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Samina’s Story – Birmingham Health Trainer Service

As we move into our final month of the Birmingham Health Trainer service, we have taken the opportunity to reflect back on the positive impact the service has had on the clients that have used it. Our holistic approach has always allowed us to help individuals not just with their health and wellbeing, but supported them to become more socially active and involved in their community. Samina’s story is a wonderful example of just that…

Samina moved to the UK eight years ago and now lives in Birmingham with her husband and two children. The rest of her family live in her home nation of Pakistan and she is unemployed. Before accessing the Health Trainer service, she often spent her days at home alone, watching television and comfort eating, as she felt very lonely. She lacked confidence as she was unable to speak or read English. Urdu was her native language. Her BMI was over 30, meaning she was classed as obese. Her weight, inactivity and poor diet had also meant that she had been diagnosed as pre-diabetic. She was referred to the Health Trainer service by her GP.

At the point of contact with the Health Trainer service, Samina was only able to cook the traditional curries of Pakistan which were very high in fat. She was also not familiar with what a healthy, balanced diet should look like. She often judged processed foods to be healthier than homemade curries.

Samina was allocated a Health Trainer who explained to her about the hidden fats and sugars in processed food. Samina had been trying to lose weight since the birth of her second child and once she realised that she had been making unhealthy choices, she desperately wanted help. The Health Trainer researched healthy recipes in Urdu which she printed for Samina and gave to her to try at home. The Health Trainer also gave her some advice about how to make healthy adaptations to her cooking and increase her physical activity. Following this, Samina managed to lose 7lb in two weeks. This gave her a huge sense of achievement and a huge confidence boost.

The success she had when making healthy improvements her lifestyle made Samina want to achieve even more and continue to make changes. Following the intervention, she has managed to make sustained changes to her life. She regularly attends the gym, swims and leads group walks in her local area. Through this, she has made new friends and she shares her healthy recipes and healthy living tips with them.

Samina described the Health Trainer service as the best lifestyle improvement service as the intervention was successful in boosting her motivation. She said:

“This is a dedicated service that helps you to achieve your goals. After attending the Health Trainer sessions, my life has improved socially, emotionally, physically and mentally. No other health professional was able to help me achieve this – not even my GP who I have been seeing for 8 years.”



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