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Ivan got in touch with us in August 2017. He'd received a text inviting him to attend an NHS Health Check at his local surgery. The nurse highlighted the importance of him losing some weight and reducing his blood pressure. She passed him our contact card, but he didn't have high hopes of it achieving anything. He tried us out anyhow and didn't regret it!

Ivan's Story:

“A year ago, I was at desperation point when I had to buy 42-inch waist suit trousers. LiveWell helped me to explore my options and offered me a three-month kick start at Slimming World. I enjoy live music events and going to the pub for drinks; the weight-gain and inactivity sort of crept up on me.

I had to get over the initial embarrassment factor of needing to go to Slimming World. I expected to be the only guy but was pleasantly surprised! After a month, I’d lost half a stone – it was like wow, this is working, it’s coming off!

I drank too much alcohol and had unhealthy eating habits. Pastry is such a bad thing, it's all those pies, pasties and sausage rolls!

My start weight was nearly 17 stone, but two months in and I had lost a stone, and another by Christmas! I enjoyed talking with my Slimming World group; sharing ideas, success and struggles. I was concerned it would all go downhill at Christmas, but by making the right choices and tracking my alcohol consumption and treats; I was able to keep shedding the pounds in the new year. My mum's reaction when I rocked up for Christmas lunch was a picture!

I enjoyed the recipes on offer through Slimming World and loved learning to cook from scratch! I do like curry and still have one out every so often but now opt for rice, skipping the nan bread and the fried stuff. Slimming World has some great curry recipes.

Now, a relaxing Saturday afternoon for me is listening to the football while cooking up a new recipe! I used to eat out a lot, but now much less. A year ago, when I got to Sunday night, I'd have had a few pints - but now I know what I can afford. I use the Slimming World app to track my intake, which means I still enjoy a pint, but make up for it later in the week.

My target weight was 14 stone and I got there eventually. I've received a bunch of certificates tracking my progress! The milestones really encouraged me, I received four ‘Slimmer of the Week’ awards; a couple of ‘Slimmer of the Month’ ones and even 'Mr Sleek 2017’! My lowest weight was 13 stone 13lbs, a loss of over three stone.

Slimmer of the week

Now, I'm armed with bananas rather than crisps. I eat fruit and porridge for breakfast religiously and totally cut sugary fruit juice and squash. The biggest difference was ditching bread and I really don’t miss it. I eat rice, couscous and salad for lunch, and skip the pastry! I do miss magnum ice creams, however!

I'm getting back into nice shirts I haven't been able to wear in a long time and have had to buy new belts and trousers. Exercise is so much easier, I swim twice a week and find walking up hills is easier and quicker! I walk before work a few days a week as I sit at a desk a lot. The ease of pressure on my joints is noticeable – my knees have appreciated the change. My blood pressure is much better, though I do keep an eye on it.

"How have you done that?"

When I go to work meetings or conferences, bumping into people I haven't seen in a while is funny - some wonder if I've had an illness! Or when I travel to London, I walk instead of taking the tube. Some of the guys at work are like "how have you done that?!" It makes for great lunchtime chat.

I'm looking forward to Glastonbury with next year as when I came back from it last year, I was at my heaviest - that'll be a good landmark."

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"LiveWell helped me to explore my options and offered me a three-month kick start at a weight loss program"

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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