Christine’s Low Calorie Diet journey
Christine from Derbyshire has been taking part in the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme. Since starting the programme, she has seen some amazing outcomes and would like to share her journey.
What was your life like before the programme?
I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes on Christmas Eve. I started managing my condition with dietary changes, however COVID restrictions were soon imposed and with a sense of foreboding, I stopped watching what I ate. My first annual review revealed my weight had crept up and my HbA1c had climbed to 53. I had done very little exercise for the best part of a year and began to suffer from skin lesions.
My diabetic nurse asked me if I would like to be considered for this programme. I knew that I had to do something to protect my health and avoid long term medication. I was due to retire and realised this was a wonderful opportunity to help me start the next chapter of my life.
What has been your experience on the programme so far?
I enjoyed the programme and fully participated in all the online sessions, which were easy to attend, with no travelling. Our diabetic practitioner was very encouraging and positive. I lost weight every week which kept me motivated. I found reintroducing food quite challenging as my appetite had reduced and I was worried about eating carbohydrates. I learned about portion sizes and not to eat a carb dense meal if I wasn’t going to be able to burn them off. The best aspect of the programme is that it really works and it’s completely free!
How has the programme improved your health and life?
I have lost three stone, lost ten inches off my waist, reduced my blood pressure, my HbA1c is 39, and my BMI is now 21. I am so much more active and meet the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week. I have managed to tackle my jungle of a garden to create a vegetable patch and I’m back at Zumba twice a week. I love walking Betsy, our dog, and my challenge for this year is a virtual Land’s End to John O’Groats walk. As of today, we have walked 226 miles in three months. I do find that I have more energy and motivation to walk since starting the programme. To sum up the year, I retired, I celebrated my 60th birthday and have a new lease of life.
Did you achieve the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the programme?
My overall goal was to achieve a healthy weight and avoid long term medication. I’m happy to say that I have succeeded! The programme has certainly given me the tools and support to achieve and maintain this.
Would you recommend the programme to others?
Of course! It may not be easy, but persevere – it’s well worth it!