SuperWellness Programme Lead Lucille Bleekers interviews Ali and Lianne, both participants in our 6-Week Metabolic Kickstart Programme. The programme was offered to employees of a Financial Services company as a wellbeing benefit.
Lucille: Okay, so today we’ve got Ali and Lianne who have recently have completed a six-week SuperWellness Kickstart Program,and I’m really looking forwardto hearing from them today. About their thoughts on the program and life after the program as well.
So if I start with you, Ali, do you want to tell me what motivated you or inspired you, what made you decide to joinup the six-week program?
Ali: Sure, so I’ve always had an interest in nutrition but have kind of been feeling my way and I’m in my s,and I’m getting that kind of spread across the middle. I just wanted a deeper understanding of what to do at this time of life, really.
Lucille: Okay, brilliant, and Leanne?
Lianne: I think for me, I did slimming world off and on over the years and I’ve always been quite good but then got into a habit,especially over lockdown,of having a lot moresugar, moving a lot less,working from home. I completely lost out on doing an hour and a half or so of walking every day. So I just needed something to motivate me to get back into all of that. Just that little bit of accountability for a short while.
Lucille: And then Ali,what were the main changes that you actually made?
Ali: So I cut down on sugar, which has been great,because I think that’s really helped with having a little bit more energy in the afternoons. And I had got into some dreadful habits over lockdown as well,a really bad chocolate habit. I’ve started cooking a lot more healthily for the family which has, I hope been appreciated.I think it has.
Lucille: Sorry, Ali, you weren’t a massive fan on cooking, were you really?
Ali: I was just doing the same things over and over and yes, it was just getting a bit boring, really. So we’re very mindful to eat a lot more vegetables now and also I’ve really upped my protein intake. I think that was one of the reasons why I was just eating too much and reaching for the sugary snacks all the time because I was probably wasn’t eating enough protein. So now I’m much more aware of that.
Lucille: And in terms of exercise,have you made any changes with exercise?
Ali: I have made a lot of changes with exercise, actually. One of the sessions was around exercise that you’ve presented and the importance of doing some weight training,resistance training. So yes, on my table, just over there,are a couple of dumbbells. And when I get the opportunity,I had started using those and I’ve also started going running as well. Jogging actually very, very slowly, but it’s a start.
Lucille: Great, fantastic. And Lianne, what kind of benefits have you experienced since the program?
Lianne: I think very similar to Ali.I think protein intake,that was just a complete game changer for me.I think I’ve always kind ofthought I ate quite healthily but then I ended up having that low on the afternoon where you think, I need something and how do you kind of reach for the sugary snacks? Especially at the moment I’ve got a young child at home so she can just get away with eating a lot more sugar than me and then you see it and you want it.
But since just introducing a lot more protein with every single meal,I’m just not feeling hungry between meals. And also then in turn maybe reduce my sugar because I’m not grabbing those snacks.I’ll allow myself like one small snack in the evening but it’s not because I’m hungry. It’s just because I want it,kind of the end of the day. But that compared to how itwas before starting the course,it’s a complete turnaround on that.
And also the exercise, I think,I was always finding that because I was working from home and then morning exercise is really doing the school run.I just felt like Ididn’t have time to do it but it was just kind of getting past that mindset and just introducing small changes. And now I’m doing kind of two and a half hours at the gym every week.I’m doing yoga and I’m doing a core class as well.So again with the resistance training and I just feel a lot more awake. It’s completely different.
Lucille: Oh, that’s really good for both of you.It’s so lovely to hear the positive changes. So what have you struggled with in the program? And how did you overcome it? You both have mentioned a few things along the way, but Ali, let’s start with you.
Ali: I suppose initially I found it difficult to give up those sugary snacks. It had become such an ingrained habit but I managed to replace those with some of the recipes that you provided us with,which were really helpful actually.So there was a chocolate slab recipe which was an absolute lifesaver cause I was making that on a weekly basis and cutting it into very small cubes and having a few ofthose throughout the day.But I’ve actually managed to even cut back on that. So I’m having more time in between meals which has been really positive.Getting the exercise started,while it hurts at first, doesn’t it? But then you realize that actually that there are benefits to it. And I think that’s kind of like helped with my stress levels as well.It’s helped to relax me a little bit. So yeah, it’s just overcoming those initial hurdles really. So yes, from that point of view,it’s been really useful.
Lucille: Great, and Lianne?
Lianne: I think very similar.I think I initially struggled with increasing the exercise and then I was thinking, oh,I need these sugary snacks,but once you get past the barrier,you have a bit of a low when you first reduce the sugar down but once you’ve kind offought through that a bit,the benefits just so much better than just shoving another biscuit in your mouth. I think having the detailed sessions, I’m always good when I’ve been given a lot of detail about something. It’s like getting out in the sunlight helping me with sleeping in the evening because it’s boosting the right hormones and everything is kind of,things that you can’t hear in passing,but actually the detail that you get in the course was really beneficial for me. Just kind of getting that into my head a bit more and just giving me the motivation.
Lucille: Yeah, fantastic.So you both found ways of overcoming those struggles, which is really great.
I think like you say, it’s the accountability as well.It’s going each week,even though we’re not being weighed or anything in front of anyone, it’s just, you still get that little bit of pressure that you’re not just in it on your own.
And it’s reinforcing the same message every week,isn’t it? So some of these fantastic habits that both of you have now created,how do you feel? There’s been a couple of weeks since the program ended. Will you be able to maintain or could you tell me one habit you feel you’re definitely going to be able to maintain going forward? Ali do you want to go?
Ali: I feel that,yes, I will be able to maintain the exercise.I’ve got a very young dog and it’s really helpful to be able to,it kills two birds with onestone to go out with him,running myself.And exercising him. And actually my husband’s got involved in that as well.He’s coming running with me in the evenings. So that’s been really nice.
I’m feeling the benefitof not eating the sugar and that’s the motivation to keep going with that.I’ve definitely got more energy, which is really helpful.I don’t weigh myself cause I find that so de-motivating,but I’m wearing a pair of jeans today that I haven’t worn for a while because they’re definitely a little bit more reduced around the tummy area.
So yeah, that would be my motivation to keep going.
Lucille: Okay, and Lianne?
I think very similar, just having the increased energy and once you’ve started something, starting is definitely the hardest part. Once you’ve started and you’ve got the benefit of it,it’s a lot easier to carry on and you kind of go past all those barriers. I think I plan my meals a lot more now and a lot of it is excuses beforehand. Like, oh, I haven’t got time to plan that.I’ll just grab that quick thing because it’s a lot easier.I’ve got another meeting I need to go to.But once you kind of plan your shopping and just realize that cooking something healthy is just as quick as cooking something a bit more unhealthy.
Lucille: And Ali kind of touched on a little bit like the impact that it’s had on her family.So not only her,but now her husband has got involved as well. What do you feel, has there been a far reaching impact not only for yourself, but your family?
Lianne: I think I’m probably a lot less stroppy.I’m getting a lot less mood swings and I’m having less sugar.So that’s obviously going to benefit the family.
Lucille: What would you say to someone, if the company they work for has decided to put this program on, and they’re sitting on the fence?
Ali: I’d say, go for it.It’s been really rewarding.And I feel like I learned a lot. And doing it as a group has been very helpful because the spotlight isn’t always on you as an individual. I think it’s been a very rewarding experience.
Lucille: Oh, fantastic. And Lianne?
Lianne: Yes, I was going to say,I appreciate my company signed up to it because it is a very good benefit. It’s something that you wouldn’t necessarily choose to do yourself, or you wouldn’t have the right resources to find a course like this. So it’s been very good.
My entire team actually did the course. We’ve all kind of spoken about it since. And it’s just good, I think it makes you happier working as well because you feel like the company is giving you something as well. And then obviously having increased energy is going to help the company as well. Because everyone’s going be a lot more awake,a lot more kind of on it.
Lucille: That’s fantastic actually.And I mean, what you’ve said exactly.It’s benefiting the company and benefiting the wellbeing of a team as well. So Ali, do you think along the similar lines in terms of encouraging companies to offer this kind of program?
Ali: I completely agree actually. I was delighted to see that come up. It’s something that I’ve always been interested in. But, having access to those sessions probably would have been out of my price range. So the company putting it on,it did make me feel, yeah,that’s a real benefit.So yes,I would definitely encourage people to take advantage of it.