hurt too much. This year I thought - I've got to do something. My daughter got engaged and I knew I wanted to look and feel good for her wedding, so I had that goal in mind. I planned to lose eight stone. I knew about LiveWell Dorset through a friend, and she suggested I give it a try.

Lyn Posted in Our LiveWell:

'Hi all, so it seems I only have around 14 months till my daughter's wedding, to get to target weight and fitness. I want to feel healthy and fit once more. It feels as though I've gone almost full circle from regular intense exercise to nothing! Can anyone suggest ways of becoming active to help aid my weight loss but also to help me feel fitter and healthier? To note - I can't swim! And I struggle with walking following a fall. Help! Much love in advance....'

I signed up for Take Twelve in February for a motivator and driver. Being part of the Take Twelve community, each on our personal journey has been helpful. I've still got heaps of a way to go to my goal weight. But there's definitely been a shift in the past few months through Take Twelve.

Later in March, Lyn posted in Our LiveWell:

'I finally feel as though I've turned a corner...another 2lb off this week, but more importantly, I'm starting to feel "human" again! Small steps....but I went along to SW group today,, met my daughter and soon to be son-in-law for breakfast, having walked into town AND, more successfully walked back up the steepest hill in Bournemouth!'

I was out with friends for dinner earlier this year and they said 'you should try our gym, it's quiet'. My first thought was that I couldn't afford it, but actually, I've prioritised it. I've cut other things to make way for the gym. I'm not a fan of the large and busy gyms, but this gym is what I needed - I don't feel as vulnerable as I do in a large open gym. I had a vision that I was too big to go, but it was anything but. They were really welcoming and devised a program for me. I started going regularly and eating well. And then I discovered that I actually enjoy exercise! Starting with a gentle 30 minutes on the bike which was hard at first - I would go home really tired. Now, I warm up with a 30-minute bike followed by 45 minutes using other machines. I no longer go home feeling worn out, but full of life and energy. I go three times a week.

29th March in Our LiveWell:

'So, I signed up to Take Twelve....haven't done anything huge yet to make a difference...but have started to move more around the house; am finding it easier now I've shed 10lbs so far.... TONIGHT is the big one! I'm signing up to my local health club, showing my commitment to improving my physical and mental health. I've put an inspirational photo on the fridge to keep me reminded about what I can achieve.'

To anyone considering going to the gym I would say - go for it! Everyone is doing their own thing, they're not interested or watching how hard you are working! Even if you start with 15 minutes on a bike, it just helped me to get moving again. It's definitely helped my fibromyalgia.


I go to the gym when I'm feeling down. It is my antidepressant.

Boot the booze

"I cut alcohol for two months of Take Twelve which helped my kick start. I didn't feel addicted, but I would previously come home from work; open a bottle, have a little while cooking dinner, then a little with and after dinner. I started to prepare cucumber water and sparkling drinks instead. Getting up in the mornings was much easier. I just felt that I didn't have a heavy head any more. I'm waking up and feeling clear, happy and ready to get up and out. I'm not as bloated, too.

Now, I only drink on Friday and Saturday evenings

I'm a vegetarian (although I eat fish) and find it hard to get enough protein in my diet. I eat more fish and cut out carbs. My friend Paul Andrews is training to be a personal trainer and nutritionist; he helped me to eat the right stuff. I've lost 1 stone and 3lbs, but I find that measuring in inches lost is better for me - I've lost 8 inches. I'm thinking more about my food; I plan ahead. I'm often out and about in the car through work, but I make sure I take a boiled egg and houmus for healthy snacks. My weight loss has plateaued, but I'm not concerned because I'm doing all the right things.

Take Twelve helped me feel part of a community. It's a safe space to share our successes, our tips and challenges, too. Having that support network helped me move forward. My work colleagues say I'm smiling more, that I'm perkier and brightener! I feel more alive! And my friends who encouraged me to try their gym - now I bump into them there! It's lovely to tap into friendship at the gym.

Just do it

"Just do it" is what I would say to others thinking about making a lifestyle change. Don't aim for the ultimate goal straight away, it's a journey. Take that next small step on your way. Surround yourself with people who are on your side - you'll find many of those people in Our LiveWell.

Our LiveWell May 2019:

'So, I took the 12-week challenge on; and have lost 1st 3lbs, and more than that have shed eight inches from my body; with four of those from my waist! I hit my goal of being active three times a week and have now built my gym workout up to 75 mins a time! The weight may not be coming off as I would hope, but the inches certainly are!'

Your next step to LiveWell

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Just do it! Surround yourself with people who are on your side - you'll find many of those people in Our LiveWell.

How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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