When it was suggested to Stephen that he participate in the Life! program to help deal with the high cholesterol level that had been discovered during a health check, he was initially hesitant.
“I thought the Life! program was focused more on diabetes prevention,” he says, “but then I decided to give it a go in case I could pick up some useful information.”
Telephone Health Coaching was the right option for him. “It worked out really well as the calls didn’t take up a huge amount of time and there was enough of a gap between them for me to focus on my health and wellbeing and integrate the information I was given into my lifestyle. As soon as I’d found out about my elevated cholesterol level, I had started making some changes, and to have that process supported on a regular basis, to have that conversation with someone – it’s really beneficial.”
Did Stephen get the information he’d been hoping for? “Yes, the information was very useful to my particular needs. I already had a reasonable understanding of a lot of the subjects that are covered in the Life! program, but it was good to be reminded of what I should – and shouldn’t – be doing.
“I also learnt some new things that helped me. For example, I picked up a lot of information on saturated fats that I hadn’t fully understood previously. And portion size was one of the big ones for me: through participating on the program, I gained a clear understanding of what a proper portion size actually is. I measured my portions for three or four months and kept a record of them in a diary.”
Stephen found that he didn’t have to make any dramatic changes to get back on track. “I simply had to get back into good habits. And again, having a Health Coach regularly ask you about your progress is really good.”
What good habits did he get back into? “I knew I needed to re-establish an exercise routine as I’d just become a dad again, and it’s all too easy not to make time for exercise when you’ve got a baby. Now I’ve integrated it back into my lifestyle. In fact, I’m cycling 14km a day to work and back. I’ve lowered my alcohol consumption and I’ve switched to eating low- or reduced-fat meat.”
So, did the combination of the information he acquired on the Life! program, his Health Coach’s encouragement and his own impressive efforts work for Stephen? “It did! My general health is really good again. I’ve managed to reduce my waistline to a decent level and I’ve lost about 10kg. My cholesterol has dropped down, too.”
Stephen is confident that he can maintain these improvements to his health. ‘I’m sure I’ll be able to keep up the good work. What I learnt on the Life! program helped me to make simple but effective changes that really haven’t impacted on my lifestyle very much.”