Green Prescription Success Stories
An old break in her foot caused Lynne a lot of pain. It got so bad that she stopped moving freely and her weight crept up. Eventually physiotherapy reduced the pain to a point which enabled Lynne to walk again.
It was at this point Lynne’s physiotherapist told her about Green Prescription and she suggested Lynne may like to access the support available through the Green Prescription team at Sport Taranaki to help her continue her rehabilitation.
Four months into her Green Prescription Lynne is now going to the YMCA gym three to four times each week and she says she feels great physically. It took a while, and a few visits, before she felt confident enough to join up. She says the people there made the difference.
“I love it at the YMCA. The people who go there are down to earth and real. No one judges anyone and I feel really comfortable. The staff and gym users are very welcoming and are not worried about image. There’s a wide age range of people and you find all sorts there.”
The Green Prescription programme assists people to make healthy lifestyle changes. For some people this involves a review of their nutrition, education, and support to help them develop better habits. Other people like Lynne choose to focus on improving their physical activity.
“Without my Green Prescription I would have kept grizzling and I wouldn’t have got motivated. It’s funny I always knew a fit body helps to create a fit mind. Becoming fit again has been a very uplifting experience for me.”
Feeling 100% better physically and mentally Lynne wants to encourage everyone aged over 50-years to be fit.
“Don’t let yourself go downhill. Staying fit has so many benefits like reducing falls, being able to stay in your own home longer, keeping our minds fresh, and it can build social connections.”
“I am going to beat him! He’s going to regret making that bet with me!” Oozing self-confidence Casey Dixon has no doubt that she’s going to beat her dad when they run 12 kilometres around the bridges in Hamilton with thousands of other people in November (2016). “And I’m going to beat his previous time”.
Casey’s come a long way in the last year and-a-half since she started on her Green Prescription (GRx) programme. Back then she couldn’t run to the end of her street and was 36 kilograms heavier. Her weight has dropped from 110 kilograms to 76. And she’s determined to lose another 11.
For someone who is just over 5ft high, weighing 110 kilograms posed major health risks such as pre-diabetes, and her cholesterol levels and blood pressure were both heading North. She lacked energy and motivation. Add on top of all of that a fair dollop of low confidence and self-esteem - life was pretty miserable.
“I saw a photo of myself and even though I’m only 25, I looked like my 51 year old dad. I looked like a beached whale. I didn’t like what I saw.
I wanted to be a better role model for my pre-school daughter, I wanted to have more energy, and feel better in my skin. I wanted to be able to have surgery to fix my back problem – if necessary. But I needed to lose weight and increase my fitness to do all of those things.”
Casey’s neighbour told her about Green Prescription and she picked up the phone and made an appointment with her GP to see if she qualified for one. She left the doctor’s surgery equipped with a Green Prescription and a desire for change. She contacted Sport Taranaki and spoke to Bailey – one of the Green Prescription team members. Within a few days information was in her letter box and the supportive phone calls with Bailey began.
Now working in a roading crew, Casey sometimes works up to 10 and a-half-hours a day on her feet. “There’s no way I could have done this job before I made the positive changes to my lifestyle,” she says.
Unhealthy eating habits contributed to Casey’s gradual weight gain. Reversing those has been one key element to her success. Takeaways are no longer on the dinner menu four times a week. They’ve been replaced with healthier options including hamburgers made from home-made bread and patties. Usually a vegetable garden in the back yard supplies fresh and raw food.
Casey’s advice for anyone wanting to make healthy lifestyle changes is to get a Green Prescription, buy a good pair of shoes and a jacket, and start with a walk around the block.
“Trust me - even a five minute walk will make you feel so much better. Set a goal and aim for it!”