Claire Houghton

Claire before her weight loss and after on her bike

45-year-old Claire gets on her bike to shed over 3 stone

Weight: 90.2 kilos / 14 stone 2lbsWeight: 69 kilos / 10 stone 12lbs
Body Mass Index: 34.3Body Mass Index: 26.3
 Percentage weight loss: 24%

When Claire Houghton joined Livewell in February 2020, little did she know the turmoil the world would be in when Covid-19 struck. With surgery planned in March, Claire made a pledge to herself that once she was back on her feet, she’d lose some weight. And despite the lockdown uncertainty, she’s done exactly that, dropping four dress sizes and drastically lowering her BMI from the obese category to the healthy range, which significantly reduces her risks of developing serious health problems including complications from Coronavirus.

“I started putting on weight in my late twenties. I snacked constantly, ate huge portion sizes and tucked into my biggest meal late at night. Exercise involved the odd one-mile bike ride twice a month. It’s safe to say I loved my couch and was fast turning into the proverbial potato!

When I had surgery to remove varicose veins on my leg, it left me immobile for a few weeks and with plenty of time on my hands to think about my health - I vowed I’d shift the weight for good.

Livewell really appealed to me as it promotes life-long, healthy weight management rather than the restrictive approaches used by diet clubs that aren’t sustainable in my mind, so I signed up online and booked my activation meetings.


Turbulent times

When the pandemic hit just a few weeks later it threw me off my stride. I was early into my journey and making steady progress but with my advisor, Joe’s support, I stayed focussed and pushed myself to keep going. Luckily, I’d just started getting into cycling and walking so I wasn’t reliant on leisure centres being open to exercise. Joe suggested I try the MyFitnessPal app to track my calories and exercise.

It was a revelation - I didn’t realise how much I was overeating. He set me a sensible calorie plan and I logged all my meals and snacks. Combined with Joe’s advice, it helped me to learn about my eating habits and make better choices. Recording my physical activity also helped me understand the impact of exercise on my overall goal.

As the pounds dropped, my energy levels rose, and I started to build up my cycling and walking distances. Getting outdoors gives me a sense of freedom and the opportunity to take in my surroundings – I’ve discovered so many new places I never knew existed and my confidence has grown massively, so much so that I joined a local Let’s Ride cycling group. As a busy midwife, I also enjoy the ‘me time’ we all crave every so often. I go out in all weathers and don’t mind the rain. I feel shattered afterwards, but the adrenaline boost is worth it.

With Livewell’s virtual classes, there was also the chance for me to be active at home. I joined Joe’s live workouts on the Facebook group to boost my strength and started a separate online Zumba class which feels like I’m dancing at a party whilst packing in a good cardio workout.

Now in a typical week, I head out on at least one long ride of approximately 30 miles and two to three walks in addition to my virtual classes. I reckon I’m active on most days.

My regular check ins with Joe encouraged me to challenge myself and try new things such as the virtual Lose Weight Feel Great course and exercise challenges.


A bright future

I’m nearly at my target weight, going from a size 20-22 to a 12-14 and the difference in my appearance is amazing. I wore a bikini for the first time on a recent holiday (in between lockdowns) - something I haven’t had the confidence to do in more than 20 years. Mind you buying a whole new wardrobe has made me skint but it’s a small price to pay for my health and I have so much more choice now I’m slimmer.

Whenever I have a moment of weakness, I look at a photo of myself at my biggest alongside a record of my weight losses, which I taped to a kitchen cabinet to remind myself of how far I’ve come.

My aims for 2021 include climbing Ben Nevis and maybe signing up for a cycling endurance event when things get back to normal. I’m in the best shape ever and intend to stay that way – my partner and grown up children love the new me!”


BreakfastJam on toast2 Weetabix with semi-skimmed
LunchSanwiches, crisps, chocolate, fruitTuna snack pot/egg salad and fruit
DinnerTakeaway or 3 course meal outChicken, rice with salad/beetroot or fish, cous cous/rice, salad
ActivityNo physical activityWalk/bike ride/online fitness class




Success stories


Dec 2023

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