Page 9 - HOT NEWS JUNE 2014
P. 9
Case Study:
Striving to Success
My Weight Management Diary
Firefighter in their 30s.
Date started the management plan: 09/12
Starting weight: 20 stone 7lbs.
Weight to date:14 stone 7 lbs. sure what to expect. However,
Total loss: Six stone.
My Diary
Why did you feel you wanted to lose weight, any particular trigger which focussed you on getting started?
I got out of breath playing football with my son and also wearing fire kit made me sweat even when I stood around on warm days.
How did you go about starting your weight management programme?
I started by cutting out bread and chips and high fat food and starting to exercise gently at first.
What was entailed in your plan?
I started exercising about three to four times a week. 45 minutes each time but I would walk for five minutes at about 6.4kph then run five minutes at 9.0 kph then repeat until 45 minutes. After a few weeks doing this I would increase running time to 10 minutes then slowly increase speed of walking then speed of running.
What was easy about the plan?
If I felt tired I would just walk until I felt ok again and then start running again.
What was hard about the plan?
Making sure I exercised when off duty as it was easy to watch TV instead of exercising.
What advice would you give others trying to lose weight?
Any exercise will help to burn off calories even if you don’t think you are doing much. Slowly build it up and you will be amazed how far you can run by the end of a few months. Use the MyFitnessPal App on your phone to log your calorie consumption and exercise. It is amazing how many calories are in everyday meals.
A Student’s View...
Laura Robinson, 21, completed a Sports Therapy placement working with our Service Physical Training Advisers. Here she writes about the experience.
I am a third year Sports Therapy student from Staffordshire University and I have been on a
placement with the Service, spending most of the time at the Training and Development
When Bill Pirrie first told me that some of my placement with him would be within the Fire
and Rescue Service I wasn’t too
my eyes have been opened greatly by Bill to another aspect of Sports Therapy. I
have learnt a great deal from Bill and Andy Bennett within the Occupational Health
Department and have been amazed, as I know some others have been that have
been treated by Bill aswell, especially by Muscle Activations and the Breathing Techniques which can play an extremely important role within our bodies to get out muscles firing and using the correct firing sequence.
I also visited the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub and Toxteth Community Fire Station to take part in the yoga session with a few of the firefighters. This was a new and interesting experience that was great for relaxation and to de-stress and I would highly recommend anyone to take part in it if you get the opportunity. Weight management was another area I learnt about as it wasn’t covered greatly on my course. As a firefighter obviously the management of your weight is a key factor whilst on operational duties. Working closely with Bill and Andy, I have learnt how to help maintain weight as well as helping those who need to lose some weight. I was even persuaded into taking part in a Chester Treadmill Walk Test which is one of the tests carried out to see if you can reach the target V02 Max of 42, which I discovered was more difficult than expected.
As well as spending time at the TDA I also visited Headquarters to learn about the Occupational Health Department and Bill’s BodyFix Clinic as well as his circuit training classes, which again I was persuaded into taking part in. Although hard work it was an enjoyable class. Through this I have learnt better communication and confidence as well as how to take a gym class for a range of different age groups.
On a non Sports Therapy basis I learnt a lot more about how the Fire and Rescue Service works and observed some of the training drills that were being practiced. I spoke to a few of you whilst I’ve been on my placement and have learnt about different situations faced whilst on the job.
You all have my utmost respect for what you do for the communities. At one stage I had the opportunity to wear a BA set which was a lot heavier than I expected which gave me a slight insight into the demands of a firefighter.
Laura Robinson tries on a BA kit at the TDA. Photo supplied by Bill Pirrie.

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