A week ago I spent the morning breakfasting with Lloyds Pharmacy as they explained their new #BestVersionofYou campaign. We walked around chatting to reps from the retailers that will be stocked in store, took in some personalised advice and had the campaign and its message explained to us by Maeve Madden, face of the initiative and model and personal trainer.
What really pleased me, in particular, is that the campaign is not only relevant and something many of us worry about, but the way it's being discussed is much healthier and positive than the message that we are receiving from all angles. This campaign is not about being skinny or just losing a lot of weight. It is about being the best version of you, about being healthier, happier, about having more energy and enjoying your life.
Earlier this month, Lloyds actually surveyed 1,000 Irish adults about health and wellbeing and found the only 18% felt that they eat a balanced diet and get enough exercise. And, with Ireland set to be the fattest nation in Europe by 2030, health and a balanced lifestyle are obviously a concern for most of us.
In the face of this, however, Lloyds don't just want to sell us some "detox" teas that cost several times more than they should, they want to engage more fully with the public and help us figure out dietary plans, supplements and methods to make our lifestyles healthier. There are a number of healthcare testing services in-store such as Body-Mass-Index, blood pressure and cholesterol testing and ongoing advice from in-house pharmacists. In addition to this, there will be dedicated Health and Wellness stores across their network of pharmacies around the country - initially being available in 25 of their branches.
The emphasis here is taking your health in your own hands and improving your life, not worrying about numbers on a scale or a label inside a garment. While I'm inherently skeptical of anytime health is sold on the back of profit and marketing campaigns, at least the sentiment here is a lot more positive. And in a world of dizzying mixed messages and varying reports, it's always good to be able to have ready access to experts willing to help tailor advice to you about what you actually need.