Fleetwood resident Pauline Kennedy shares her story ...
I wondered what Healthier Fleetwood was all about but thought that I had nothing to lose by going to one of the meetings to find out more. It was really interesting hearing people talk about empowering Fleetwood residents to help themselves and make changes to improve their own health. There were all kinds of people at the meeting, representatives of different organisations and ordinary residents like me but it was really welcoming and there were lots of friendly faces.
I attended another meeting and it really started me thinking. I was very overweight and had lots of health problems but had never really thought the solution rested in my hands. Over the years I had been to every slimming club, tried every diet and must have lost the equivalent of at least two people over the years but always put the weight back on and more too!
I thought long and hard about taking responsibility for my own health and well being and in January started eating in a healthier way. I used a smaller plate and tried to seriously cut down on fatty foods, making sure I ate plenty of fruit and vegetables. Amazingly, I began to lose my taste for chocolate and sweets and wasn't bothered about cake either. As a lifelong addict to chocolate I was totally surprised! I never denied myself any food. I could have anything I wanted to eat, just eat less of it. My general health and aches and pains began to improve and my clothes became too big.
It's August 2017 as I write this and I have now lost 4st 7lbs. I am still losing weight - more slowly now as I approach a more ideal weight for my height. I can fit into size 14 clothes instead of size 22 and shopping for clothes has become a pleasure rather than the nightmare it used to be.
It was Healthier Fleetwood that inspired me to begin making changes and I am so grateful that I got involved. I would love to show you a before and after picture but I would never allow anyone to take photos previously because I was ashamed of how I looked. If I can do it, so can you! Look out for a meeting near you soon.
.... and Pauline's story continues!
I had been looking for a Breathe Easy singing group run by the British Lung Foundation but could find nothing locally. I suffer with asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and had learned that singing could help with both conditions. I had also been feeling a bit down after a number of family problems had hit me hard. I saw the advert for Harmony & Health singing group on the Healthier Fleetwood web page and decided that it would be a good thing to try. I love singing but don’t rate myself as a good singer but it didn’t matter! Janet, the Marine Hall manager; Shirley, our group leader & her helpers made everyone welcome and we all sung our hearts out.
I can’t begin to tell you how good I feel after each session. It has helped my breathing a little, my mood a lot and it has been lovely to meet new people who are becoming friends. We sings all sorts of songs from ABBA to Elvis to Doris Day! Songs from musicals, hymns - you name it, we’ll have a go! It’s fun, fellowship and you feel great! We started with about 30 people. Last week we made 70!! We meet every Tuesday in the Waterfront Cafe at the Marine Hall from 1.30 to 3pm. It’s free but there is a small charge if you want tea or coffee.
Give it a try!