Jump to page content

Kidney diagnosis meant David had to change

We helped him eat more healthily and reconnect

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. 

What was your life like before you joined BeeZee Chat? 

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. 

What kind of meals did you eat?

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. 

What were your snacking habits?

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. 

What were your reasons for gaining weight management support?

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. 

What changes were you hoping to see? What were your goals?

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. 

Do you feel you have achieved your goals? 

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. 

How did your nutritionist support you?

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. 

How has your diet/eating habits/attitude to food changed?

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.   

Did you become more active while on the programme?

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.  

How has life changed since completing your BeeZee Chat sessions?

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.  

How would you sum up the experience overall?

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