News • 13 May 2021
Shedding weight for better physical and mental health
Michael, age 47 from Townsville, has so far lost a whopping 6kg on his quest to get fit, healthy, and improve his mental health and wellbeing.
Michael, who has a psychosocial disability, decided he wanted to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle to improve his overall health and wellbeing as part of his NDIS goals.
Michael said: “I really wanted to lose the weight, and now that I have lost some, I’m not breathless at the top of the stairs anymore and I can go for longer walks! I was 115kg and now I’m down to 109. My goal is to get down to 95kg.”
His Support Worker, Trudi, is a big believer in living an active and healthy lifestyle.
When Michael told her his goals, she helped him to come up with a fitness plan including walking, cycling, jogging and going to the gym.
Trudi encouraged him every step of the way and even joined in the exercises alongside him.
Trudi said: “I love being active and healthy, and love supporting Michael to make these types of positive lifestyle changes.
“I’m really proud with how well Michael’s doing, and I can see a difference in his mood. He used to come for walks a little reluctantly but now he jumps in the car with his water bottle and trainers ready to go jogging!”
His mother, Kathy, has also observed several changes in Michael.
Kathy said: “It’s good for his health, his heart, and his mind too. I’ve noticed that he loses his temper less, which must be those good endorphins being released in the brain as a result of the exercise.”
Michael has started making healthier food choices, opting for salad and water at lunch instead of Subway or McDonald's with several drinks of Coke throughout the day.
His passion for being active doesn’t stop there, he’s a keen gardener and regularly tends to the allotment at the Men’s Shed, using the ingredients to cook tasty meals for his mother.
Michael is also very handy and enjoys fixing things, including an old bicycle which he now uses to go on long bike rides with Trudi.
Best of all, his new-found passion for exercise has had a positive impact on his whole family – both his mother and father have since acquired bikes and they plan to do bike rides together as a family.
Michael’s other goals include finding a job mowing lawns – something that the Open Minds team are supporting him to do.
Michael previously had 9 hours of support per fortnight for community access, before Open Minds accompanied him to his NDIA planning meeting to advocate for this to increase.
He now has 15 – 20 hours of support for daily living and community access each week, allowing him to fully engage with his community, increase his independence and reach his goals.