RoyceWhen Royce’s pharmacist identified that he was at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and referred him to the Life! program, he wasn’t convinced that it was going to suit him.

“I thought, here we go: somebody’s going to tell me what to eat, what to drink, how to exercise and that I’m too frigging fat,” says Royce, a 65-year-old masseur who lives in Bacchus Marsh.

But it wasn’t like that.

“My Telephone Health Coach wasn’t overbearing at all – she was helpful and supportive. In fact, I very quickly came to look forward to her calls. She didn’t preach to me at all and just made some very simple suggestions about making little changes to my lifestyle. They were, quite simply, that I might like to increase the amount of fibre in my diet and decrease the amount of fat and salt. She made it clear that you don’t need to make big, dramatic changes; you make little ones and you apply them consistently. She told me that, if I coupled those dietary changes with an increase in exercise, I could expect to see some very positive outcomes.

“And, pretty quickly, I did. By my second month on the Life! program, I realised that I’d lost weight and girth. It really hadn’t been difficult to make those changes, and seeing that they were working so well for me was so encouraging.”

Royce found that his Coach’s motivational skills were every bit as useful as the information she was giving him.

“Before I started the program, I essentially knew what a healthy diet was, and I also knew what I should be doing in terms of both diet and exercise, but I just wasn’t doing it. My Coach helped me to focus on what I needed to do, and she motivated me – not by issuing a lot of instructions and orders, but simply by making me realise that I could do it. By doing that, she empowered me.”

Motivated and empowered, Royce reduced his weight by 8kg and his girth by 7cm during his time on the Life! program, and is impressed by the new him. “I look different, and I feel different. My clothes hang much more comfortably on me, and I like that!”

Royce is confident that he’ll be able to keep up the good work in the future. “I’m sure I can! The changes I made as a result of my experience on the Life! program are part of my everyday lifestyle now, so it’s business as usual for me. It doesn’t feel like I’m making any effort at all!”