Type 2 diabetes can be a very serious health condition and can lead to long-term health problems if left untreated. The good news is that you can significantly reduce your risk by making small lifestyle changes that will make a big difference; maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and being active are all steps that you can take today.
Your local Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has a range of personalised support to help you do just that. From helping you eat well, to tips on weight loss and physical activity, the service is here to support you on your journey back to a Healthier You. The programme is run by Weight Watchers (WW)
Isobel Brown, aged 63 from Carlisle did just that and has lost 18lbs. Read Isobel’s story here;
“I was finally referred to WW in September 2019 with my first meeting taking place in October 2019.
“I was first told I was pre-diabetic in 2018 and would be referred but heard nothing. In July 2019, I had to undergo a procedure which necessitated the use of an anaesthetic; as a result, I had to have a blood test to check everything would be OK. The result of the blood test was that I was pre diabetic.
“The level of HbA1C was 49; the range is between 41 and 48. I had to go back for a further blood test and the result came back showing that the level of HbA1C was 47. At this point, I was told I would be referred and that I should follow either a low carbohydrate diet OR WW but not both. The only advice I was given was that I should avoid oranges and orange juice.
“It was with some trepidation that I attended my first WW workshop; I was thinking that I would be standing up and saying something along the lines of “I’m Isobel and I’m fat.” It was nothing like that. I was made to feel very welcome and it was obvious that all involved were, and still are, very professional and welcoming.
“I thought I would struggle with this, as I saw it at that time, diet regime; but have found that it is easy to stick with. Nothing is off limits as long as it is tracked.
“I enjoy the workshops as they help; hearing what tactics others use to keep on track and sharing my thoughts and ideas as to what I do. I have found that I am eating more healthily and, while I would not say I ate loads of fruit, I now eat a lot more than I did before joining WW.
“If I have had a bad week, then the workshops always help to pick me up and to reset my mindset to being more positive. I often feel that I won’t say anything at the workshops as I am sure that people don’t need to hear me going on about me, but Anna always encourages all of us to say something about how we feel or how our week has been.
“I know I have quite a lot more weight to lose before I am out of the danger zone and will continue to attend WW even after the NHS period is over. I find I am looking forward to the workshops and, if I can’t attend on my day, I will attend another session with Anna.
“Anna is very positive and upbeat and supports us all to attain our goals; I am most impressed that she knows all of our names and remembers what we have said in previous meetings.
“I am very grateful to the NHS for referring me as being pre diabetic was the kick in the pants that I needed to start to lose weight; I was aware that I was, and still am, overweight, but had not realised by how much until I was looking at the before photographs for this campaign.
“Thank you NHS, WW and Anna Power for helping me to begin the journey to becoming the best version of myself I can be. I look forward to the day when my chair at work no longer creaks when I move.
“During this period of lockdown, I have found the remote workshops to be invaluable. I can talk openly about any issues or difficulties I may be experiencing during this strange time and I know my WW coach, Anna Power, will come up with a brilliant idea to help me through them. I really don’t think I would be able to continue this journey without the help and support I get through the workshops. Also, it is really good to connect with members and coaches from other parts of the country.”
Isobel’s start weight was 12st 8lbs, her current weight is 11st 4lbs.