Our Livewell team have been working with 61-year-old Norman Todd, who is a shadow of his former self thanks to joining the free healthy lifestyle programme run by Derby City Council. Livewell started as a weight loss pilot (b-You) in 2011 run by Derby City Council and funded by NHS Derby City.  It is now a successful healthy lifestyle service with national recognition, funded through Public Health.

I’m half the man I used to be!

Norman is passionate about his new healthier lifestyle and the positive impact Livewell has made to support him to make some critical changes. He has a new lease of life after his incredible 10-stone (63 kilos) weight loss and a reduction in his BMI from 44.1 to 23.3. Norman’s 40-year struggle with weight started when he left school. His weight crept up over the years, peaking at 21 stones.

Then and now: Norman, left, before joining Livewell and right after losing 10 stones

Wake-up call
The retired teacher from Chellaston was given a wake-up call after a mild heart attack in March 2015. His doctor suggested Livewell’s free 12-month plan could help Norman to shed some all important pounds to improve his health.

Norman said:

I was buying bigger clothes with every year that passed and knew deep down that I needed to do something. Finding out I was morbidly obese gave me the final push to take action and sign up for Livewell.

Norman Todd with Livewell advisor, Ben Middleton

Tailored support and sociable activities
Despite being apprehensive, Norman was soon made to feel welcome to Livewell’s social meetings and activities. His advisor, Ben, a specialist in cardiac rehabilitation and weight
management, created an individual plan for Norman that combined a practical 8-week healthy eating course, gentle exercise and one-to-one support.

Having a plan to follow that suited my needs made it easy to get started. I met so many people in the same boat as me and we supported and motivated each other by comparing struggles and sharing tips. I never once felt judged because of my weight.

Norman steadily lost weight and gradually built his fitness through gentle walks, badminton and Livewell circuits.

I’d not done any exercise since leaving school but I was surprised how much I enjoyed getting stuck in, working hard to improve my fitness and having a laugh with the new friends I made.

Breaking bad snacking habits was another key change to Norman’s lifestyle after completing Livewell’s Lose Weight Feel Great course.

I’ve learnt to eat healthy filling meals with sensible portion sizes that prevent me snacking. Surprisingly, I discovered that I wasn’t eating enough protein at breakfast so I’ve introduced high fibre cereal, bananas or low fat yogurt to get a better start to the day.

Life today
Today Norman’s a fitter, healthier and more positive person. And Norman’s wife, Carol and two grown up children couldn’t be happier with his transformation.

My wife and children can’t believe the difference. Before I could hardly walk to the end of the road now I’m always on the go, doing two hours of exercise nearly every day.

Norman’s love of physical activity means his days are filled with cycling, walking, the gym, badminton, circuits and walking football.

Some people might imagine that he’d be flat out after all that physical activity but Norman argues it’s done wonders for his energy levels:

I have an enormous abundance of energy and I feel so well. Although I’m retired, I still do GCSE examining work and whereas before I might get stressed or tired, I find I’m not the least bit stressed now. My memory is sharper and I sleep so much better too.

To maintain his fitness and weight, Norman has taken advantage of Livewell’s post programme Wellness membership so he can continue to use Council leisure facilities and take part in Livewell classes for a further year.

Norman’s Tips

  • Keep a log of your food portions, using the Eatwell Plate as a guide.
  • Focus on long-term commitment to achieve success. Losing and maintaining a healthy weight is not a quick fix.
  • Make the most of Livewell activities including the Lose Weight Feel Great course – the
    encouragement from others really helps.

Livewell for Life

In addition to weight management for adults and children, Livewell offers free 30-minute NHS Health Checks for people in Derby.  It also incorporates a variety of funded 12-month programmes to help people to stop smoking and improve their fitness through an innovative partnership with DCFC.

Livewell is helping 3000 people and their families each year to change their lives for the better by empowering them to achieve their health goals.

  • Weight loss – 61% of adults and children lose 5% of their body weight.
  • Stop smoking – 33% of clients stop smoking for 12 months compared to 11% nationally.
  • Moving more to reduce sedentary behaviour – 77% of clients have increased physical activity levels.
  • Eating better – 89% have increased their intake of fruit and vegetables.

To find out more about the Livewell service and get healthy for free, visit their website or follow them on Twitter.