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One goal achieved; what next?

How many of us can say that food is a comfort? How many of us have spent many years making New Year resolutions to change our diet, exercise more or get healthy? Food can be something to turn to when we are bored or upset, and at the centre of socialising with those closest to us, but sometimes we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to balance. Jackie, a woman enabled by ubu in Leeds, has recently accomplished gaining control of her health and wellbeing with assistance from her enablers.

“Food has always been a comfort for me. I didn’t have much food when I was growing up and so I made sure I always had more food than I needed.” It gave Jackie comfort to know that she could buy as much food as she wanted and fill the cupboards, “this made my weight creep up to over sixteen stone and I’m only four foot nine.” Jackie decided to go to the doctor where she discovered she had developed diabetes, she was prescribed medication and daily blood checks to try monitor the diabetes and keep it under control. “My doctor also referred me to a dietician, but after losing a few pounds I felt I had done enough. I started gaining weight again and my dietician discharged me.”

The more weight that Jackie gained the more she struggled to do the things that she enjoyed most. “I would get taxi’s everywhere because my legs would ache so much and my back was always in agony. I could hardly breathe either and it didn’t help that I was smoking nearly sixty cigarettes a day.” Not only was Jackie’s doctor concerned but so were her enablers. “I didn’t care really, I would tell them I didn’t need the support as I was fine.”

Jackie asked the manager of the support she lived in to book another doctor’s appointment after she needed emergency medication for her diabetes. Her health was rapidly declining, she was experiencing difficulties with her vision and was constantly tired and breathless. “I also was having a treatment for some ulcers on my legs. The doctor told me I was at a serious risk of going blind, having my legs amputated, having a stroke, developing cancer or dying. He said I was morbidly obese. This upset me because I didn’t think I was obese. I thought I was only a little chubby. I didn’t know how to change things and didn’t feel that I could so I just gave up.”