Me, Walk With A Doc, and the BBC … Time to be reflective
“Hi Dr Smith, I’m Sophie a BBC health correspondent.”
My initial emotion was of shock and surprise. Yes, I was very surprised! After all this is the BBC!
However, shortly after, this was superseded by a feeling of excitement and passion. It overwhelmed me into action to do something quite out of my comfort zone and towards a goal I’ve had for some time. I found myself answering “Yes of course I can!”
My passions is a passion to help others both physically and mentally.
Why the BBC, why Walk With a Doc? Well, because the message I have with Walk with a Doc or WWAD, to help you be the best you can be both inside and out is very close to my heart, and I could see that this opportunity with Sophie and the BBC would help my message get out to many more people, and, hopefully to show them they can do it. It mattered to me.
Yes, I was a professional Doctor. Yes, I was walking.
And just like our amazing Walk with a Doc founder, Dr David Sabgir. I am more than happy to share some of my time whilst walking with the community for free. It is important for me to make it accessible, on flat ground, and to offer this to the local community and ensure it is affordable, well FREE.
If you’d like to join me for walks to ask me or talk about ANYTHING please hop over and join my FaceBook group, as I said it is absolutely FREE. My next walk is the 25th May 2021 so join to make sure you don’t miss out!
Me and Walk With A Doc
I joined WWAD as a leader in late 2018.
By Late 2019 WWAD Wirral hadn’t really taken off as much as I’d hoped . As I was hosting WWAD in my area. It was down to me to make it work.
The WWAD core team is located in America and globally was thriving when I joined. It was on the up, and so I knew this can work. I knew it could work for me too. Just not then.
In my life, at this time, all I could do was to keep it afloat.. I struggled with this but I didn’t put the hoodie away and I kept posting into my Facebook group. I really wanted more people to join and hear the message! The numbers in the group grew slightly, and this was good, I began to have, maybe 20 people. I posted and I shared but I needed more coming to make it work.
BUT. Breaking into social awareness, isn’t that easy! And I soon became aware of that. I needed a way forward, and it was me and my mindset that needed to shift.
My ego, which had initially said to me “I am a doctor, everyone will find out about me, everyone will want to be there” was the first thing that had to go.
It has since silenced, and I’ve stepped down off the stage and simply let myself share my passion without pressure. And this is when things began to happen.
2020 began and I announced that “2020 would be the start!”
This was a real intention – I stated to the group that this was going to be the start point of my real walks.
And then as you know, the pandemic struck the UK.
And the mandate: “No walks in groups allowed!” came into effect.
I believe in this so much, I wasn’t going to let a small hing like a pandemic get in the way. I took the bull by the horns and thought, if Mohammed can’t come to the mountain … so I decided to go “Live” to the group to support them at this difficult time. Walk and talk over a Facebook Live!
Unbeknown to me, and really very opportunistically for me in terms of this venture, WWAD international began a “virtual walk with a doc” series. This had started as soon after it became apparent that this pandemic and the lockdown was not a short-term thing and replaced the in-person walks.
By this time, many in person groups were well established and it was these leaders that lead the way and I was glad to be posted on the group, not only were my videos streamed in the facebook group but they were also uploaded to THE Walk with a Doc YouTube channel (follow them BTW!). I was with all of the other like minded professionals sharing their time.
So very soon after I realised this was in fact, our time! Ironically by not being able to walk made it possible for Wirral WWAD to become a success as a Virtual community.
I am so privileged and grateful to be able to offer this simply by being me.
Someone who has a deep belief in others and us as humans.
Walking as medicine! And why the BBC is inerested
I’d already learned from my training in Lifestyle medicine, that the evidence base for walking is huge.
Not only does it help mental health within a few minutes, this benefit only grows even more within a community setting where safe and pleasurable connection is made possible.
It can improve physical health and is ideal for all as it can be very much tailored to the physical capability of the person. It helps boost metabolism, drop cardiovascular risk, lower blood pressure and help drop weight and so much more.
And it allows for us as human beings to be connected with nature, something that for many of us, as time stood still in lockdown, realised the immense power this can have. Another powerful medicine.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way in perfect shape. I have had, as I mentioned a bit of a whirlwind of a crisis in 2019, and my own lifestyle had taken a backseat.
I knew 2020 was also definitely my year to get back my own identity and to get back my own version of fitness.
So, yeah, I guess you could say I was walking for my own health too!
So here we are in 2021 and we are very, very soon able to meet in large groups, publicly to walk to talk and to share our concerns, and our ideas, our solutions. And our love with each other.
What about the BBC video? I hear you cry!
How does BBC fit in?
It starts with the call from Sophie, the one that had that caught me by surprise.
Sophie is a health correspondent from the BBC, she had got in contact with me and left a message. When we spoke, Sophie told me that they had found me doing a Walk with a Doc on my Facebook lives during the first lockdown, and loved the concept! At last, the project could become more visible!
She wanted to use me and my service as part of a story for the News. The narrative, I was explained, was of a person who had contracted COVID-19 had become very ill indeed, was in the subcategory of people that were very overweight or obese [obese is not a word I like to use but defines a range of weight above a BMI 30].
This man made it. He made it through intensive care and literally began to take new steps to help his health and lose weight. His life is better as a result. I love this – how people can take up a lifestyle change and benefit in so many ways. It is one of the many reasons I do what I do. It is possible to make big lifestyle changes in your life at any age!
Yes, the story is about the brutal reality that obesity increases someone’s risk to become very ill with COVID. Obesity also is linked with an increase of many non-communicable diseases too such as diabetes and heart disease. When the risk of Covid drops these conditions will remain. Being overweight in turn causes heart disease and diabetes, causing the same health crisis they did BEFORE the pandemic started. I believe my role as a doctor is part of this action. To literally walk the talk!
However, obesity is not a simple matter to be solved alone. It is complex, it is a combination of biological issues, societal pressures, of psychosocial issues and of governmental and political agendas it’s also about local culture, our own culture, our own community in which we live, all of which can make things easier or harder.
Of course, it’s about us taking responsibility too like the inspiring man in the story. Our own choices we can make. We can walk more.
If you want to learn how to optimise your life inside and out follow he link below:
Most of us in this part of the world have shoes to walk in and coats to wear when it rains. Most of us have clothes and food to come back to, and hot water to warm up with.
So, what about you? Are you ready to walk?
I’m here for you.
Are you keen to watch the programme and see what will be an uplifting story?
Follow me here and I’ll keep you posted and share the full video as soon as I am able.
I am simply a doctor trying to do their best to help others have better health.
So, in closing, happy walking, happy talking, and you’re all welcome to walk with me – a Doc!
Keep on Walking!
Bye for now
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