When routine tests revealed that Lloyd’s glucose level was high, his doctor warned him that he needed to take action to avoid developing type 2 diabetes. Having been advised to lose weight and change some aspects of his lifestyle, the 66-year-old father of four decided to give the Life! program a go.

Lloyd joined a Life! Group Course in Bendigo and quickly found that he responded positively to the group dynamic. “I formed good relationships with the people in the group – we were all about the same age so we had things in common in addition to the desire to improve our health. Everybody had something interesting to say, and everybody was extremely supportive.”

In addition to the encouragement of his peers, Lloyd appreciated having access to high-quality information. “One of most satisfying things I got from the program is knowledge. There is so much stuff out there on the subject of diabetes, and it all needs sifting through to establish hard evidence and real facts. I was very pleased to be able to benefit from my Life! Group Facilitator’s expertise in doing that. It’s a satisfying feeling to replace ignorance with knowledge.”

He also found a Group session with a nutritionist to be particularly useful: “It was really, really informative and made me aware of a lot of things I didn’t know before. One of the things I’ve learnt is, if you regulate your sugar, sodium and fat consumption in the way you prepare foods, it can pay big dividends. For example, now I put lemon juice in my dahl instead of salt, which is a great way of giving the lentils some healthy flavour. I realised on the Life! program that you don’t have to cut out everything you like: you just have to make sensible choices within your daily allowance of calories. The information I obtained on the program enabled me to make informed choices.

“I also found the information on reading food labels beneficial in making better decisions about which food to buy, and it was good to be reminded about what a healthy portion size actually is. I’ve cut my portion sizes now.”

Lloyd has seen some gratifying results: “I’ve lost 10kg in the last eight months, and I feel so good for having shed that weight. I feel like a different person: I’ve had to change my jeans and put more holes in my belt, but it’s not just my belly – my whole body has changed for the better.”

He attributes his success to the way he has integrated the knowledge he gained on the Life! program into his lifestyle. “You have to be disciplined and do things even if you don’t feel like doing them. For example, you have to exercise when it’s raining and cold, but if you do make that effort, you feel really good about yourself. I would definitely recommend the Life! program to anyone who’s serious about making positive changes and improving their health.”