RobertRobert’s motivation for participating in the Life! program can be summed up in one word: “Fear. I was in hospital and came into contact with some patients who had diabetes. That really opened my eyes. People think that, if you get diabetes, you just get up in the morning and take a tablet. But it’s not like that at all. Diabetes is a complex, horrible condition, and it’s a big deal.

“After that, I went to the doctor who ran some routine tests and it turned out that my sugar level was elevated and that I was at risk of getting diabetes. The doctor told me about the Life! program, and I did not hesitate. I thought, if this can help prevent me from getting diabetes, I’m doing it.”

Robert found that the Group Course gave him a lot of useful information. “I learnt a great deal from the Facilitator about what foods I should avoid. I also found out that I really don’t need the amount of food that I used to eat. I took on board what the Facilitator told me and worked out a new diet. These days, I probably eat half of what I used to but I still feel satisfied. I’ve also stopped eating between meals.”

Joining the Life! program also encouraged Robert to increase his exercise. “I’ve got myself an exercise bike. Every morning, I do 10km on it. When I started on the bike, I could only do half a kilometre and then I’d be gasping – I’ve had three heart attacks and a stroke in the past, and initially I got out of breath very easily. But I was determined: I set myself up with a daily program and a daily target. I tell people I’m riding my bike around Australia: at the moment I’ve done a distance that would get me nearly to Cairns, but I haven’t actually left the back room!”

Robert is thrilled with the results he’s achieved. “I lost 7 or 8k in the first couple of months of doing the Life! program, and I went down two sizes in my trousers – in fact, now I’m getting into trousers I haven’t worn for years. Because of the weight loss and exercise, my knees are feeling 100% better than they did before.”

Robert is confident that he can maintain the lifestyle changes that have yielded such impressive results. “When you think about it, it doesn’t take very long to form a new habit and my new habits are my new lifestyle. I’ve kept it up for 12 months and I’ll keep it up for the rest of my life.

“I am so grateful that I did the Life! program. Anything that helps prevent me from getting diabetes, I’m very grateful for.”