Meet our Health Direction changers!

As our Change your Health direction campaign draws to a close for the moment, we thought we’d introduce you to some of the in-store coaches who support our customers along their weight loss journey. We had over 800 participants in our programme this January and February, with hundreds more helped last year. With a combined weight loss of over 4000lbs in 8 weeks, we’re so proud of our colleagues who have made such a different to the health of their customers, and just as proud of those customers for achieving their goals. Every week, these guys hold free 1-2-1 private sessions with their Change your Health direction participants, helping them improve their diet and lifestyles to reach their weight-loss goals. We asked them to tell us a little bit more about themselves.

Free weekly weight-loss support is available at any LloydsPharmacy branch.

Kathleen and Trish

Kathleen Ladden and Patricia O’Leary are the weight-loss coaches in LloydsPharmacy Ashe Street, Tralee. They’re currently coaching 16 of their customers to reach their weight-loss targets, with a total of 28 lbs lost in the first 4 weeks. Here’s what they told us about the Change your Health direction programme in their pharmacy:

The Change your Health direction programme is all about helping people understand more about healthy eating, exercise, motivation, and weight management. And how to manage a healthy lifestyle for the future to maintain all the great work they’ve done. What we love most about the campaign is meeting people and helping them to make real differences to their health. We have a good relationship with the customers and they enjoy the recipes that we provide for them and also the free weigh-ins and coaching, which they feel is an added bonus for them.

A typical consultation involves: We take the customer’s details, measure their height and weight, and discuss any issues in which they might have any problems in which they have occurred in the past, preventing them in losing the weight. We ask them to keep a diary of everything they eat & all of the exercise they do every week. That way, we can see where they might be going wrong, e.g. portion sizes, high-calorie foods, not enough protein, etc.

Our customers are delighted with the program. Many of them have commented that the fact it’s a free service is fantastic. One of our participants is in her 70s and has already lost half a stone – anyone can do this! We work hard to give the very best support possible. We listen to the customers and their concerns and give good advice and healthy recipes and meal ideas.

Favourite Healthy Product: Optima Coconut Oil. It’s a brilliant product for cooking and baking with, and so good for you. One of those amazing all-rounder products!

Best Piece of Weight-Loss Advice: Keep a weekly diary so you can track where you’re going wrong with certain foods or exercise.

Thanks, ladies! What an absolutely amazing job you’re doing!

Lorraine Profile

Lorraine Shinners is the Change your Health direction coach for LloydsPharmacy Castletroy, Limerick. We’re always so impressed by the fantastic events she runs for her weight-loss participants. You will regularly see her leading a walking group before the pharmacy opens! We get such incredible feedback about Lorraine’s support as she has helped over 70 people lose weight over the past year! Let’s hear a little bit more about her thoughts on the campaign.

Change your Health direction is such a fantastic programme to help people lose weight, but most importantly it is a lifestyle change. It’s not just a fad or a quick fix – it works! We usually see an average loss of about 14lbs in 8 weeks. I really love that I can spend 1-2-1 time with my customers, giving them special attention tailored just for them.

We have to keep a waiting list of people who wish to take part in the programme – I currently have 35 people on my books! During the first consultation with a customer, we take t full details and measurements, so we can calculate a healthy target and a weekly weight-loss goal. We then take each customer through the programme, step-by-step, and answer any questions they have. Each week, they’ll weigh-in in the privacy of our care room, and I’ll review their diary for the past week to see what changes we can make to improve their diets. Our customers really seem to love the programme and most are amazed that it’s a free service.

My biggest success is without a doubt Sinead, a lady who joined us for weekly weigh-ins during our very first campaign. She lost over six stone in total, and she says it definitely changed the way she looks at food and most importantly it has changed her life. Sinead is still coming to the pharmacy to help her maintain her weight loss, which she is doing very successfully. I’m happy to support her for as long as she needs. I’m just so proud of her!

Personally, I have a huge interest in the programme. I know what it is like to try to lose weight myself, so this helps me understand how hard it can be for people to keep focused on their goals. I really love helping people do just that.

Favourite Healthy Product: It has to be Skinny Tea! It’s a detox and tastes great! Lots of my customers say it aided their weight-loss also.

Best Piece of Weight-Loss Advice: Write absolutely everything you are eating and drinking down. that way you know exactly what you are taking in. It’s so easy to increase your portions or sneak in little snacks. Be vigilant and record it all – when it’s there in black and white, you can’t fool yourself!

NickyNicky Roche is the manager and weight-loss coach in LloydsPharmacy Kilkenny, supported by her colleague Marie. Nicky has helped so many customers reach their target and has changed her own life significantly by following the programme. Some of Nicky’s previous customers from Portlaoise still text her their weights every week! That’s how dedicated she is. Nicky tells us:

The Change your Health direction programme is all about taking control of your health and wellbeing, giving you the opportunity to make a positive change in your life. It is not a “diet”, it is a new way of thinking about food and how your choices can help you be healthier, which in turn can ultimately make you slimmer too. It’s hard to pick what I like most about the campaign! I like that the programme is free, making it available to everyone. I like that the programme allows me to make a positive difference in people’s lives. I love connecting with my members, and helping them to achieve their goals, whether it is to lose weight or just to eat healthier.

When a customer signs up to the programme, I will spend at least 40 minutes learning about their targets, habits and concerns. I will give them a food diary sheet to start filling out even before their first consult. This gets them to start focusing on what they actually eat every day, because it is very easy to fool yourself that you don’t eat that much, but when you see it in black and white on the sheet, it can be a revelation! It also gives me an idea of their current diet and what they like to eat. Then I will show them what their BMI is, and advise on how we can work towards getting it to a healthy range with a weekly weight-loss target.

I explain that they can’t expect to try and change everything immediately, so I ask them, for their first week, to continue to complete their food diaries, to try to be more aware of the amount of calories in foods. To make a couple of small changes in the first week, like choosing porridge for breakfast, and to bring their snacks to work so they don’t get tempted in the canteen. For those that stick with the programme for 8 weeks the average weight loss was between 8-14lbs

All my customers love the programme. They love the fact that the consults are 1-2-1, and FREE! They are even recommending the programme to their friends and family. Since the initial sign up period, most of our new customers have joined by word of mouth from other members and most have met their targets. But 2 real success stories stand out.

Pat is a 79 year old elegant lady, who wanted to drop a dress size and feel healthier. From the first consultation she embraced the programme, started using the My Fitness Pal app and kept her food diary there rather than write it out on the sheets provided. She was very vigilant calculating her daily calorie intake, loved trying out recipes and even gave me a couple to try out. I looked forward to her weigh-in days, she is such a lovely lady and loved the way her new healthy lifestyle was making her feel. She was always apologising for when she strayed off the diet when she visited friends, as they were trying to feed her up! But she stuck to her guns, dropped the dress size, and won a prize for her achievement and dedication.

My second success story is Shiree, a busy, working mum of two young boys, who wanted to fit into her pre-pregnancy jeans. Like Pat, Shiree kept her diary on the My Fitness Pal app, and was always (and still is) the first person to like any posts I put up on my Facebook page. She won a competition I held, to post a picture of one of the recipes she had cooked from the LloydsPharmacy blog. She totally embraced the programme, tried out recipes from the blog, calculated her daily calorie intake religiously, tried out products from our health and wellness section, exercised by running a few times a week, and came into me every week for her weigh in and consultation. By the end of the 8 weeks she got into those jeans and is still following the programme. Even though I am in another county and shop now, we keep in contact and she has gone from over 85.5kg to 79kg, even after this Christmas!

I think it is my passion to help people to achieve their goals. I followed the programme myself and dropped from a size 12 to a size 10, and so was able to empathise with my customers as they went on this journey too. I believe in the programme, I know it works, and love helping people to lose weight and get healthy.

Favourite Healthy Product: Meridian Peanut Butter, because it is a natural source of healthy protein and fat, tastes delicious, and is great when making up a 150 calorie snack that is satisfying and nutritious.

Best Piece of Weight-Loss Advice: To make small changes every week, don’t try to do change everything at once. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so make one small change at a time, and before long you will be on the road to a new you.

We’re so proud of you Nicky! Thanks for all your amazing work. And congrats to all of our coaches and customers who have made amazing differences to their health and happiness over the past 8 weeks!

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