“My inspiration comes from the fact that I work as a paramedic, meaning I feel that I should embody a healthy lifestyle, not only as a role model for some patients, but also to prolong my career. In January 2018, I looked back at some pictures taken of me during Christmas and was shocked to see how big I had actually become. Abbie and I decided to weigh ourselves, to really find out what size we were. I had not weighed myself for many years, and the last time I checked I was approximately 12 stone, and I believed myself to still be around this weight. However, stepping on the scales, I weighed in at 14 stone 12lbs, with a BMI of 29.7 this was a reality check that I needed, as I was heading towards obesity at age 23. Following this, Abbie and I set ourselves a goal to get back to being classed as a “healthy” weight according to our BMIs. We reduced our portion sizes, starting cooking more from scratch so we knew what was going into our meals, and hitting the gym together. However, my biggest challenge was reducing my fizzy-drink intake, as this was something I have done since childhood. I was having an average of 2-3 cans per day, and I managed to cut this down to 1 and eventually 0. I increased my water intake, as this was something I had never drunk the recommended amount of, and noticed a massive difference in my weight, energy and general wellbeing. After 7 months, I reached a weight I was happy with, and have since maintained it through changing my lifestyle rather than just dieting short-term to lose weight. I am now happily 11 stone 8lbs and a BMI of 23.1 (firmly in healthy!). My goal is to continue to improve my health and physical fitness to reduce my risk of diabetes and heart disease. “


“Similar to Kristian, working within healthcare has made me acutely aware of the impact of an unhealthy lifestyle on health and wellbeing. I enjoyed hitting the gym as a teenager and found it a great release for the stress and anxiety I experienced during my A-levels. However, once I started university I found it hard to maintain as I was struck with deadlines and placement. During my A-levels, I suffered from IBD (inflamed bowel disease) and as such, was never a healthy weight, and instead much lower. At age 17 my weight plummeted to 6 stone 9lbs and I eventually managed to increase it to a reasonably healthy 7 stone 10lbs- however, this was a struggle. Despite this, that same January 2018, I found myself looking at pictures of myself with quite a rounded face, and struggling to fit into any of my clothes. I was totally shocked that in a year I had managed to put on 3 stone and was looking down at the scales that read 10 stone 10lbs. As Kristian discusses, we managed to reduce our portion size, cook more food from scratch and hit the gym together, which pushed us to go. I continue to regularly attend a dance fitness class at the university gym and find it fun as well as improving my health! It’s not been an easy ride, and my weight has definitely fluctuated a lot over the year, but I am now sitting at around 9 stone, with hopes to lose another 5lbs this year. Being a student, and wanting to stuff my face sometimes after a long shift is hard, but I get through it with healthy snacks, taking the stairs and not the lift and having my own little silent dance party in the morning after I eat my breakfast. My goal is to lose that bit more weight and continue my pursuit of having the energy to live the life I want to! Plus, we have a little extra motivation with our wedding in just under a few years time!”

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