An East Durham man has lost over four stones after deciding to dramatically change his lifestyle.
John Cairns from Wingate has shed the weight after suffering from health problems.
The 61-year-old came into contact with County Durham’s Wellbeing for Life service because “he’d tried everything else to lose weight and nothing worked”; until he found something he enjoyed.
After contacting the free service, Health Trainer Sarah Howells got in touch and met with John in his own home to discuss how she could support him to achieve his health goals.
Wellbeing for Life staff work with individuals on a 1-1 basis and in groups, to help people recognise the issues that are affecting their wellbeing and to make positive changes.
Sarah listened and observed John’s lifestyle and they came up with a plan which included small and manageable changes he could make to help him lose weight, feel healthier and happier.
Implementing change was a struggle at first, but Sarah discovered he had a competitive streak so she would set him weekly challenges and the weight started to drop off.
John then helped to set up Wellbeing for Life’s Eat Wise to Drop a Size group at Wingate Community Centre, where he and other community members learn about nutrition, pick up recipe ideas, have weigh-ins and support each other while having a good natter.
John says “I haven’t found this journey easy, but it’s certainly been worth it. It’s become less of a struggle to walk due to my weight loss. I don’t get out of breath as much and its great socialising with old and new friends at the group. I still have a long way to go but my health issues are improving and I’m feeling really good.
My health trainer and I just hit it off, I enjoyed her banter and she gave me the confidence and motivation I needed, as well as sometimes a stern telling. Sarah has a lovely manner that really cheered me up. Even when times are difficult she helps me to find the positives. The continued support from the group members and Sarah keeps me motivated.
I think the secret to sticking to a healthy lifestyle is enjoyment. If you surround yourself with people you like and choose activities you enjoy, you’re more likely to achieve your goals.”
John is a well-known character in his community. He wants other people, especially men who are at most risk of dying early, to benefit from Wellbeing for Life, and has been trying to spread the word of his success to his friends on social media.
If you live in the Wingate area and would like to attend Wellbeing for Life’s Eatwise to Drop a Size group, it takes place every Friday morning at 10:15am. For More information contact Sarah on 07826884712
Wellbeing for Life is a free service that aims to help people to live well and maintain good health for themselves and those around them.