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Thursday, 29 December 2016

Some years ago, my wife and I were both quite overweight. We joined Weight Watchers, and with their support, we made a major lifestyle change. For my wife, though, it went even further than that.

In June 2016 she joined the Weight Watchers company as one of their team of weight loss coaches. Now she hosts three meetings in the York area. I am pleased to be able to link to Jilly's web page on Facebook. If you live in York and struggle with weight loss issues, then you may find that the help and support of one of Jilly's Weight Watchers groups is valuable. Jilly is naturally good at supporting people, has plenty of enthusiasm and a lot of personal experience.

I sometimes think of writing about the process of this lifestyle change, what led us to it, and also what it led to. But it's all a bit personal. I put on weight because things were bad. My job had become a complete waste of time. The research projects that paid my salary were obviously going to achieve nothing, my own research had hit a brick wall, and the next round of projects showed the same signs of complete worthlessness. I realised I had taken a wrong turn, staying at the University after finishing my PhD, but I was trapped, and it seemed like too much effort - and too much risk - to leave.

However, that was just at work. At home, things were looking up. We got married and this motivated us to lose weight. Weight Watchers was a great help. Good results arrived quickly. We both felt better. My job was still going nowhere, but the improvements in my personal life gave me more confidence. I found myself spending more time at the gym. The depression cleared. For a while I tried to concentrate on the aspects of my work that I enjoyed, with limited success, and even considered changing research topic, but I found I had no enthusiasm left.

When a great opportunity to leave arose, I took it without hesitation and never looked back. When it came down to it, leaving was not nearly as hard as I'd thought.

I may not have discovered anything scientific as a researcher, but I did find this: If many things are making you unhappy, then your physical health is the first thing you should try to change. Health, happiness and self confidence are closely related. Once you've got your health back, then you're in a position to make other changes. Deal with this first, and other things will follow.