Slimline Valerie is full of good heart

PUBLISHED: 11:37 20 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:32 15 June 2010

WHEN retired nurse Valerie Crawshaw-Gander was diagnosed with a heart problem last year, she was advised to avoid any strenuous activity. Without the physical exercise she was used to, Valerie slipped into bad habits and quickly piled on weight. I was ju

WHEN retired nurse Valerie Crawshaw-Gander was diagnosed with a heart problem last year, she was advised to avoid any strenuous activity.Without the physical exercise she was used to, Valerie slipped into bad habits and quickly piled on weight."I was just sitting around and eating Kit-Kats and cake," she told the Herald."In four months I gained a stone and four pounds."In June last year Valerie, 64, of Awliscombe, had four stents fitted into her heart, but could still not return to her usual routine of exercise. First, she had to complete 12 weeks of cardiac rehabilitation.With no control over exercise, she wondered if she could regain control of her weight by reassessing her eating habits.With her GP's consent, she joined the Weight-Watchers class in Honiton."I was made to feel very welcome and I was pleased that the weigh-in is confidential," she said. "I found WeightWatchers is flexible and can be suited to any dietary preference. I could eat the foods I love and I could eat the same foods as my family."Valerie found herself becoming more interested in food. She says WeightWatchers helped her to understand how to plan and enjoy sensible foods."I have lost a stone and five pounds, and the difference it has made to my life is amazing," said Valerie."I have a renewed heart and newer slimline body, and I'm back on track with all my exercise."By the time I started my cardio rehab I was already six weeks on in getting back into shape."WeightWatchers' Honiton leader Heidi Miller-Ratcliffe said: "It goes to show that just small changes can enable people to reach their goals."Valerie always stayed for the meeting and found that this helped her a lot. When she reached her goal, she stood up and thanked all the other members for their support."Heidi added: "WeightWatchers and the British Heart Foundation are working in partnership to raise funds and awareness of leading a healthier lifestyle."Taking care of our hearts is one of the most important things we can do to live a longer, healthier life."WeightWatchers meets at the Age Concern Centre, in King Street, on Thursdays from 5pm to 6pm and from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

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