Rachael Pickworth, from Eastwood had struggled with her weight since she was a teenager, but with the help of Everyone Health, she has managed to lose nearly half her body weight.

At just 28 years old, Rachael was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a health condition that affects the function of women’s ovaries. One of the symptoms is increased weight gain.

Although she had tried a number of diet plans before, nothing had been successful. Weighing over 20 stone, Rachael decided that it was time to make a change and visited her doctor, who referred her to the services of Everyone Health.

Everyone Health works of behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council to help people in the community improve their health and wellbeing by delivering Obesity Prevention and Weight Management services. It supports children, young people and adults across Nottinghamshire to make informed decisions about food and exercise, with the aim of helping them lead healthier lifestyles.

Everyone Health put Rachael on the Change Point programme, which began with a 12-week programme that provides one on one sessions led by a qualified dietician and physical activity specialist. The aim of the sessions is to help individuals to gain a better understanding of what comprises a balanced diet and active lifestyle. The sessions also included a range of instructor-led fitness activities.

The Change Point programme offers a friendly approach that aims to provide people with the education they need to lead a healthy and more balanced lifestyle.

“I quickly learnt that your health is directly linked to your weight, which is something that I had never thought about before.” Rachael explains. “With dietician Craig’s help I learnt a lot about the way I was eating and I was able to make some drastic changes to my diet. I started eating three meals a day rather than two, and I learnt that food is fuel for your body.

“I had never enjoyed exercise, but with the help of Jacqui from Everyone Health, we created a realistic fitness plan that I knew I could stick to. We initially started with small improvements, and I would walk to and from school to pick my daughter up. I quickly began to notice changes in not only the way I looked, but also the way I felt. I began to walk more regularly and I started to enjoy it.

“I decided that I wanted more of a challenge, so I began to run three times a week. After just four months, I was able to run 5km without stopping, something that I never thought was possible.”

Dietician Craig Dodds and physical activity specialist Jacqui Constantine have maintained regular contact with Rachael since she completed her 12-week programme and have been on hand every step of the way to answer any questions.

Rachael has lost nearly nine stone since starting The Change Point programme in October 2015 and has exceeded her weight loss goals. The programme has taught Rachael life changing skills, and she has been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle since finishing the initial 12-week programme.

Rachael explains: “My initial weight loss goal was 12 stone, which I have now exceeded by dropping five dress sizes. To stay motivated, I have set myself a new challenge to reach 11 stone and I will be taking part in my first 5km race in September. I would encourage anybody who is struggling with their weight to get in touch with the fantastic people at Everyone Health; it really has changed my life for the better.”

Karen Wright, contract manager at Everyone Health, said, “We are dedicated to providing an inclusive and supportive service that offers clients with the education that they need to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.”

“We are proud to work with people like Rachael to help achieve their weight loss goals and help to improve her overall health and wellbeing. Rachael has achieved a fantastic weight loss and we wish her all the best for her first 5km race and the future.”

Councillor Stuart Wallace, Chairman of the Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee, congratulated Rachael on her fantastic weight loss achievement.

He added: “Rachael’s story is proof that if you make simple, gradual changes to your lifestyle, the health benefits you can achieve are significant.

“Her incredible weight-loss will hopefully act as an inspiration to others and encourage people that it’s never too late to get advice and help to turn your life around.”

© 2017 Sport & Leisure Management Ltd