Diane W

05 February 2018

Having previously been an active person, Diane W found that she was increasingly struggling with pain and fatigue, and ended up on sick leave from work.  Her diagnosis of fibromyalgia, fatigue, osteoarthiritis and slipped discs would have been enough for many of us to give up hope of being able to exercise.  Here she tells her story about how Up and Active helped her to improve her condition and return to work.

Seven years ago I was fairly fit and used to run 3 / 4 times a week, however, frustratingly health issues had forced me to stop running. At the beginning of 2016 I weighed 12 stone 1lb, BMI 28.8 and had struggled for a long time with increasing levels of pain and fatigue and had to take sick leave from work.  For six months I didn’t leave the house unless it was for a medical appointment, of which there were many!  During the following six months I battled with myself on a daily basis, just to move; I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and fatigue, osteoarthritis and two slipped discs.  By December 2016 I was waiting to attend a pain management programme and was informed there was a 3 month waiting list.  I was both disappointed and frustrated by this as I desperately wanted to help myself, so my practice nurse suggested I attend the Up and Active programme. 

I plucked up the courage and spoke to an Up and Active Advisor who suggested I attend a 12 week Weight Management programme and begin exercising by attending Aqua aerobics and a weekly ‘Weigh In’ session to support me to lose weight. 

I had to force myself to attend the first session as I felt uncomfortable and self-conscious wearing a swimming costume. I entered the pool with apprehension, my legs were shaking from nerves and muscle fatigue and burst into tears as I realised I was able to move in the water, be it slowly.  I got weighed each week and began to lose weight, and gradually became more active. I was encouraged to try different exercise classes and at the end of the 12 week programme I had pleasingly lost 9 pounds in weight. I eventually achieved my ultimate goal of participating in a Couch 2 5k programme and now attend Park Run each week. Eighteen months ago I would never have dreamed of being able to be so active.

In February last year I returned to work on phased return and am pleased to report I was able to return to work full time in May. I have to manage my condition on a daily basis but exercise has been my life line; it has helped so much with the chronic pain I experience.  I feel that I’ve got my life back. Up and Active has made that possible to which I will be eternally grateful. 

It is 12 months since I joined Up and Active, my current weight is 10 stone 2lbs and my BMI is 24.3, I have lost almost two stone in weight, an amazing 16.2% of my body weight ! I have been advised this is classed as being a healthy range. I continue to develop my fitness levels by attending several classes and the gym each week.  The support received from Up and Active to begin exercising has positively impacted on all areas of my life and crucially it has impacted on my family life, as I am now able to enjoy my time with them; my sister has joined aqua with me.

Thank you to all of the team, what a great job you are doing making Burnley move, I can’t thank you enough.