Stories

Liz: “I wake in the morning feeling refreshed”

Liz experienced some troubling times following the death of a loved one. After moving to Wales to be closer to her family, Liz discovered Second Nature and has gone on to lose weight and has noticed significant improvements in her mental health and overall happiness. 

A bit about you

My name is Liz and I am 76. I live in Wales. 4 years ago my husband of 49 years died following 18 months of colonic cancer. He had been retired for 15 years and we had a wonderful retirement, travelling to different parts of the world. I have 2 children a son and a daughter and three grandchildren.

After my husband’s death, my world fell apart and I became depressed and gave up eating properly. Also 2 weeks before my husband’s death I was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma on my face and I had hospital appointments before his funeral and an operation just after. This is now 4 years ago and so far all is well. I was not happy living in our house and it was much too big so after 2 years I moved from a 5 bedroomed house in Eastern England to a cottage in South West Wales to live near my sister and her husband.

I moved in January 2019 and by September I felt I needed to take more control of my life. I was much happier in my new home but still had periods of tearfulness and depression. I was considering seeing a councillor, and read about OurPath, now Second Nature and thought I would try it, I signed up in September last year.

Inspired by the recipe book

When my pack arrived, it impressed me, it looked very good and was an easy and interesting read. The cookery book inspired me because there were so many recipes for meals I enjoyed and I cooked meals for my freezer. I now cook all of my own meals, including my own sourdough bread, I have half a small loaf a week. I did not feel I could contribute to the community portion of the course and spoke to my health coach, she was prepared to let me keep everything private. This meant I felt able to be very open with her. She has helped me more than anyone, she has always been positive when I was very down and given me help in every way she could.

I enjoyed all the articles and joined where I could, but I am a very private person. I knew where I was going wrong, but putting it into practice when you are not at your best is not easy. The articles during the course helped me turn round, look at myself and work out what I needed to do; not only lose weight but start to live again and enjoy life. I started practising and enjoying some mindfulness time, something I never thought I would. I started using the sessions to help me get to sleep, to clear my head of anxious thoughts and gradually improve the quality and length of my night’s sleep. I now look forward to bedtime knowing I will wake in the morning feeling refreshed.

Allowing time to take a breath

I still feel anxious from time to time, but I make myself stop and sit down and breathe, that helps put my thoughts into perspective. The other small thing I still do is to write down my gratitudes, not every day now, but I find it helps to think of and write down positive thoughts at the start of the day. I still battle with myself over drinking enough water and eating enough vegetables, ever since childhood and school dinners, I have not been fond of vegetables, but now I have 2 vegetarian days a week, not cabbage or sprouts! 2 fish days and 3 meat or chicken days. This is easier because I am normally only catering for myself.

Essential support through lockdown

As I’m an older person my exercise is walking and before lockdown, tia chi. I tried to keep it up, using YouTube, but I didn’t keep it up in the end. After last Christmas, I joined the community, and all the courses enlarged my knowledge around my well-being. I was going to leave Second Nature in March, but I stayed on during lockdown and I was glad I did. My health coach helped me get through what could have been a very lonely time. I am lucky to live in a beautiful area of the country and my walks could include the beach and uplifting views, this helped me no end.

I have just reached my weight loss goal, and I’m a more healthy and happier person. Thank you to you all, especially to my health coach Kirstie.

You can read more Second Nature stories here.

 

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Write a response

Sally
20 November, 2020

I’m very impressed by your story, and I hope I can manage to get fitter and lose weight too. I’m 70 and live alone in West Dorset 2 miles from the sea. I find it hard to stick to plans, I like food too much and lose motivation because – what’s the point? I am ok as I am! I had a shock yesterday when I weighed myself and I was half a stone heavier than ever before. I signed up with SN and I will really try to stick with it.