Tom takes action on his health, and empowers others to do the same

Tom armed himself with the tools and knowledge to reach a healthier BMI, and became a BeeZee ambassador to help others do the same.

Diagnosed with high blood fats, fatty liver and bordering on being pre-diabetic, Tom decided to take action on his health. At 110kg, his BMI was in the obese category, and he was smoking up to 20 cigarettes every day – he knew he needed to make some lifestyle changes to lead a healthier, happier life. His doctor suggested the help of a nutritionist could motivate him to reach a healthier weight – and so Tom arrived at BeeZee for All with some realistic goals in mind. 

Small changes = big difference

Hinitially wanted to bring his BMI down from the ‘obese’ category to the ‘overweight’ category; a weight loss of 10-15kg in his case. To do this, he set smaller goals such as reducing portion sizes, and eating a more balanced diet.  

“I was eating a lot of ready meals, pizzas, burgers, and sometimes would have a fourth meal in the evening if I exercised in the day. I was eating way too much carbohydrate and not enough fruit, veg and protein. I set goals to improve the variety of food I was eating, and to remedy the issue I was having with portion size. I was eating way too much at mealtimes” he told us.

He knew that from these initial changes, he’d then be able to carry on making healthy choices to take his BMI into the ‘healthy’ category. By splitting his big goal into smaller goals, it felt achievable, and Tom was motivated to put the work in.  

Filling the toolbox

During his time at BeeZee Bodies, Tom began to acquire the tools and knowledge he needed to make healthy lifestyle changes.  

“I use the Eat Well Guide to vary my meals and frequently use my hands and thumbs to measure portions – which has helped me to lose weight while on the programme.  I feel I have been given the tools to succeed further and I am heading towards a healthier BMI measurement.” 

His small changes include switching from scrambled eggs cooked in oil to healthier boiled eggs, using his thumbs to measure portions of cheese, and practicing mindful eating by implementing the 20 minute rule to reduce cravings. He’s also been using the BeeZee Bodies recipes to be able to enjoy healthier versions of his favourite foods. It’s these small habits that can lead to big results.  

“My nutritionist, Ellie, has been wonderful. She was a great support before the lockdown and has been during it. She goes above and beyond what is expected of her and I feel I have had a real buddy helping me through my issues and along the journey. Aside from the practical tips, tricks and knowledge Ellie gave some psychological insights which were really valuable, as the odd environment we have been living in recently has impacted my mental health. 

I stopped smoking and Ellie was central to that goal being met. She gave moral support, practical tips and provided me with links to organisations who specialise in quitting smoking – which really helped!” 

Tom’s BeeZee for All sessions were interrupted by the Coronavirus lockdown, and he completed his final few sessions on BeeZee Live, our online learning service. Tom explained how he found different benefits from both the physical BeeZee for All sessions and the online BeeZee Live sessions. 

“The physical groups were a great way to meet new people because group work was easier to organise and interaction between small groups of people flowed effortlessly. The physical groups were longer and I liked the way the nutritional work came first and then the collective physical exercise group happened after. It seemed easier to ask questions and debate subjects in the physical groups because we had more time together. 

The online groups are a great way to learn if you have a busy lifestyle because you have a set time to start and a set time to finish and there is no travel time to contend with. You can access from the comfort of your own home and if you miss a session you can watch one of the recordings. I find it easier to concentrate because you are not in a wider social setting with distractions. I also think the group chat works really well and the visuals provide a way of learning that is not that easily replicated in the physical environment.” 

Going for goals

Before coming to BeeZee Bodies, Tom wasn’t getting much exercise other than some gentle walking. The exercise sessions with our coach Alex really sparked a love of movement within Tom and he has carried on keeping active throughout lockdown. He’d make the most of the government’s daily exercise rule by running and cycling.   

“Ellie introduced me to the Couch to 5k app and I began running in local parks every day.Unfortunately I picked up a minor injury to me knee while running, but luckily I could still cycle! I made an effort to go out every day and cycle at least 5k, and would often do much more. I’ve now recovered from my knee injury, and although I can’t get straight back into running yet, I go for a brisk walk most days” 

BeeZee & beyond!

Tom came to BeeZee for All with a can-do attitude and left BeeZee Chat with a lower BMI. He engaged seriously in the sessions and absorbed everything he needed to know to continue heading towards the ‘healthy’ BMI category – and improve his overall health and lifestyle.  

 He sums up his experience by saying:

BeeZee for All and BeeZee Live have been invaluable in shaping my nutritional goals and knowledge on the subject. It has been a privilege to meet such dedicated and wonderful people. I have really enjoyed my interaction and I found that support was always available when I needed it. The nutritionists on the BeeZee Live platform are very approachable, well prepared and knowledgeable on various subjects. I feel that I have grown as a person from what I have learnt on the programmes and I am very grateful that I decided to do the courses. 

But, for Tom, his journey didn’t stop there. Not only has Tom been an instrumental part of our co-production team, where we invite participants to give their opinions on how we can improve and tweak our services, but he also became a BeeZee Bodies Ambassador – using his experience and motivation to inspire people on future programmes to make positive change.  

I presented a short piece on my experience to about seventy people over two sessions. It was challenging, but fun and rewarding. I really got a feeling people appreciated my insight and I got a sense of achievement in thinking that I may have helped allay some fears and anxieties people may have had about doing the programme.”

Here's what Ellie has to say:

“Tom has been a really dedicated, supportive and enthusiastic contributor in our groups.

Not to sound clichéd, but it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Tom and see him own his journey, share honestly when times were tough and allow me to genuinely support him. He was incredibly receptive to any suggestions and reasonings I gave, but also generous in sharing feedback with us to help improve BeeZee Bodies for future users.

Tom is an excellent example of ‘you reap what you sow’. He has put in small, consistent changes over time, has been patient with results (even during lockdown!) and has a genuine desire to change his lifestyle. I will be sad to see Tom leave our programme as I know he will go on to achieve incredible things, but the good thing is that the contact doesn’t have to stop there! I’m sure we will keep in touch and keep working together – so keep an eye out!”

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