AN unhealthy diet and low confidence led to mental health issues for Rebecca Christopher as she was growing up.
However, now 25, Rebecca is a shining example of how keeping fit can help break down the barriers and open-up a whole new life.
With one-in-four of all adults in the UK now said to experience a mental health issue, Rebecca is telling her story in the hope that others will follow her example.
“When I was 15, I weighed 17-stone and I would lose some weight, but then just pile it back on again,” admits Rebecca.
“This was at a time when I was suffering from mental health issues, I can see that when I look back. There were many problems associated with what I was going through at the time.”
When Rebecca’s granddad passed away, it was discovered that his heart condition was a factor. This made Rebecca sit up and take notice and she visited her GP, who referred her onto a wellbeing and fitness programme at Horncastle Pool & Fitness Suite.
“The death of my granddad scared me, and I came here on a GP referral. That was it, I was hooked,” said Rebecca.
Magna Vitae’s nutritionist Marko Humphrey took Rebecca through some simple but effective dietary changes, while Horncastle Lifestyle Consultant Dave Anderson set her off on a fitness programme.
“That was it, I got hooked. I have gone from a size 20 or 22 to a size eight or 10 and feel great. I now know that if I have a day when I struggle to get out of bed, I come along here and feel better. I certainly never want to go back to how I used to be,” said Rebecca.
An added bonus has been meeting new people, with fellow gym-goer and swimmer Louise Ellis Hancox now a firm friend.
Louise, 36, was also referred to the centre as she suffers from spinal problems, with associated mobility issues. Understandably, her health problems did lead to weight gain and unhappiness in how she felt.
“But now it is great. I come here, see Rebecca and I am able to deal with whatever the day throws at me. It makes me feel good,” said Louise, who enjoys the gym, swimming and boxercise.
And both Louise and Rebecca agree: “This gym is the friendliest we have visited,” they say.
Our five top tips to good mental wellbeing:
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Eat well
- Get plenty of sunlight
- Get active and take exercise
- Do something you enjoy,