Six stone weight loss sparked by cooking lessons
Anyone who struggles with their weight will tell you losing it is often not the hard part – keeping it off is.
After working with Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS) health trainers retired Royal Air Force man Richard Tory, 54, has finally found a way to do just that.
Richard lost ten inches off his waistline and six stone in weight, taking himself out of the at-risk category for developing Type 2 Diabetes. And he is coming up to the one-year anniversary of achieving a new healthier weight.
Richard, of the Staniland area of Boston, said: “I have always been on the larger side and, since my mid to late teens, have been on and off of various diets. It has been a constant fight to try to stop my weight getting out of control.
“Just before leaving the RAF in 2002, I lost three-and-a-half stone in just under four months by putting in a lot of work in the gym under the guidance of a physical training instructor, but over time it all went back on again.
“In 2012, I was told my weight was putting me at risk of diabetes and initially I lost a bit, but by the summer of 2013, I was back up to 18 stone 4lb.”
Richard’s GP offered to refer him to a gym but having already been there and done that he knew that wasn’t the answer.
Living alone, he tended to live on ready meals and processed food, but wasn’t sure how to change.
He began working with a health trainer at the end of 2013 and, crucially, was sent on a cooking course.
Richard said: “Being able to see what food looks like in the various stages of preparation and having someone to put my ‘stupid’ questions to was so helpful. What did a cook really mean by ‘browning’ meat? It looked grey to me!
“The course gave me the confidence to cook from scratch and a cheap wok has become my most used cooking pot.”
Richard, who is 5ft 6ins tall, now weighs 12st 5lb. He worked with his health trainer for around four months. He was helped to look closely at what he ate and given suggestions for healthier alternatives. He was never told to stop eating cakes or chocolate but learned to view them as occasional treats. Previously, he admitted to picking up multipacks of chocolate bars at the supermarket and snacking on them throughout the day.
In addition, Richard, who is a dedicated volunteer, filling his working week with roles at LCVS, Lincolnshire Credit Union, Boston and Fenside Community Centre, started walking everywhere instead of driving.
Leaving home only ten or 15 minutes earlier, he finds he often arrives earlier than he would have in the car.
Richard now cites the outside support, encouragement and information he got from a health trainer as being key in his success.
Wanting to change, never calling the change a diet (because diets always come to an end) and learning to cook are his other top tips.
The Health Trainer Service in Lincolnshire is an established and successful service, providing informal, confidential and FREE advice and support to people over the age of 16 years.
Health Trainers are based in local communities and work with individuals and groups. They appreciate how difficult it can be to make healthy changes and provide practical support and guidance to introduce new routines and activities, as well as sign-posting you to additional useful or specialist services. These may vary from local healthy walks, swimming, cooking courses, gentle seated exercise, dance classes or social groups to professional advice and other health services – plus many other options.
Find your local health trainer here: Lincolnshire health trainers