but weight”””

Jon, 35, from Nottingham, has recently completed our 12 week Physical Activity on Referral Scheme (PAoRS). He started with very low self esteem and was struggling with ongoing depression. Today, he talks about the buzz you can get from running, a healthier sleeping pattern and the ability to ‘draw a line’ under a bad day and move on.

It’s been 13 weeks since Jon started taking part in regular exercise classes supported by Darren, a PAoRS Instructor at Nottinghamshire YMCA. “That’s the longest I’ve stuck at it ever. In the past I’ve done 6 or 7 weeks and then packed it in. Darren really keeps you motivated.” So far Jon has lost nearly 2 stone!

Jon says that he has always struggled with his weight and that in the past, when he hasn’t managed to lose any or lacked motivation, he has given up completely. “These days when I have a bad day, I just draw a line under it and move on…It’s not worth getting upset about. It’s taken me a while to change my mind set like that. It’s been a long process.” Jon’s whole lifestyle has changed and he’s having the best sleep he’s had in years. He even describes himself as ‘ratty’ when he hasn’t done any exercise for a while. Both his partner and his family have noticed a huge difference, not just in weight loss but in Jon’s general mood and outlook on life. He is enjoying his new active life so much that he’s started doing the couch to 5k programme since finishing his PAoRS classes.

“I did my first outside run this morning… it was really hard but I came over the crest of the hill with this massive smile on my face.”

Jon does a lot of his training with a friend, who originally recommended him onto PAoRS, but he has also made new friends through the programme. “Everyone was there for the same reason; for either weight loss or health reasons, or both. At first I wasn’t comfy with it at all, but after a few weeks it was fine. I’ve made some new friends who I’m still in touch with.”

Jon would recommend the physical activity on referral scheme to anyone. “No , really, anyone. Particularly people who are worried about joining the gym. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it’s all people in the same sort of position. If anyone is thinking about it, or if you’re worried about talking to your doctor about exercise… don’t worry, just do it. You’ve got nothing to lose, but weight.” Jon explains that he’s only just started being able to shop for clothes on the high street and that it feels really good to be able to do that.

Jon’s story highlights the importance of regular exercise; both on a physical and emotional level. “Maybe I’ll do 10k one day” he tells me, before heading off to town for his new wardrobe.

Find out more about our Physical Activity programmes. Call us on 0115 9489820.