Past and present members of the Barnsley Change4Life weight management programme gathered at a special event on Monday 31 March to celebrate the success of the project over the last three years.
The event, held at Barnsley Metrodome, celebrated the personal stories of people enrolled in the programme as well as showcasing the achievements of the team. Throughout the day tributes to the service were heard with one tribute standing out among the rest. Brian Owen recently signed up to the Change4Life programme and shared his story by reading a poem he had written.
The Unshrinkable Brian Owen
I looked in the mirror hoping to see something different – I’m disappointed again. It’s the same old me. Trousers under my belly, shirt collar tight against my neck! I need to get bigger sizes again, my clothes must have shrunk!
That’s one way to hide from reality – self-denial.
When walking the dogs, I’m starting to sweat and I’m out of breath!
My wife tells me about Change for Life. It’s not another diet, she says, they never seem to work. Shall we give it a go?
The Hoyland group is held at St. Andrews Community Centre, run by Lesley, Pam and Becky. They give us information on subjects such as calories, sugars, fats, portions and of course health choices. We talk about our personal goals and remember, you don’t have to be wealthy to eat healthy!
Today is the start. My focus is fixed on my goal. I weigh in at 15 stone 9lb! I’m aiming for 13 stone. It’s easy to talk about it. How do I achieve it?
The first meeting at Hoyland was an eye opener for me. Everyone is weighed and given their weight card. Lesley gets everyone involved and we all speak openly about our experiences and we share our goals. We’re fighting the same fight and our first step just by being there.
The healthy choices that helped me are, giving up butter and sugar. Tea without sugar! Beans on toast without butter! Unthinkable before!
Regular mealtimes, exercise and keeping focused on my goals have helped me lose between 1lb and 3lb per week. I’m not dieting, I’m making healthier choices and I’m winning.
I look in the mirror hoping to see something different – disappointed? No way!
My trousers are too baggy and my shirt collar too slack. I need to get new clothes, my body has shrunk!
Twané Celliers is a specialist dietician and clinical lead for the group and after the event, she said “I’m so proud of everyone involved in the programme. Seeing people change their lives and seeing how it empowers them to lead a healthier life really is a privilege. This is a culmination of three years of hard work and I can’t wait to see how people progress in the years to come.”
“For me, it’s not just about the weight loss and health benefits. That’s just one aspect of the project. Losing weight gives people the confidence and self-belief they need to succeed in all other aspects of life.”
Over the past three years, the Barnsley Change4 Life Weight Management team have supported over 2,500 people to make healthier lifestyle changes. You can find out more about the Barnsley Change4Life weight management service by visiting their webpage, or you can give a member of the team a call on 01226 737060 and they would be happy to help.
Take a look at some of the pictures taken on the day below.