A local man has swapped his mobility scooter for a mountain bike after losing seven stones on a Rotherham-run weight management course.
Barrie Cooke, 68, shed the stones by taking part in the Reshape Rotherham programme, run by The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust. The scheme helps people under a Rotherham GP who want to lose weight to improve their health and feel better.
A year ago Barrie had problems walking so he bought a mobility scooter. Just twelve months later he has put that in the garage and instead enjoys going out on his mountain bike.
Previously a fit man, having served in the British Army for 16 years and spending more than 22 years as a fire fighter, he gradually gained weight following a heart attack and the subsequent medication.
He said the turning point was last May when he was diagnosed with diabetes. “The doctor advised me the best cure and easiest way to control it was through my diet.” Said Barrie.
“My weight had crept up to 19 stone 12 lbs and that really frightened me. It was either lose some weight or change my scales – as they only went up to 20 stone.
“I didn’t think I was eating that badly – for example, I had nothing fried,” he added.
“But the Reshape course taught me to control what I eat between meals and if you don’t need it – don’t eat it. So now I have cut out crisps and puddings.
“We also learned about portion sizes and keeping check on calories. I was really surprised to find out how many calories there were in a pint of cider.”
Reshape is an adult weight management programme which is available, free of charge, for people who are registered with a Rotherham GP and have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 - 40. The course consists of one-hour sessions run over a ten-week period across Rotherham in the daytimes and evenings.
The meetings are designed to be fun, practical and interactive. Messages about healthy eating are communicated by playing food associated games and reviewing food choices through diaries.
The scheme, which is currently encouraging people to lose their excess baggage for their summer holidays, also has specialist courses running for people with polycystic ovary syndrome, diabetes and for people from different ethnic backgrounds.
Barrie said he is really proud of himself and can now look forward to a retirement of having fun and playing with his three grandchildren.
“It was a life-changing experience. I’m really proud of myself!”
“Reshape only works if you work with it – it’s not a magic cure. I tell anybody now - if you want to lose weight, be serious – go for it. Don’t be half-hearted.”
To find out more about Reshape Rotherham and how it could help you, please ring 01709 307725 or visit www.therotherhamft.nhs.uk/reshape.