Tackling comfort eating through Weight Loss Rewards

 

Vitality Weight Loss Rewards (WLR) is a weight-loss journey that aims to help you lose weight in short, manageable cycles until you reach a healthier weight. You will earn rewards for participating and for reaching your goals.

Cycle weight goal: 130 kg

Cycle starting weight: 137kg

Cycle ending weight: 130,4kg

Holding himself accountable for being morbidly obese at 137kg was the hardest thing for 34-year-old Ned, a Durban-based media management consultant, He was comfort eating and using food as an emotional support. With courageous honesty, Ned spoke to Vitality, about his Vitality Weight Loss Rewards journey which included a three-week hospital stay to deal with anxiety, resulting in him finding the inner strength to lose a full 7kg. When he came out of hospital and got his head together, he wanted to sort out the weight problem quite quickly.

While technically morbidly obese, his Discovery Vitality Health checks at the pharmacy showed nothing clinical that alarmed him. He says his vital-sign measurements always came back fine. Ned describes himself as 1,83 metres tall and heavy-set, adding that he never previously felt socially awkward about his appearance. The turning point in his weight- loss came when he was discharged from hospital and felt uncomfortable in his body. "I think it had an effect on how I saw myself. My appearance was always in the background. I knew it was a thing," he explains. 

"The weight crept up kind of quickly," says Ned. While never sickly, he knew he could be healthier. "I found I couldn't walk up a flight of steps without breathing heavily. Besides the weight gain, my work situation was also inducing stress," he adds. "I thought I'd give Vitality Weight Loss Rewards a try to see how it worked."

What he most needed was the motivation to keep him going - and something to hold himself accountable. At the beginning of 2017 he'd reached saturation point. Lying in hospital for three weeks, the weight piled on. By March 2017 he'd got to 137 kg, having weighed in at 118kgs on 19 December 2016.

Asked about the link between mental health - whose myriad conditions are usually associated with strong social stigma - and obesity, Ned's reply is straightforward. "It's a constant thing for someone like me. I have moments of weakness when I don't deal with the emotions and what's actually going on because it's easier to satiate things with food. I now am conscious of this and avoid the temptation - I'm going in the opposite direction."

He believes what's changed is that he now has access to the glorious feeling of success. Eating properly and feeling much healthier, and being motivated by the weekly weigh-ins are additional positive factors. He says the Vitality HealthyFood benefit of up to 50% discount on healthy food purchases was always at the back of his mind as he walked the Vitality Weight Loss Rewards path. The Vitality points potential and the plethora of associated rewards were another major motivator. "It really helped to have a concrete goal and knowing that I had to go and get weighed at the end made it better," he says.

Ned, who is on the Discovery Health Medical Scheme's (DHMS) Coastal Saver plan is very appreciative of the scheme's support systems. "When I was in hospital, a DHMS staff member came to visit me reassure me that all my bills would be paid," he says. 

Having a weight loss goal to aim at and accountability

"What has Vitality Weight Loss Rewards done for me and how am I behaving differently as a result? Having a goal to aim at, and the means to hold himself accountable (weekly weighing and self-tracking) made all the difference," says Ned. He's using the MyFitnessPal app on his cell phone which calculates progress using a baseline of calorie intake against with weekly goals. By entering his food quantities and types of food eaten he could recalibrate what he ate according to his calorie reduction goal. For exercise, he's doing three days a week of gym, usually the treadmill and bicycle. He's also been doing a parkrun every weekend since being discharged from hospital.

Other Vitality Rewards enhancing his life include the HealthyFood and HealthyCare benefit, the Ster-Kinekor benefit, plus his 75% discount on joining Virgin Active Gyms - and his Apple Watch.

Two overall benefits run like a golden thread through Ned's narrative - and that of many other Vitality Weight Loss Rewards members - motivation and accountability for real, tangible benefits.

What did Ned think of his WLR experience?

"What has Vitality Weight Loss Rewards done for me and how am I behaving differently as a result? Having a goal to aim at, and the means to hold himself accountable (weekly weighing and self- tracking) made all the difference."

 

What is Vitality Weight Loss Rewards?

Vitality Weight Loss Rewards (WLR) is a weight-loss journey that aims to help you lose weight in short, manageable cycles until you reach a healthier weight. You will earn rewards for participating and for reaching your goals.

Find out more about activating WLR and changing your life. 

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