Alex Kerry 

Altogether I have lost 6 stone in 18 months

I started to gain weight when I was in my third year at university doing a BA Counselling degree. The weight really piled on. I had little to no exercise in my daily life, and would eat whenever and whatever I wanted each day. I already had back problems and the weight I was carrying increased the difficulties I faced on a daily basis; to the point where I struggled to walk and once went into A&E after a sudden movement stopped me being able to move one night. I knew it was the weight making my mobility worse and therefore my self-esteem and confidence decreased, resulting in spending a short time on anti-depressants. My mum has a condition called ‘Lipoedema’, which as described by the NHS choices website is a poorly understood chronic condition which causes an abnormal build up of fat cells. It is known to be genetic and although it is not connected with obesity, the build up of fat can be worse when overweight. This also gave me the realisation and motivation that I needed to lose the weight and change my lifestyle after seeing my mum in a lot of pain and her mobility now decreasing when she’s only in her 50’s. I need to be healthy and well myself to look after her whenever she needs me to. I realised I needed to do something to improve my lifestyle and health. I initially lost weight independently by calorie counting and regularly going to the gym; I lost 3 stone doing this. However it’s not much fun losing weight on your own, it can be very lonely and I was quickly losing motivation as it became harder to lose the weight and reach my goals. It was then that I discovered Booticamp Babes and was initially petrified, I couldn’t believe that the trainer (Sarah) was getting us to run! I could not stop coughing for two days after my first session and going up and down stairs was interesting! I honestly thought there’s no way I can go back but then I knew I’d be stuck and back to where I started again, so I kept going and haven’t stopped since in two and a half years.

The support received from booticamp members and the team has been incredible, Sarah has always motivated me to keep going and not to give in. Each session has been full of laughs and is always completely different which makes it so enjoyable although hard at the same time! I feel great afterwards! I have always had a love for cooking and have found the meal plan recipes easy to follow and learnt to become prepared in my meal routines, I never feel like I can’t enjoy the foods I want, and it has just become a different and much healthier lifestyle. Booticamp is not just about exercise and eating correctly, we have a facebook support group which is a very effective way to motivate each other and discuss new exercises, meals, aches and pains! We are a part of the local community and involved with other businesses, for example we took part in a wedding dress auction and have been involved in numerous local charity events. There has been photo shoots to promote offers for summer and winter Booticamp sessions and of course we have a party at Christmas time and again raise money for charity at these events.

I was involved in the May 2013 ‘Real Women, Real Results challenge’ where I lost 11lbs and 10 inches in 4 weeks. Altogether I have lost 7 stone and feel absolutely amazing. During this time I gained enough confidence to go to university for a second time and pursue my career as an Occupational Therapist. I am in my second year and I finally feel healthy and well enough to support and motivate others. This will be an asset to my OT career to encourage and support people to adopt a healthy wellbeing and lifestyle, in order to maintain independence and strive towards their goals, as this is what OT is about as well as what I’ve fought for myself at Booticamp babes. I am currently doing a module on ‘Occupational Therapy in the Communities’ and I am so proud and excited to use Booticamp babes as my ‘community’ for this assignment! As booticamp has such an emphasis not only on keeping healthy and eating well but also on the wellbeing and health of the whole person; this has led to increase in confidence and the ability to share stories and meet other with similar goals and plans. At the moment in the NHS and social care settings there is a need for prevention of avoidable illnesses, and working with communities as well as established health and social care settings is required. As discussed in the ‘five year forward view’ by NHS 2014.

I would never dream of not having Booticamp in my life now, I love all the ladies so much and my friendship circle has increased drastically!! I’m so incredibly grateful to Sarah for all her support and determination, she’s a remarkable lady and a truly wonderful friend. My Booticamp journey continues!