Keira, who was 12 at the time, first heard about BeeZee Bodies from her doctor, to help her with her weight. When her Mum Shereen called the Hertfordshire BeeZee team to find out more, she was thrilled to find out that the BeeZee Families programme Kiera was eligible for was open to the whole family. Although Keira’s little brother Ryan and Dad Rob didn’t struggle with their weight, Shereen thought it was great that they could all attend together to support Keira (who struggled with social anxiety) and together understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Before attending BeeZee Families, Shereen admits that the family didn’t have a great understanding of portion sizes or nutritional claims, and never really get involved in any physical activities together.
“We were lazy! Uneducated. It’s easy to believe that if something says it’s “Fat Free” or “Light”, that it is the better option. We didn’t really have a clue about the correct portion sizes for each family member. And we didn’t really get involved in any sporting activities together. With the age gap of the children it can sometimes be hard to find something that suits the whole family.”
They wanted to make steps toward a healthier lifestyle, and the our Welwyn Garden City team were more than willing to help! From lessons on portion sizes and reading food label, to tips on meal planning, and fun activities that the whole family enjoyed – The Hart’s were soon well on their way to eating well, moving more and feeling better!
“When we arrived, the team were friendly and welcoming and made both children feel at ease. They both enjoyed it so much that they couldn’t wait to go back.
We learnt a lot about what to look for when go shopping – some food labels are very misleading! Learning about portion sizes was very useful and I picked up some new recipes and meal planning tips to try at home.
But the best part for me was watching them have a lot of fun during the activities, both grow in confidence and knowledge and make some lifestyle changes that I would never have expected them to.”
Since completing the programme, the family have made lots of changes:
“Keira has started cooking and has been going to Zumba class. Ryan is happier to try new foods and eats a much more varied diet. I have also completed the 5K Colour Obstacle Rush which is something I would never have considered doing before. We all looked forward to the programme every week and admit that we do miss it, but now we are more likely to do something together as a family at the weekends, like going to the trampoline park. It might not even always be something active but we spend more time together.”
But it’s not just the family’s diet and exercise habits that have improved. Keira, who had struggled with confidence issues and social anxiety really impressed the BeeZee Bodies team with how much her confidence blossomed throughout the programme. She made friends with the other participants and the staff, was getting involved in group discussions and getting involved with everything. In fact, she was so engaged in the programme, that she now comes back to volunteer with us! She helps us out at a session every week, and even did a day’s work experience in the office (which she blogged about, here).
“BeeZees aren’t trying to force you to make big changes. It’s more about change to perception and understanding. Once you have these, the change in your lifestyle comes with it. The children now having these understandings have become more accepting of change.
This was a great course that helped us spend some valuable time together as well as learn ways to improve our health and have some fun. The one downside is that it only lasts 14 weeks!”
Shereen Hart – BeeZee Families Mum, Welwyn Garden City.