Catherine’s Diabetes Prevention Journey

We spoke to one of our service users, Catherine from Brighton, who has been on the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme for 9 months. She had some great outcomes on the programme and would like to share her journey.

What did you find useful about the group sessions?

The way the sessions were run was useful, my coach reiterated knowledge I had but forgotten over the past 40 years. He then took the learning further for us, explaining the science behind it, it made more sense and made it easier to cut down on certain things like sugar. If I had a question which wasn’t covered in the session my coach would have the answer ready for the next session, making sessions personalised to us.

What changes did you make to your lifestyle?

My exercise routine has changed, the physical activity sessions introduced me to resistance bands which I now incorporate into my Pilates classes every week. I also use the Wellbeing Way app, following the exercise videos. This course has also increased my consistency with exercising. I used to only attend occasional sessions but now whole courses.

Before the programme, my husband and I would eat what we wanted without thinking of the consequences. Then I had a blood test last October and alarm bells started ringing, mainly worrying about developing type 2 diabetes. I’m 57 with a beautiful 4-year-old grandson. I want to be as active as I can for him and enjoy every moment, which meant I took this course seriously. I didn’t know where I was going wrong with my healthy diet. When I started this course, it clarified why I had plateaued, then I realised – ‘Oh, I’m doing this wrong’. Now I understand and can control my portions better.

What was your favourite part of the programme, why?

I work in a primary school, so my favourite part of the programme has been being able to be more active with the children. We have a multi-gym, so I offer to cover the gym during playtime and go on it with the kids.

My other favourite part has been the group themselves; they were quite bubbly. The people who are on my group have taken it seriously and are enjoying it too. We bounce ideas off each other, it’s a good laugh.

What challenges did you face with the programme, and how did you overcome them?

I have spinal damage which makes the activity I can do limited, but I have been more active with my grandson. We used to play a lot of Lego, but I can now manage to take him out on the bike and go swimming. With my weight loss I even managed to go kayaking on holiday!

“My favourite part of the programme has been being able to be more active”

What changes have you seen in any measurements that have been taken?

I have gone from being 89kg, to being 72kg. My waist is down 2 inches. In terms of clothes, I have gone down from being a 16-18, to comfortably fitting in a 14. It is amazing to be able to shop in a wider range of shops!

Would you recommend the programme to others?

I have done! I recommended it to family and colleagues at work who have asked their doctor to join.

What would you say to those who are thinking about joining the programme?

Go for it! If you get stuck, keep going to the meetings. This programme, unlike other options, keeps giving you advice once you achieve your goal weight.

To find out more about the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, click here.

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