Chronic health diagnoses give 77 year-old Christine the courage to begin life-changing weight loss journey

Christine, a 77-year-old retiree from Thurrock, has lost more than 5 stone on a MoreLife weight management programme following dual diagnoses of genetic lymphoedema and lipoedema.

Just under a quarter of a million people in the UK are affected by lymphoedema, a long-term condition that affects the lymphatic system, leading to swelling in the body’s tissues, usually in the arms and legs. Making positive lifestyle changes can improve symptoms and overall wellbeing.

After receiving initial treatment for her conditions Christine knew she had to make healthy changes to her lifestyle to tackle her weight and was referred to MoreLife Essex, who offer free evidence-based, adult weight management services to Essex communities.

MoreLife’s adult weight management programmes commissioned by local CCGs for South and West Essex residents, are delivered by a team of nutritionists, psychologists and weight management practitioners. The programme is driven by leading obesity research from Leeds Beckett University.

Christine chose MoreLife’s programme because of its evidence-led approach to weight loss; she cites the insight and information provided was vital to her sustained success. It helped her understand emotional eating and the importance of being more active.

Christine explained how MoreLife had helped her through a particularly challenging year:

“I knew about healthy eating and had tried every diet under the sun. I had spent years feeling so ill. After my diagnoses, I knew I had to start to making changes and MoreLife was the right choice.

A picture of Christine before weight loss

“After my diagnoses, I knew I had to start to making changes”

Christine after the MoreLife programme

“This is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself”

“I loved the psychological aspect of the programme; it was very therapeutic. This is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’ve learnt to accept the lymphoedema and lipoedema and cope emotionally. MoreLife makes me feel stronger.”

Starting her MoreLife journey at the height of the pandemic, Christine took part in 12 weekly group ZOOM calls with practitioners, where she gained a greater knowledge of topics to help support her to make healthier lifestyle choices, such as portion sizes, stress management and emotional eating.

Christine praised MoreLife practitioner Emily, who joined her in visiting St Luke’s Hospice to gain a greater understanding of her lymphoedema and her specific needs on the programme.

Emily Costelloe, Contract Manager at MoreLife Essex, explains: “It’s so important to examine all the reasons affecting a person’s ability to maintain a healthy weight and that includes chronic conditions such as lymphoedema.

“We understand that the challenges faced when trying to take better control of weight and health are varied and completely personal to an individual. Attending the hospice gave me fantastic insight and will enable us to help others suffering from the same, or similar, long-term conditions that affect their weight.”

Christine wants others to learn and be inspired by her experience, adding: “My time with MoreLife has made me want to help people suffering from lymphoedema or lipoedema, spread the word for earlier diagnosis, and help people make healthy lifestyle changes.”

To learn more about our weight management services, visit MoreLife Essex

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