Guest blog – Julie from the weigh ahead programme

My name is Julie Borman and I heard about the Weigh Ahead program after visiting my Doctor for some ideas on how I could lose weight. I had spent many years trying to lose weight, with different types of diets and various stints of exercise but never really stuck to anything as I lost motivation after each attempt. My Doctor suggested going to the Health Centre, where I met Helen the Dietician for the “Weigh Ahead program”. She suggested this program after talking through my problems.

I joined the 8 week Weigh Ahead program in August 2013, with Helen as the dietician and Carole as the exercise instructor. I enjoyed listening to Helen every week talking through all the many benefits of eating in a healthy way, about motivation and ways to fit in exercise and never give up. After every group discussion we went onto to do exercises with Carole, I found Carole very encouraging and motivating and enjoyed the exercises sessions and found them very useful.

I was concerned at first about doing exercises as I had found out that I have Osteoarthritis in one of my knees, but after some reassurance from both Helen and Carole that doing exercises and losing weight would help with the pain and put less pressure on my knee.

Towards the end of the 8 week program, Carole took us into the gym and showed us round. I had never joined a gym before and had always felt that it would be intimidating. But Carole was very reassuring and made me feel more confident about trying out the gym work.

After the 8 week program, we signed up for 12 weeks of “Moving On”, this cost £5 only for 12 weeks of gym sessions all over Leeds at various leisure and sports centres. Carole took us through our induction and I used to go once a week with Margaret who was also on the previous 8 week program. I found it much easier to go along each week with a friend who was on the same journey as myself. We encouraged each other and went every week, as we did not want to let each other down by not going.

I gained more confidence at the gym each week, and we began to stretch ourselves, set targets and we used more and more of the equipment. Carole checked up on us every week on our progress and kept encouraging us. I have definitely found that the exercises have helped me to lose weight and strengthen my knee and put less strain on it.

After the 12 weeks “Moving On” program, myself and Margaret signed up for the “Lets Get Active” free gym membership. We try to go twice a week to the gym now. I also found out about the Synergy equipment at the Rothwell Sports Centre and began using the battle ropes and the TRX suspension system. I have now purchased the battle ropes and the TRX suspension system for home use. Myself and my husband use this equipment at home 2-3 times a week in between going to the gym.

The whole thing has made me feel much more confident about losing weight, less scared and intimidated about going to the gym. More interested in researching other forms of exercise such as the equipment I bought. I used to think I would never lose weight with osteoarthritis in my knee and thought it would restrict any exercise I was considering doing. I have found that the exercise only makes everything easier. I’ve become a bit of an ‘exercise junky’ which is great as I would never have described myself as that before.

I have cut down on portion sizes and I am more aware of the calorie content of all the food groups. With this and the exercises I have been doing I weigh 15 stones, 5 pounds. I have lost 10 pounds since I first joined in August 2013 and although it’s a slow process and I feel motivated enough to continue losing weight and realise this is a life choice not just a fad.



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