Read our interview with Stephanie:
What is your back ground?
From a young age I was interested in sport. My parents took me to local leisure centres and sports clubs. Sport and fitness soon became my hobby. I was lucky to be able to try out a variety of sports instead of sitting at home on computer games and watching TV! At school P.E was my best subject, I knew that was the career path a wanted to pursue. However, at just age 15, my health took a drastic turn. I went from being a very fit and healthy athlete, about to begin my GCSE year, to not being able to get out of bed and feeling like a 90 year old! I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Lupus (SLE). Symptoms vary between every case but mine displayed with joint pain & swelling, weight loss and severe fatigue, plus the whole psychological rollercoaster that goes with it. So, with no known cause or cure I was left with a choice: accept a life time of meds and no quality of life or fight it and get my life back. That’s what I did. I decided to push myself through my GCSE’s and A Levels and went onto study psychology and health psychology (biopsychosocial model of health) at University. My career path had to take an unplanned turn as I was physically unable to participate in sport and fitness but things work out in the end….
12 years on, I have gradually regained my health and fitness. Lupus remains in remission and I am free of medication. I have been very lucky with the opportunities that have come my way and I am now able to join up my health psychology with health promotion and fitness through my two jobs: NHS Wellbeing Worker and KSFL Leader.
I work full time in my wellbeing role, providing 1-1 lifestyle support for hard to reach/disadvantaged groups with the aim of reducing the health inequality gap. The wellbeing service is based on the social model of health which means we focus on the promotion/prevention of health by using a holistic approach.
For example, the majority of our clients have a medical condition of some kind (most commonly: obesity, diabetes or mental health), unlike medical professionals who mainly utilise medication to treat the condition, we take a holistic approach by looking at the wider determinants of health. For example, if someone comes to me for weight loss, as well as providing them with diet and exercise support, I look at the bigger picture. Why is the person overweight – what else is going off in their life that has been a barrier to them prioritising their weight (debt, finances, inadequate housing, lack of support, education, social isolation, stress, mental health?) I then put a plan together to access the appropriate specialist services and professionals to address the wider issues.
This links in nicely with my KSFL role as KSFL is not just a weight loss club, it’s a lifestyle club! People are never overweight just because of food – it’s not that simple. We have to look at the whole person and their lifestyle (health, social and psychological). KSFL Ripley is nearly a year old now! We have just re launched again for September and had a fantastic turn out for our taster event with lots of signups for our 12 week run up to Christmas package. KSFL Ripley is definitely gathering momentum and people are starting to get it, it’s starting to click with people! In small towns like Ripley, people take a while to come round to change and step away from the usual slimming clubs that they have attended for years. But with the power of social media and daily chipping away on Facebook, the hard work is finally paying off! I don’t give up! Consistency is key.
Why did you join KSFL
In short, it was simply a too greater opportunity to turn away!
I’ve known Rachel since I was 5, back in the days of “Fit Kids.” I attended her community classes for many years and my mum (Lesley) works as her PA. I have always admired Rachel’s energy and enthuisiam. When she approached my sister (Chloe) and I to set up a KSFL class in Ripley we jumped at the chance!
I had followed Rachel’s work with KSFL for a while via social media and could see the success it was having with 1000’s of people across the UK.
I’m not usually into weight loss clubs; I’ve never been into diets. I’ve never bought into them because I know they’re just cleverly marketing with outdated information. I’m someone that needs scientific evidence and research to believe something. This is exactly what KSFL offers, 100% researched backed! Having known Rachel for so many years you always know that everything is researched, tried and tested. It’s always spot on, it’s always ahead of the game and it always works!
I’m very proud to part of the KSFL revolution. I love to spreading the KSFL message and re-educating people about diet and promoting their health. I love the look on people’s faces when they tell you that they eat “healthily” and you can tell them exactly why they are not losing weight and why the information they have been fed for years is flawed.
My goals going forward are: to continue to grow awareness of KSFL in our local area and get more people involved in our live and online clubs. Long term, I’d like to link more of my wellbeing knowledge into KSFL, possibly looking at a 1-1 option to provide more individual support. Furthermore, to raise awareness of clean eating within the NHS to show how successfully it can manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes, IBS, depression etc.
Home life – family, children
My top goal is to buy a house by next year. 30 is creeping up a little too fast!!
I’m really happy career wise. There are plenty of avenues I can still go down as my skills and experience are so broad and versatile. Despite the twists and turns over the last 12 years or so, things have worked out really well. I have learned a lot about life and am grateful for the experiences (although not at the time!) but everything works out and you grow from it.
My roles at the moment would allow me to have a good work /family balance. Family is important for me so I would like one at some point, although I still think of myself as being really young (haha!)
In this industry we spend so much time giving – supporting others, saying “yes” to everything. We forget to look after ourselves. Home life and family are equally as important as your career. You need that support from friends and family in order to be successful at anything!
How passionate are you about nutrition, fitness, health and wellbeing?
Very! You are nothing without your health. It’s a shame we don’t realise this until our health is taken away from us. I am very lucky that I have a career where I can use my experiences to promote others health and influence them to make their health a priority for themselves.
My journey through lupus shows the difference that diet and lifestyle makes. The vast majority of people with lupus never make a full recovery, are on meds forever and rarely does it enter remission. Year on year, I feel I recover more and more, physically and mentally. Clean eating and the KSFL lifestyle has helped me massively. Once you ditch the sugar and all the toxic foods your energy rockets, you feel better mentally and you’re just able to do more! It’s like you’ve been unchained! The way I lead my lifestyle now and the power of KSFL is how I keep control of my health and keep lupus in remission. If someone said to me years ago that I would physically be able to work full time, run KSFL Ripley, do several classes a week, have a social life etc etc, I would have said no chance! But with the right nutrition and lifestyle you can do so much more. Your quality of life is so much greater. The health and fitness world really isn’t all just about jumping on and off the scales, pounding a treadmill or what you look like in a selfie! It’s about how you feel physically and mentally. There’s nothing wrong with looking after yourself…….if you don’t look after yourself, no one else will!
When we think about health and the fitness world we automatically think diet and exercise. The biggest thing I recognised throughout my health experiences is the detrimental power of stress. The relationship between stress and its link to the immune system has been evidenced for decades. However, as professionals we often fail to prioritise stress within our promotion of health. Media campaigns are often drawn towards smoking, diet and weight but rarely stress. Prior to the onset of lupus, my stress levels were very high. I never realised I was stressed at the time but looking back I am certain that this was my most probable trigger. Back in the day, my coping mechanisms for stress were very poor. I didn’t speak about things, I didn’t open up or utilise support. KSFL is fantastic as it incorporates the mindset, positive thinking and tons of support – which is why it stands head and shoulders above any other weight loss clubs. I never thought I could change my mindset and the way I cope with stress but you can! I feel there’s a real need to promote the awareness of stress and positive coping strategies as life becomes more and more demanding, we stretch ourselves further and take on more pressures. Chronic illnesses are on the increase dramatically and this is mainly down to our lifestyle, which to a certain extent we can change and control. Chronic illnesses are lifestyle diseases….so it would make sense to put more resources into prioritising people’s lifestyles!
Fitness, obviously! I’ve never been into gyms. I love the vibe and motivation that group classes bring instead.
Having a social life is also important to me – I always enjoy getting dressed up and going out with the girlies.
So yes, I’m a girlie girl, I love shopping, getting my hair and nails done, dancing about in my heels and going out for nice meals.
I love holidays – who doesn’t?!
I spend my spare time walking our 2 dogs, spending time with my boyfriend and friends and family. Very rarely will you find me lazing about in front of the TV!
We run our live KSFL club every Monday night, 8-9pm @ Fizzio Fit, Ripley.
The live club includes:
A weekly weigh in and measure
Nutritional advice and motivational support
30 minute HIIT workout for all abilities
*You also receive daily access to the KSFL HUB which includes daily workouts and step by step support throughout the KSFL programme, meal planners, recipes and mindset coaching.
KSFL Ripley Online
If live classes aren’t for you, then you can access all the same support via our online programmes. We have 28 day detox packages, a 12 week package and an 11 month maintenance package.
To find out more visit facebook.com/ksflripley or email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted on