A female weight management group setting (GP referral)

“The benefits I have got since joining the Weigh Ahead group are managing to lose weight. When I was first weighed at x clinic in July I weighed 15st 2lb, then when I went to the first meeting in August I was 14st 10lb. I am now down to 13st 11lb.

“The reason I think I have managed to steadily lose weight is because during the meetings we looked at how to size portions in our meals and how to read food labels. Before joining I could not walk any distance without getting breathless and getting chest pains. I have now joined a walking group, made new friends, joined the gym with two of ladies I met through Weigh Ahead.

“The group has encouraged me to feel more confident in myself. The group was a good idea in my opinion as we were all in the same boat so we were not being judged. We were encouraged to make small but manageable changes, if we had a bad week no one looked down their noses at you, they just encouraged you to carry on and talked about where and why we’d slipped back into our ways. To help with this we were encouraged to keep a food diary. I found this very helpful and still use this method if I’m having a hard time.

“With the two girls I made friends with, we joined the gym at a reduced price (through Weight Ahead); we go to the gym 3 times a week. Katie and Kevin (they work in the gym) have taken us under their wing and have put us on a program as we are going to do a 5k walk in the summer.

“I have been told that I need a knee replacement but hope with joining the gym & losing weight I can delay this. I am also going to take swimming lessons with one of the girls I met”.