“People like taste, so many are unwilling to give things up. I think health is more important. Looking after your diet and exercise is the best you can do.”
Mo, 61, has a number of health conditions and a family history of heart disease. When he was given the chance to join an NHSDPP programme being delivered by LWTC, he jumped at it.
Mo had known for some time that he was at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. His GP was monitoring him through annual Health Checks. A few months after one of these checks, he received a text message asking whether he would be interested in joining the local NHSDPP programme, which would support him in reducing his risk, or avoid developing Type 2 diabetes completely. He was very happy to do so.
“Sharon from LWTC got in touch and invited me for an initial assessment,” he says. “I was overweight, but not too bad,” he recalls. “I joined the weekly group sessions and started to change my diet – cutting out sugar, takeaways and fatty foods and eating more salad. My waistline reduced. I see so many people who don’t want to give things up, like sugar in their tea, even when they know they have a problem and are on medication. To me health is more important. Looking after your diet and exercise is the best you can do. Yes, I used to love going out for a drink, but I’ve given it up. My brother is seven years younger than me, but looks older – he had a heart attack but won’t give things up!”
With both his brother and his father having had heart attacks, Mo was very concerned when he began to experience chest pains on his way home on the bus. When he got home, the pains were getting worse so he called 999. “Tests confirmed that it was a heart attack,” he says, “although luckily it was mild.”
Mo is now more determined than ever to look after his health. He is getting bored of being at home signed off sick and is keen to get back to work. “I am trying to eat healthily and go for half hour walks,” he says, “although I am being careful not to lift heavy things or take any unnecessary risks until I am out of rehab. I’m not going to the gym at the moment.”
Mo attended all the group sessions on the NHSDPP programme and found them informative. “A lot of people don’t explain things to you,” he says, “they just tell you what to do. Sharon was willing to talk and explain things in the best way she could, helping us to understand why things were important. That’s what you want. I would recommend the programme to anyone who finds themselves at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.”