One of the things we often find ourselves saying at Gateway is “just do it”. Some of the best outcomes happen when we support people to act quickly and decisively.
We were reminded of a great example of “just doing it” a few weeks ago, when Health Trainer Glenn received an email from one of her previous clients, Anna*.
Anna had been referred to the Health Trainers service by her GP in January. She was morbidly obese and, after a health scare, really wanted to make changes in her life.
When she was placed with Glenn, Anna’s first statement on our Impact Assessment App said
I feel and look awful and I really need help. I can’t even face going back to work.
Glenn said: “Although it was apparent that Anna wanted, and needed, to make changes straight away, her confidence was shattered.
“I felt that a weight loss group would be the best option – it offers a supported, controlled environment in which to make a big initial weight loss – but she really wasn’t sure. She’d been to a group before but, because her self esteem was so low, she felt like people were watching and judging her.”
So they talked for a while. And then, with Anna’s consent, Glenn picked up the phone and booked her in with the Lighten Up service.
Glenn said, “I knew I had to do it straight away. I could see she had the will, and really wanted to change, and was only being held back by her lack of confidence. So I took the plunge for her.”
Four weeks later, Anna’s Impact Assessment statement said:
I have joined Weight Watchers and I absolutely love it. Thank you for putting me on the spot and ringing Lighten Up while I was with you – if I had had time to think about it I would never have joined. I have lost one stone in four weeks and I am so, so happy. I’ve gone back to work part time as well.
Usually, the story would end there for our Health Trainers. However, in July – six months after her initial appointment – Glenn received an email from Anna.
Don’t know if you remember me? You signed me up to Weight Watchers at the end of January. I remember it as clearly as if it was yesterday: me very overweight, miserable, desperate and you positive, cheerful and very proactive. Before I knew where I was, you had phoned your office and arranged the 12 weeks of free tokens, found a local class and registered me on it to start the following week! I was so bowled over by the speed with which you organised everything that I didn’t have time to even think of backing out!
All I can say is Thank You from the bottom of my heart. I have now got to my first interim goal – I had hoped to reach the 4 stone mark by the time I went on holiday on the 20th July, the back-up was to achieve a 50lb loss. Well, after just 24 weeks at Weight Watchers I have lost 52lb, achieved my 50lb certificate and am now in a size 22/24 tops and 24/26 bottoms!
For the first time in 15 years I will be able to fly without an extender seat belt.
Please pass this email on to anyone who is at decision-making level. If you had given me the opportunity to think about it and arrange my own class, I know that I would not have had the guts to walk through the door, and would not have done it; so huge was my problem!
There are many obese people desperate for help but too embarrassed and too overwhelmed to see a way forward. Your “do it now” approach saved my life.
Glenn said, “To hear from Anna out of the blue was just brilliant. I’m proud of her and it’s really good to hear that she’s doing so well.
“I can’t believe she thought I wouldn’t remember her, though – of course I do!”
*Anna’s name has been changed