Case study – Living her best life

Case Study – Lauren McAteer, 39 from Southport

A few years ago, Lauren McAteer started experiencing lower backache and pain in her hips. She didn’t consider it too serious at the time and was prescribed anti-inflammatory medication.

The pain gradually became worse and she lost motivation to keep up a healthy lifestyle. She began comfort eating and Lauren was no longer managing her weight.

In January 2022, she decided to take control and started her journey to being the best version of herself.

“I was the heaviest I have ever been, I was tired all the time, had chest pain, regular stomach upsets. I’m coming up to being 40 and thought, ‘I’m not going through the next decade of my life being miserable in my own body, I’m going to sort this out.’woman, smiling and painting a picture.

Like many people, Lauren’s eating habits weren’t consistent. A busy graphic designer, she would often have no time for lunch, either grabbing a quick burger or missing her lunch completely.

“I’ll be busy at work and not eat in the day and then I’d be going crazy at the end of the day because I was ravenous. It wasn’t a happy a lifestyle.”

Fed up, Lauren did some research online and came across the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme, she made an appointment with her GP practice nurse and, after a consultation, she found she was eligible for a place on the programme and was referred.

The NHS Digital Weight Management Programme is a free 12 week programme which provides online weight management plans for people who want to make changes to their health and have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30+ (or 27.5+ for people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds due to an increased health risk of Type 2 diabetes).

It can be accessed via a smartphone, tablet or computer with internet access. Each plan provides recipes, nutritional advice, wellbeing support and tips to boost your activity levels. As it’s an online plan, it can be completed anywhere and in your own time. Some people may be offered one to one coaching for extra support.

Lauren had a choice of programme providers, she chose Liva health care.

“I chose to check in every week with a health coach, after looking at their profile. I was accountable, it was more psychology and nutrition based. I had a video chat first, where we worked out my goals and I was talked through the app. I had weekly reflections via email with my coach. She would send a video back, she was really lovely; the app and the interactions with the coach were easy, helpful and so easy to navigate.”

“At the end of the programme, I lost 2 stone in weight which brought my BMI out of the red and my blood pressure was in the normal range, it really helped.”

Nearly a year after she decided to take control of her weight, Lauren is 3 stones lighter and has gone from a size 20-22 to a size 14.

“My family is really proud of me, I’m really proud of myself. Previously, I yo-yo dieted but this time, as I was clearing out my wardrobe, I was no longer in two minds about hanging on to my old larger clothes, you know, just in case! This time it was a firm ‘NO’.

“I sent my clothes to the charity shop but I kept a pair of trousers I wore back in January when I went to see the nurse, I needed it as a reminder of where I was and that I wasn’t going back to that.”