Andy, 33 from Dunstable, joined LighterLife just before his 30th birthday and lost 5 stone 2 lbs in just 6 months. He has since gone on to become a LighterLife Counsellor, encouraging and inspiring others to strive for their goals. We caught up with Andy to find out how he made the transition from client to Counsellor and what keeps him motivated.
LighterLife: Andy, you became a LighterLife Counsellor after undertaking the journey as a client yourself. How does your experience as a client help you in your role now?
Andy: While being able to empathise directly with clients, it’s been four years now since I physically felt it myself, but in that time you do relive your own tale. Lots of LighterLife Counsellors have been clients but not all of them – it’s about delivering the programme as best as we can. Anything we can add via experience and knowledge we’ve picked up along the way, in whatever fields we’ve come from, adds to our offering.
LighterLife: What are the most common reasons for overeating that you’ve seen?
Andy: There are some tales that crop up again and again, for example, ‘busy lives resulting in eating the quickest, most convenient foods without regard for portion size or nutritional value’. Boredom, emotional and comfort eating are also common. What you almost never hear is that people don’t know what healthy foods are. The knowledge is there, which really reinforces what we already know – that it’s about far more than just eating healthily. When we settle into a routine, sometimes the focus on our waistline slips down the priority list. The best success stories out there are the folks who followed the rules of the programme but also keep what they have learned close at hand, always making good, informed, adult decisions.
LighterLife: Are there any differences between men and women in their attitudes to food and how they approach the programme?
Andy: Oh yes. It’s not always cut and dried, but men tend to view LighterLife as a project, with numbers and a series of tasks. Women, on the other hand, often experience it an emotional roller coaster of a journey. You often hear that men find the programme easier and they lose more weight more quickly (statistics might well show that too) but once the men are comfortable in their surroundings, trust the programme, the process, the counsellor and where they are in their own journey, they’ll soon embrace the emotions of this very sensitive subject.
LighterLife: What’s your favourite thing so far about your LighterLife experience?
Andy: I used to work in the dullest office imaginable. How I tolerated it as long as I did is a mystery! LighterLife came into my life when I was a client and one day I made an enquiry about what it would take to get involved myself. Four years later here I am – I’ve seen hundreds of clients and helped as many as I could. It took hard work, as I was starting a new business in mighty tricky times in an area that was so very foreign to me but it’s so worth it. My favourite thing is helping people and literally seeing them help themselves, as well as the light bulb moments clients have along the way. You don’t get to see the shareholders of some big office company smiling when the profits are flying, but I do get to see this programme making a difference to clients daily.
LighterLife: What’s been your biggest challenge so far on your weight loss journey?
Andy: Maintaining my weight every day is hard and I do well more days than not. It’s a journey and always will be. I’ll never view it as a job completed. Doing this job helps and hinders. It helps keep it at the forefront of my mind, but it adds pressure to set an example. We all do our best. I am certainly living a LighterLife and I always will.
LighterLife: What keeps you motivated?
Andy: When someone comes in to talk about LighterLife for the first time, the content of that session is often the same, and the questions are often the same but it’s never once got boring. I think that’s because there’s a firm belief in what we do and we want to spread that word as enthusiastically as we can. Seeing the transformations people go through and the pleasure that brings is a great feeling. My job doesn’t feel like work, it’s a lifestyle I’m sharing.
If you’re a LighterLife Counsellor and you’d like to be featured here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can get involved.