RosemaryBright resident, 63-year-old Rosemary, had tried “every diet known to mankind” before finally achieving her health goals with the Life! program.

While Rosemary has always been busy – she loves gardening, reading, mahjong, Scrabble and attending the University of the Third Age (U3A) – her weight had been a constant struggle. It was while at a U3A course that Rosemary completed the Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool (a tool that determines a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes). Her score showed that she was at high risk and after a “my goodness!” moment, Rosemary and her husband joined the Life! group course program.

For Rosemary, “the Life! program was life-changing. I lost 20 kilograms overall in 5 kilogram lots”. Her success could be attributed to a combination of things: the support of her enthusiastic Life! program facilitator Maureen, the group course dynamic, partaking in the program with her husband and making positive changes to her diet and exercise regime.

“I was impressed with the Life! group course. You had a goal, you had to regularly attend the course, and it was interesting to see how other people worked and their mechanisms for getting healthy.”

“My husband and I also changed our diets a lot. While we had fairly good diets, we ate a lot of dairy. We converted all of this to low fat or no fat products. We also cut out butter and margarine and had more brown rice and legumes. We’re much more controlled when it comes to portions. Instead of buying two litres of ice cream we buy single serves and we don’t buy 2 for 1 chocolate bars. These things are a treat not a staple!”

At the same time Rosemary increased her physical activity, joining a weights program and a cycling group. “I joined a bike riding group. The first time I went I could barely ride 2 km and I nearly died, but gradually I got better at it.” Now Rosemary makes a point to ride into town to shop and attend her Scrabble and mahjong games, and continues with her strength classes twice a week.

Having lost weight and lowered her cholesterol, Rosemary is reaping the benefits. “I feel heaps better.  I haven’t been this fit since I can’t remember when!”

The only downside is that Rosemary had to do some serious shopping. “I had to buy a whole new wardrobe. Everything went to the op shop. I said ‘this is the new me and it’s staying that way’.”