Even when lockdown restrictions were imposed, 53-year-old John Harrison was not going to be sent off course on his weight loss campaign. His local Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention programme provided the support he still required through group video calls with an experienced health coach.
The programme helps to put a person’s health back in their hands by supporting them to make changes to their diet, get more physically active and lose weight (where appropriate).
The Healthier You programme arranged a series of remote sessions through video conferencing that enabled John to discuss his progress and helped to re-enforce the support that has helped John’s weight drop from 127kg in April 2019 to 79kg just 14 months later.
“After a recommendation from my doctor, I decided to find out more about the Healthier You programme as I realised that I needed to do something,” said John, who lives in a Nottinghamshire village. “I knew that cholesterol was an issue in my family and certain things happened that acted as a wake-up call for me. It makes you face the reality that no one is immortal. I understood that I had to review my lifestyle.”
John made changes that included reducing his fat intake, cutting down on his red meat-based meals and increasing the amount of chicken and pulses in his diet. He also instigated a new exercise regime and now regularly undertakes a quick-paced power walk five times a week.
“My health coach was so knowledgeable and gave me an awful lot to think about,” added John. “Healthier You does not dictate what you should do, rather the key information is fully explained to help you understand how certain choices can increase the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. Deciding on which changes to introduce is down to the individual. After all, you are the best person to make those decisions about your own lifestyle.
“Now I am 79kg, my quality of life has really improved and these days I can do so much more without feeling exhausted. I can buy and wear fashionable clothes including skinny jeans. During lockdown the group meetings became virtual get-togethers, which was really useful. The online contact enabled us to ask questions and keep our momentum going.”
Type 2 diabetes is a potentially serious health condition. Find out if you are at high risk of developing the condition so that you can do something about it with support from your free local Healthier You service. You can do this at diabetes.org.uk/knowyourrisk – it’s free and only takes a few minutes.