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Graeme builds motivation with group support

Graeme is a 55-year-old dad of four who works as a senior manager in printing. 

His work requires a lot of travel, which he enjoys but sometimes finds challenging. And while he’s happy in his life and career, managing his diet has been a struggle for many years. 

What was your life like before you joined BeeZee Bodies?  

I am generally in good health but weigh 92kg and I have oesophagitis, which requires medication. I have been advised for some time to lose weight and exclude alcohol. 

I ride my mountain bike several times a week for 20km and go to the gym sometimes, but my eating habits have been indulgent with sweet things and cheesy things taking priority. It’s fair to say I use food to block stress and reward myself, rather than allow any stressful feelings to naturally pass. 

What were your reasons for joining BeeZee Bodies?   

My wife and I had regular conversations about the health risks I wilfully expose myself to, and how much distress it causes her. 

I love and respect her and felt this programme may help me begin changing direction. My key goal is to prevent the onset of diabetes and other weight-related health impacts by losing weight. 

What changes have you made to your eating and activity habits?  

I am more aware of the mix of fresh vegetable I need to be healthy and the benefits of cooking from scratch. I have almost eliminated takeaways and have reduced my intake of alcohol. 

The nutritional guidance in this programme was very good, and all the information you get to take home is invaluable. 

The exercise component is carefully managed to be inclusive and if group members were self-conscious or faced particular limitations, the support was there to adapt. It was also fun. 

What was the best thing about taking part in BeeZee Bodies?  

I found it really beneficial to compare notes with the group, to see that others faced the same struggles and to support each other through the programme. My group was kind, funny and interested. The mutual respect and support has benefitted me and made me feel less alone in making change. 

I felt fairly hopeless and that I was at the mercy of my emotions. I now appreciate that “always” and “never” thinking is self-defeating, and that kindness and acceptance create a basis from which to change your life. 

What was the most valuable thing you learnt from your nutritionist? 

Portion control. It’s not a diet thing but a smaller plate that’s full is a good start. 

How would you sum up the experience overall? 

This group was lovely to be a part of. The information was well organised by warm-hearted, well-educated tutors. The group discussion was inclusive and supportive — somewhere to share without shame and judgement. Very often it was somewhere to laugh, smile and build motivation.