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From fat to fit in the workplace

27th September 2016

Maria Vidal-Read tells us about her experience going from fat to fit by making some changes in the workplace.

In 2007 my dad died, I gave birth to my second son and I got sick!

I had a BMI of 45. I guess I was classed as obese even though I just felt like me; normal, fairly active, relatively healthy?

I struggled to get off the sofa

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease after 18 months of being very sick, having several stays in hospital and being so exhausted that I couldn’t work for two months as I struggled to get off the sofa. I realised that although the Crohn’s Disease wasn’t caused by being obese, if I didn’t change my lifestyle and lose weight then I wasn’t going to see my children grow up.

No more crash diets, big gestures or one off detox diets

I knew I had to make lots of small changes in every area of my life. No more crash diets, big gestures or one off detox diets. This had to be forever, small changes every day that would eventually bring me to where I am now. Still a bit overweight but 7 stone lighter, nearly always active, eating healthily and most importantly alive and well!

Being healthy in the workplace has always been a big part of my transformation. If you are a full time mum to three sons and a full time employee you need to make healthy choices a part of your working day not an add on. I started walking more on the way to and from school drop offs and work, I joined weight watchers and ditched unhealthy snacks for fruit at work. I drank a lot of water. I walked whilst on teleconferences and during my lunchbreak instead of sitting at my desk. I walked a lot.

I love being healthy at work and I think it makes me a better employee, more productive, more enthusiastic and importantly not sick

Now I drive my work colleagues mad. I make them sign up to fun runs, drag them away from their desks for walking meetings, moan about junk food in the office and walk and talk on my phone constantly! But I love being healthy at work and I think it makes me a better employee, more productive, more enthusiastic and importantly not sick.

I love working for Healthy London Partnership because everything we do here is aimed at making London a healthier and happier place to live and work. In September we will be running #healthylivingweek again, motivating people and organisations across London to pledge to make changes to improve their health.

Why don’t you make some small changes too, like I did, the small changes really do make the difference.

To make your pledge visit www.gethealthy.london

Maria Vidal-Read

Follow on Twitter @spanishgirl36

 

 

 

For more information about our Prevention programme contact Jemma Gilbert, Senior Lead, at jemma.gilbert2@nhs.net

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