Ben came to the service wanting support with his motivation to lose weight and get fitter. In the past Ben had had success with weight loss (losing 8 stone) and even ran the London marathon. However, he had fallen back into unhealthy habits and gained the weight back. Ben disclosed he was vulnerable to binge eating when emotional but that in the past he used his love of running to distract him and this really helped. We decided to try and build on Ben’s love of running to help him achieve his goals, starting with the Couch to 5K challenge.
Ben’s Couch to 5K challenge was delayed due to having pain in his foot, we decided to incorporate some balance exercises into his day (using habit stacking such as when brushing his teeth) while in bare feet to help strengthen the muscles. This quickly had positive results, so Ben went to see a physiotherapist and got a more extensive selection of exercises to help his feet. Ben started cycling while he waited for the green light to start his running and found he enjoyed this. We spent some time exploring his snacking cravings and he attended our virtual cravings workshop. He found this very helpful and related to the information on positive reinforcement, distraction and identifying triggers - he realised he was triggered more by boredom than by emotions which surprised him. In understanding his triggers he was able to pre-empt and plan for them. Ben started to see inches coming off his waist and friends began commenting on changes in his appearance which further motivated him.
Ben started his Couch to 5K and immediately noticed an improvement in his mental health, also in his endurance at work (he works in a hospital and has to do a lot of walking and is on his feet all day). He had a brief lapse where he fell back into old unhealthy habits but this time he ‘caught himself and made changes’ rather than continuing into a negative spiral as he had previously.
Ben is enjoying meal planning and cooking with his wife and now runs regularly. He continues to lose weight and see improvements in his mental health;
“Even when I have been struggling, this time I have managed to remain determined”.