A determined Woodville man decided to tackle his weight head on when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Keith Snellgrove, aged 64, has since reversed his condition and lost nearly 3 stone too.
“I have had high blood pressure for a while and my blood sugar numbers have always hovered at around 6 but at a recent annual check-up at GP I had a shock as they had shot up to 9.9.
“I was told I would have to go on medication as I was now type 2 diabetic - it was a bit of a blow.”
However type 2 diabetes is manageable with diet and exercise and Keith was referred into Live Life Better Derbyshire and also the Exercise by Referral scheme.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started the course.
“I thought we were eating ok already but it soon became clear that was not the case. I might have had the correct outline of what to eat but I had the portions all wrong.
“My little treats were adding up to a big problem such as the sharing bag of wine gums that I didn’t like to share.
“When I checked, the single portion I thought I was eating actually worked out as 5 portions!”
Life Live Better Derbyshire’s free weight management programme covers a wide range of topics from balanced diets and portion control to how to read food labels.
Over a 12 week period, clients learn the building blocks of a lifelong, healthy relationship with food.
In the first few weeks Keith was losing around 4 or 5 pounds thanks to his new understanding of what, and how much, to eat.
“I still snacked but changed what, and how much I ate, such as 25g of unsalted nuts instead of a bowl full.”
Before long the benefits were becoming apparent. Keith says:
“My recent blood test was great as they have halved my medication. Within 12 weeks I had gone from actually having type 2 diabetes to becoming pre diabetic.
“My bloods have gone from 9.9 to 6.4 and my cholesterol is down from 5.18 to 2.6.
“The only cost to me is I have had to go and buy new clothes 2 sizes smaller as I have lost nearly 3 stone so far.”
Through the Exercise by Referral programme, Keith is also taking part in a free, 12 week, exercise programme that sees him do 3 gym sessions a week at Greenbank leisure centre.
“It’s been an eye-opener, why didn’t I do this before?
“I think, like a lot of people, I just had a general drift into bad habits without really noticing.
“The Live Life Better course filled in the gaps in my knowledge.
“It was really inclusive, there was no blame or criticism, just a sense of ‘you’re here to do something about it and we’re here to help’.
“They are very friendly, very helpful and it was actually good fun.”
Keith will continue to attend monthly weigh in sessions to keep his motivation levels high, but it’s clear the benefits that Live Life Better has given him.
“At the gym, after 10 weeks, the instructor told me to walk around with a 15kg core weight, a sort of yoke around my neck.
“When I came back wheezing she said ‘that’s what you’ve lost’. It really brought it home - what an eye opener.
“I would definitely recommend Live Life Better, it’s an education not a diet - it helps you change what you eat without starving you of what you like.
“It’s absolutely been worth it, if any one has any doubts I would say just go for it – it really works!”