After having cancer, and several related ailments, father of three, Paul Higgin already had enough to contend with. So when an annual blood test revealed he was at high risk of getting Type 2 diabetes, it was yet another thing to worry about.
Fortunately, Paul, 66, was “keen to nip it in the bud” and accepted the invitation to join the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme which supports those at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes so they can reduce, delay or even avert that risk.
Paul attends a local group in Bembridge in the Isle of Wight:
“It was an eye opener. Now I understand how I can make simple changes to improve my health and hopefully avoid getting Type 2 diabetes. It all makes sense. Charlotte, the health educator, does a good job of explaining things, taking on board everyone’s learning styles. The group is friendly and non-judgmental and we’re all different sizes and ages.”
The former professional tour driver confessed: “I enjoy food but I had all the bad habits: fridge-raiding at night, eating whole packets instead of small amounts, not really eating greens. Since joining the programme I’ve learned how to adapt the way I eat. I still eat the things I like but I’ve reduced my portions and am more aware.”
Paul began the programme in August 2018 when he weighed 133kg, he now weighs 113kg – a loss of 20kg (44lb) and has greatly lowered his risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.
Paul added: “I feel better in myself. My physical health is still problematic but losing weight and gaining new habits have given me a great foundation to build upon, slowly but surely.”
Health educator, Charlotte Farrant added: “Paul has done amazingly well. He has a great attitude and proves how small changes can add up to make a big difference. His impressive weight-loss and healthier lifestyle will stand him in good stead in the long-term and may have knock-on beneficial effects for his other health conditions.”