Client Story: Meet Eileen

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Eileen felt the menopause and her underactive thyroid were the reason why she had struggled to maintain her weight for 14 years.

Eileen felt unhappy with her weight and confused by all that she’d read on the internet. Therefore, she was keen for a review of her diet to see if there was anything she could improve on. After three sessions with me she now ‘wakes up every day feeling energised and refreshed’.

Eileen had struggled to maintain her weight for 14 years and felt the onset of menopause and a diagnosis of underactive thyroid was the reason for this.  Her weight kept fluctuating between 4-5kg and she wanted it to stop.  She was worried about how this would affect her health, given a family history of raised cholesterol, blood pressure and thyroid issues.

In the past Eileen had used calorie counting to control her weight and had kept it in check until her late 40’s when it gradually crept up.  More recently she had tried the 5:2 diet (read more here) but found weight loss was just really slow.  She was very active each week with cycling, walking long distances and practicing yoga, but her part-time workdays were the most sedentary.  Her weight was at it’s highest for her which was getting her down.

Read more about weight gain in menopause.

It was at this point Eileen reached out to me for support.

I worked with Eileen over three appointments.  I asked her to keep a food diary which identified that she was under fuelling her body most days.  She did admit that she’d set herself a low-calorie target each day, which she found too restrictive and often woke hungry in the night.  Due to this low energy intake, it was impossible for Eileen to meet the nutrient needs to protect her health post menopause.   

We discussed the implications of over restricting food intake on her physical and mental wellbeing.  As such I encouraged an increase in energy intake.  Eileen felt worried that this would lead to further gain.  However, she trusted in me and gave it a go. 

We increased Eileen’s intake by tweaking the nutrient balance of her meals as well as including appropriate snacks.  For Eileen, this meant improving her calcium intake to protect bone health post menopause, the addition of heart friendly nutrients and a focus on achieving sufficient protein intake.   Additionally, Eileen sought advice on including strength-based activities each week to minimise muscle loss post menopause.  Meeting her protein and energy needs meant recovery post exercise was much improved.   

Eileen found that although she was eating more, she did not gain more weight.  In fact, she lost a little! 

Throughout our sessions we focussed on health and adjusting her mindset towards eating.  Eileen hadn’t realised how much she’d denied herself the foods she enjoyed.  By introducing mindful eating techniques, she learnt how to build these foods into her week, so she no longer felt deprived.     

As with all the work I do, health is at the heart of it.  Eileen worked hard to make the adjustments to her food intake and lifestyle for which she felt much better.  She noticed a change in body shape, lost inches, and realised that pursuing weight loss at all costs was affecting her emotional wellbeing. 

Here’s what Eileen had to say about our appointments.

“I have really enjoyed my sessions with Lydia, she’s so easy to talk to and the information, advice and help she has given me over the last few weeks has been life-changing.

I’ve struggled for ages trying to achieve a healthy weight after being diagnosed with an under active thyroid 14 years ago.  I was feeling sluggish, tired and pretty low about it all. 

After meeting with Lydia, she made some small changes to my diet and suggested I up my calorie intake slightly and also include weight resistance training to my normal exercise programme to try to build muscle. 

I now wake up every day feeling energised, refreshed and ready to face the world. 

I’m enjoying my workouts having found a programme that fits with my routine and lifestyle. 

I have lost a bit of weight but more importantly, my body shape has changed, and I can now fit in clothes that I haven’t worn for years!  Thank you so much Lydia.”

Each of my clients has their own unique story and set of circumstances.  This is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.  It’s based on years of experience and a toolkit of strategies, backed by science.

If you’d like to talk more about working with me then I’d love to hear from you.

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