David, from Brighton, was told by his GP about BeeZee Chat after he was diagnosed with kidney disease — and needed to make some lifestyle changes.
I was stuck in a bit of a rut. I ate too much of the wrong foods and only exercised one or two days a week, but probably too hard.
This tired me out and made me eat even more junk food. Some level of fitness was achieved by exercising but I wasn’t losing weight, as I was eating badly.
I often used to skip breakfast, which ultimately made me snack more in the evening.
For lunch, I would have a lot of microwave meals and I used to eat lots of noodles, with sachets where you add water. Unfortunately, some of these noodles had a whole day’s salt allowance.
I would typically eat a 150g bag of crisps as my evening snack around three nights a week. Other nights I might have a bit of chocolate or maybe a slice of cake or some ice cream, but I only felt it was the crisps that I had no control over.
It felt very addictive. I wanted more and more.
I was diagnosed with kidney disease, which made me look at my lifestyle more. If I didn’t reduce my salt intake, I guessed I had 15 years left before my kidneys would be useless.
I asked my GP for help and she gave me some options, one of which was BeeZee Bodies.
My aims at the start of the course were to find a set of meals I could enjoy, that were healthy and —most importantly — low in salt.
As the course continued, I moved to making more changes to my diet with a view to losing weight.
It’s still a work in progress. When I started the course in the Spring, I was about 22st 3lbs. As I write this in late September, I am 20st 8lbs.
I haven’t set a target, but as long as it’s going down each month, I’m pleased enough. I just have to remember it’s a long-term aim.
My nutritionist Ashleigh has been fantastic. The two key things she brings are knowledge and enthusiasm.
To anyone who joins the service, I would urge you to really pick the nutritionist’s brain as it’s not often knowledge of this quality is free. And on days when things were hard, her enthusiasm gave me a lot of motivation.
My breakfast is typically porridge four or five days of the week, and bran flakes the other two or three days.
To these, on my nutritionist’s advice, I often add almonds — which give me good fats and improve the taste. I sometimes also add a banana.
For lunch I have couscous with a couple of eggs. I haven’t completely eradicated microwave meals, but have limited them to one a week.
Evening snacks have improved, I am eating far fewer crisps and other unhealthy snacks than previously.
I had been doing more exercise in lockdown, but once I started BeeZee Bodies, it helped to motivate me to keep it up.
Now I’ve been doing at least six hours of exercise a week for more than six months and I’m enjoying it. I’m fitter now than I have been in many years.
I weigh less and this has given me motivation to keep up the healthy eating and exercise. I feel fitter and more energetic.
It’s also made me realise my eating problems were at least partially down to my lifestyle. I had become very disconnected from a lot of aspects in life.
They showed me some groups in my area and I have joined a cycling group, meeting a few new people in the process.
I have also started playing a bit of golf, which I had hardly played over the last few years.
My experience has been really positive, it was really worthwhile. I’ve learned a lot about food and about myself.
I feel confident I can continue with the changes I’ve made and make them count long term.
*Not David’s real photo! He did not send us a photo so we have used a stock image
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