This week, Change Your Health Direction coach, Avril Reilly, talks to us about our Let’s Get Healthy for Summer campaign, which kicks off in LloydsPharmacy this week. Each of our teams has limited spaces to provide an 8 Week 1-2-1 Weight Management Programme, to get you ready for all that the summer has in store! Avril is the Supervising Pharmacist in LloydsPharmacy Governey Square, Carlow, and is a finalist in this year’s Irish Pharmacy News Awards for Community Pharmacist of the Year.
I didn’t think it was possible, but I am even more excited about this next phase of CYHD than I was last time!! We have another fantastic group of people signed up who are really enthusiastic and motivated to join us on this journey to healthier lives. Even though we had a truly successful program last time, I feel that this summer campaign will be even stronger. We learned so much the last time; from customer feedback, about what worked for them and what didn’t so we can really use this information to provide exactly the kind of service that they need to achieve their weight-loss goals. I must also mention that weight-loss is only one of the benefits of this program – some previous participants described that as merely a welcome side-effect as the energy, positivity and general sense of well-being and happiness were some of the most prominent benefits! I literally saw people transform both physically and mentally over the course of the last program – it was phenomenal and it made me feel very proud to be a part of this unique and special service that LloydsPharmacy are offering free of charge to our customers. One of the things that I personally enjoyed the most last time round was building stronger connections with many of my customers. It was a great opportunity for me to show them that as a pharmacist in LloydsPharmacy, I genuinely care about their long term health and that of their families.
At times throughout the last program I found it difficult to keep people motivated, inspired and interested throughout the full eight weeks so I have been thinking about ways in which I can ensure that the momentum is maintained! I have come up with a couple of suggestions which will be purely optional for our participants. The first is to request sponsorship from family and friends to help to keep them on track. I think this is a great way to gain lots of support and of course to raise some funds for our charity partner of the year, The Irish Hospice Foundation. The participants may wish to request sponsorship for each pound of weight lost or for those with smaller amounts of weight to lose, or they may ask for sponsorship for each week of the program. Again, this aspect of the program is purely optional.
As this is a fantastic time of year to get outdoors and incorporate physical exercise into our lifestyles, I thought that a group 5km walk at the end of the program would give everyone something to work towards. We can see if the participants would be up for an organised walk in the evenings with us also, to get them started. For many of the people we have signed up, they have not been involved in any regular exercise so 5km will be a nice challenge for them to set their minds on. I understand that some people may not wish to participate in this but it’s another option for them.
Again based on customer feedback from the last program, I’ll be organising more group events, to make them feel part of a supported team, who are on a similar mission to achieve their health goals. I would like to give them the opportunity to share their own experiences, ideas, highs and lows, recipes and stories. I am absolutely delighted to welcome back some of the previous participants on this next phase of our journey. I think they will have a lot to contribute to the group and they are testament to the fact that this is not a quick fix weight loss program which results in weight regain overall – this is a sustainable, long-term change of life-style to enable us to achieve healthier, happier lives and hopefully prevent future health-related issues. Each and every one of our returning participants has managed to maintain their weight-loss and they are ready to reassess their long-term goals to continue on the road to better health. Once again, I feel privileged to be supporting them along the way.
Best of luck to everyone participating in the programme!
Written by Avril.
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