Our staff members work tirelessly to ensure that all our service users receive the expert care they need and we write a lot about the fantastic things they do and how they often go above and beyond the call of duty, so it’s easy for many people to forget that they also have a life outside of working in care and are often up to lots of interesting things.
Our Recruitment and HR Officer at our Bangor office, Amanda Dingli, has recently become a Weight Watchers Coach in her spare time and has agreed to share her story for our blog.
She said: “My life took a dramatic turn last year when my long-term relationship ended and my teenage son moved abroad. I found myself living alone and with nothing to focus on. Nothing to put excuses on, like having to take care of my son, or to go home and make dinner, or clean the house.
“I had wanted to lose weight for a while and did not realise how much weight I had put on until I saw my holiday pics of when I went to Iceland with my son, sister and nephew. No one really tells you ‘my god, you have put on so much weight!’ and I honestly did not think that I looked that big (until I saw the photos). For once in my life I had a reason to focus on something for myself and not to make anyone happy. I had tried several different diets over the years but never stuck to them due to the restrictions on the foods I could eat.
“However, my manager, Ffion, started Weight Watchers in November 2016 and I saw the difference it made to her in just a few months. I decided to join, not really believing that I had the strength or determination to do it but thought it would be worth a go.
“So, in February 2017, I started my journey. The first few months weren’t easy. It is a whole lifestyle change from eating convenience foods, takeaways and always having cakes and doughnuts in the office, to having quite a bit of will power and having the strength to make healthier choices. I had a whole shift in mindset and my healthier choices became habit. I love trying different foods and coming up with new recipes and the best thing is that no food is off limits!
“A month after joining Weight Watchers, I decided to introduce some exercise into my life. Living in the beautiful countryside in North Wales, there are plenty of scenic places to go out walking. When someone suggested to me that I should start jogging, I laughed and replied ‘Me?? Jog?? Yeah right. But guess what, I now jog! I love it and go out four or five times a week and do approx. 5km each time. I don’t let the weather deter me – it just makes it more interesting.
“By August 2017 I had already lost around two stone. I received a phone call from Andrew Wood Photography saying that I won a photoshoot in Manchester. It was a lingerie shoot, which really boosted my already growing confidence. This is something that I never ever imagined that I would do.
“Jenny, my coach, is amazing. She always knows the right thing to say to encourage me. She has always been there as a point of contact when I had doubts or felt myself ‘failing’.
“Reaching my goal on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, after losing just over three stone, was such an overwhelming experience. I cried tears of happiness – it is such a sense of achievement to reach my goal weight – and all in the space of 10 months.
“After achieving my goal, I really wanted to start inspiring others so I started my journey to becoming a Weight Watchers coach.
“After three months training, I passed my final assessment and in June 2018 I opened my first meeting. I now run meetings in Caernarfon on Thursday evenings, Bangor on Saturday mornings and Menai Bridge on Wednesday mornings and evenings. I absolutely love the work that I do and regularly get comments about how much I inspire members along their journey.
“I am now looking for two other Abacare carers from Caernarfon, Menai Bridge or Bangor who would like to embark on a weightloss journey. I have two three-month memberships to give away and would love to help inspire any colleagues who might need a little help. We’ll also document their journey, highlighting the highs and the lows and the increased health benefits that they will find as well as any hurdles they may have encountered. Anyone interested can get in touch with me via Amanda@abacare.org.uk.”