Chris’s NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission journey
We spoke to Chris from Derbyshire who has been on the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme for 8 months. See how his journey is going so far.
What kind of lifestyle were you leading before the programme?
I was 140kg (22 stone) with high blood pressure and I wasn’t active. Even though I knew I was overweight, I didn’t worry about it. My wife was worried, but I felt fine so thought I was OK. In June 2022 I had a routine blood test and found out my HbA1c was 63mmol/mol. I had Type 2 diabetes, and that woke me up.
How did you hear about the Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme?
As a registered general nurse, I knew the theory of what I needed to do to lose weight, but I lacked the willpower to do this by myself. I realised I needed the help of a structured and well thought out programme. When my diabetic nurse, Hope, told me about the programme, I thought ‘why not?’ Both my father and my grandfather died from a heart attack, and at my weight and age of 60 years old, I realised I was a heart attack waiting to happen. Preventing this from happening was, and still is, my motivation.
What has been your experience on the programme so far?
The programme has been brilliant for me. It’s not just about replacing food with soups and shakes for 12-weeks; it’s also a lifestyle intervention that helps you develop a new mindset. The support from the group meetings, both from my diabetes practitioner, Hannah, and the rest of the group, really helped with this. Total diet replacement completely transformed me, and it was easy. My wife really supported me, and she ate her dinner when I wasn’t there. I had 3 shakes a day and a soup for my dinner. Along with this I drank plenty of black coffee with ‘skinny’ syrups and sugar-free sodas.
What challenges did you face?
Christmas was hard, but I accepted that I’d probably put on some weight, and I soon lost it past Christmas because I had the tools to bring me back to where I wanted to be.
I had a contract with my diabetic nurse, well, this is how I saw it. As a result, I put my trust in the programme and stuck to it.
How has the programme improved your health and your life?
By March 2023 my HbA1c was down to 29mmol/mol, which my nurse said was better that her glucose levels! I’m no longer on any medication and my blood pressure is back to normal. I’ve lost over 40kg (6 stone), sleeping better, snoring less, and my wife says I no longer get breathless when walking up steps. I’m now going to the gym twice a week (something I’ve never done before).
Total Diet Replacement helped me to recognise when I’m hungry or not, and I’m able to say ‘I don’t need that food’. My mindset has completely changed.
Both my partner and I are eating healthier meals which are delicious, we’re not spending as much on food, and we prepare food together as a couple. I’ve been re-educated on how to shop for food and now know the healthier alternatives available.
My current weight is 94kg. I have a range I’m happy with and I will make sure to stay within this.
Would you recommend the programme to others?
Yes! It can get hard – but stick to it and you will achieve what you want to achieve. I hope the NHS run with this programme as so many people will benefit.