The programme has taught me to make better choices – Anne’s story
Anne was diagnosed with borderline Type 2 diabetes by her GP, who recommended that she join the Healthier You: Diabetes Prevention Programme to reduce her blood sugar levels. Anne, who is also currently awaiting a kidney transplant, tells us about her journey so far.
“The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has really educated me with the types of foods that I should be eating in the correct portion sizes”, said Anne. “Learning all of this has been a shock to the system in comparison to my previous eating habits, but I have lost a bit of weight already.”
Type 2 diabetes is a serious, but largely preventable, disease. Healthier You helps people to improve their health and lifestyle to significantly reduce their risk – and Anne found that by making changes to her lifestyle, where her kidney condition allowed, resulted in that risk being reduced: “When I joined the programme, my blood levels were at 42”, said Anne. “Now they are at 38.”
Our sessions support with the understanding of energy balance and implementing exercise into everyday life which eventually becomes part of a lifestyle rather than a onetime activity. Anne has been doing what she can to keep active:
“I am currently on the list for a kidney transplant, so my journey has been a seesaw of success. I make sure to get my steps in with daily exercise, and although this is hard with my low energy levels, the results continue to motivate me. Exercise is hard for me as my kidney failure makes everything an effort at this stage – my kidney currently functions at 9-10% of what it should, but when I'm feeling energetic, I go into town and walk round or go to the park.
As well as exercise, our Health Coaches provide support around diet, including identifying patterns of behaviour with food and drink intake. Healthier You Participants can expect to learn how to feel fuller for longer and identify their triggers, to ultimately create a more positive relationship with food.
“I tend to eat little and often now instead of set times as this stops me nibbling in between meals”, said Anne. “I now check the labels when shopping and steer away from anything with a red marker. The programme has taught me what to look for on labels and to make better choices. I do treat myself occasionally.
“I am t-total, and haven't drunk alcohol for 27 years, I don't miss it at all, however, my biggest hurdle is chocolate, which I have managed to cut down on and eat only as a treat now.
“Since joining the sessions, I feel more in the know about what I should be eating, and hopefully once I have received my transplant, I will be able to benefit more from this information.”