“I feel that the changes I have made are sustainable and am confident of maintaining my weight and good health.” 

NeilA disquieting realisation led Neil to join the Life! program. “About 18 months ago, I had a work health check. At the time I thought I was perhaps 15kg overweight, but was surprised to learn that, based on my age – I’m in my early 50s – and my weight and size, I was at considerable risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Happily, I was eligible for the Life! program.”

Neil opted for the program’s group sessions. “They were eye-opening and motivating, particularly the presentation by a dietician and the session in which our Life! coach took the group on a “guided tour” of the local supermarket, showing us that it’s actually not that difficult to make healthy food choices more often. At the same time, the company I worked for was participating in the “10,000 Steps Challenge”. I discovered that on an average work day I did only about 3,000 steps! Getting to 10,000 steps required me to actually get out and walk for about an hour or so in total, in addition to normal activity.”

With his desire to get healthier growing apace, Neil discovered that doing what he needed to do to achieve his goal wasn’t hard. “During this time, my motivation to make changes to both my diet and my exercise levels seemed to be increasing. I made simple changes to my diet like cutting out soft drinks and bread, substituting unhealthy snacks with healthy ones, reducing meal portion sizes and making better meal choices, like chicken and salad instead of chicken and chips.”

Neil soon adapted and his new lifestyle rapidly became normal. “It took a bit of adjustment, but after a few weeks it got easier and I didn’t feel I was missing out. I walked most days, usually after dinner and always with my iPod, at the expense of time I might have been watching TV or doing other unimportant stuff. Over the weeks and months, I could see my weight dropping, which gave me a lot of additional motivation and satisfaction. By the end of the Life! program, I had lost 13kg and looked quite different. After the program I simply kept doing the same things – eating healthily and walking. Many months later, after losing 25kg and feeling great, my friends and family were telling me enough is enough.”

Neil continues to progress, and he hasn’t had to embrace an ascetic lifestyle to do so. “I am still a sucker for chocolate and the odd piece of cake, but I know that the vast majority of my food choices will be healthy, and as long as I stay active as well I can maintain my weight and good health.”

But there’s been one down side to Neil’s success: “Buying a new wardrobe can be costly… but it’s worth it!”