Emma's story

Client of the Month Emma with advisor, Andy

A Livewell NHS Health Check marked the start of a lifestyle transformation for our December Client of the Month. Read Emma's story from Liveability here.

A Livewell NHS Health Check marked the start of a lifestyle transformation for our December Client of the Month – Emma Quinn from Alvaston who has lost two and a half stone (15.4 kilos) in six months, reducing her BMI from 33 to 27.

The free checkup in February motivated 46-year-old Emma to evaluate her lifestyle after discovering the increased risk of carrying excess weight in developing a heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and vascular dementia.

The 45-minute checks are available for people aged 40 to 74 in Derby and help identify early signs of health problems through a range of tests such as body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes risk, family history and lifestyle.  Collectively these measures give people a cardiovascular risk score. 

Livewell’s team offer personalized advice to help people reduce their risks and Emma was grateful to be signposted to the service's free 12-month weight loss programme by health check advisor, Louise.

Starting my weight loss journey 

“My general health was OK but seeing how the chances of getting serious illnesses reduced by being a healthy weight and drinking alcohol within low-risk guidelines gave me the push to do something about it.  

It is helpful that Livewell not only helps people to understand their health situation but offers support to change.  I emailed their customer team and, although there was a wait to start, team leader, Tom promptly called me, explained how it all worked – six weekly sessions of healthy eating and exercise to get started on the year-long plan - and swiftly booked me in. It all happened so smoothly.

Already reducing my alcohol consumption before I joined the Allenton group in May, I felt nervous walking through the doors but ready to tackle my weight.  I needn’t have worried advisors, Andy and Gemma welcomed everyone and put us all at ease. With everyone in the same situation we felt comfortable sharing stories and experiences – it’s amazing how many of us had tried faddy diets. Having lived in the area for much of my life, I actually knew a few of the other new clients including a neighbour.

A light bulb moment

The different topics based around eating a balanced diet made a lot of sense, but some things surprised me such as the high number of calories in alcohol and takeaways.  My light bulb moment was the calorie deficit theory, it’s simple and many of us know we need to create one to lose weight but having the opportunity to burn extra calories by exercising during the group sessions spurred me on.

After the second meeting about physical activity, I nervously tried the Livewell classes including Dance IT, Move and Tone and Circuits which despite considering myself uncoordinated, I could do. Any form of movement was encouraged, it didn’t matter if we weren’t in step or in time.

Andy mentioned that many clients wish they’d made the most of their year on Livewell taking advantage of the opportunities from the start.  I decided to do just that and with my commitment card complete, leisure centre classes were added to my membership.  Within weeks, I was doing three to four sessions a week including Meta Dance Fit, Zumba and Clubbercise at Springwood Leisure Centre and Derby Arena.  

Feeling the benefits

There’s no doubt that I find exercise physically challenging but I’ve made some new friends and the buzz I feel afterwards makes it worth it.  Now I aim to take part in five classes a week.

Gym membership is also offered as a reward for commitment, so I had an induction and gave it a go, but whilst I see the benefit for others, it turns out it’s not right for me.

Being active motivates me to eat well.  I don’t want to waste my hard work by tucking into junk foods, fatty snacks or the empty calories in wine.  For the last six months I’ve stuck to three meals a day totalling 1500 calories, which has helped me to drop from a size 18 to a 14.  

My son, who says he is proud of me, comments that he rarely sees me as when I’m not at work I’m at a class or the weekly weigh-in at St Martin’s where I enjoy catching up with Andy and other clients! 

There’s one a half stone to shed to get to my happy weight.  The star chart on our fridge is a constant reminder for me to stay focused. 

Sitting at a desk all day, I appreciate the benefit of moving more despite finding it hard.  Since introducing exercise, my sciatica, knee, ankle and joint pain has eased completely.  I would never have believed I’d have the stamina to do multiple classes and 30 second planks six months ago.

I feel younger, happier and fitter than I did at the start of 2023.  My midlife MOT prompted me to act early and make lasting changes that will help me stay healthier for longer.”  

Livewell advisor, Andy Varney said:

“From the first week Emma listened and took our advice on board. She has completed food diaries to understand her eating habits and then made changes to her diet. Emma keeps in touch by replying to the weekly newsletter and regularly attends the drop-ins. She has exceeded her own expectations by doing five or six classes a week which is amazing as Emma didn’t think she would manage any classes when she started her journey!”