Life! Program Participants’ Stories
Bob Richardson and Brenda Davenport participated in the Life! HELPING YOU PREVENT DIABETES, HEART DISEASE & STROKE program. Read their success stories below.
Sixty-seven year old Bob Richardson signed up for Diabetes Australia – Victoria’s Life! HELPING YOU PREVENT DIABETES, HEART DISEASE & STROKE Telephone Health Coaching after discovering he was at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
“When you get to my age you start to think about what you should be doing,” says Bob. “I’d been thinking about walking and thinking about giving up the smokes…but (the telephone coach) highlighted the need to start doing it.”
Life! HELPING YOU PREVENT DIABETES, HEART DISEASE & STROKE Telephone Home Coaching is a type 2 diabetes prevention program conducted via the phone, for people like Bob, who are unable to attend a regular Life! course. The program helps participants develop specific goals and plans for physical activity and healthy eating, to reduce their risk of developing this incurable disease.
A health coach calls the participant at home, at a time that suits them, and works with them to achieve their goals and stay motivated.
“After the first phone call he (the health coach) said, well what can you do? And I said, I’ve been thinking about walking. Which doesn’t help – thinking about it,” says Bob with a smile.
“I said I’d do half an hour a day.” Right there and then, Bob went from thinking to doing. Now Bob’s weight, cholesterol and blood glucose levels are all lower. And best of all, Bob’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes has been greatly reduced. “I feel gratified that I’m actually doing it,” says Bob.
For more information, call the Diabetes Infoline on 13 RISK (13 7475) or visit www.lifeprogram.org.au
Brenda Davenport’s story
Sixty-two year old Brenda Davenport knew she wasn’t in great shape. Her weight had been creeping up ever since she she’d stopped nursing, and she couldn’t exercise for long periods of time because of a back injury.
“I kept having problems with blood sugar. I was starving all the time and I’d get the shakes…I felt like my blood sugar was going crazy,” Brenda says.
It was therefore not a big surprise to Brenda, to be told she was at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Signing up to do a Life! HELPING YOU PREVENT DIABETES, HEART DISEASE & STROKE course was recommended for her. Life! is a proven lifestyle behavioural change course that helps people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes achieve better general health, so that they feel better and live longer. It’s funded by the State Government and coordinated by Diabetes Australia – Victoria. But a busy work schedule made it difficult for Brenda to attend a course.
“I couldn’t see myself going to something like that,” says Brenda.
So Brenda was offered Diabetes Australia – Vic’s Life! HELPING YOU PREVENT DIABETES, HEART DISEASE & STROKE Telephone Health Coaching. It’s a type 2 diabetes prevention program conducted via the phone. A health coach calls the participant at home, at a time that suits them, and works with them to develop a plan for healthy eating and physical activity, to reduce their risk of developing the disease.
One of the first things Brenda’s coach started her on was fat burning.
“Because I can’t do much in the way of exercise without having constant pain, because of my back injury,” says Brenda, Mark (her health coach) got me doing three to four minutes, of flat out, up and down the steps exercise.”
Brenda says, “I find that intense few minutes makes a big difference.”
Brenda’s coach also change the way her meals were structured. “Mark and I had goals about eating six small meals a day: meal, snack, meal, snack, meal, snack,” says Brenda.
“Snacking between meals…means you never get that hungry.” Which was great for Brenda, because as she says, “once I’m starving I’ll eat anything, and it won’t stop.”
Brenda knows she’s on the right track now. “I can just feel it in myself, I just know, because I know how erratic my blood sugar was going, I just feel differently. I don’t feel like I’ve got that problem I had before,” she says, and she’s right. Brenda has lost several kilos of weight, as well as centimetres off her waist measurement; her blood pressure is down and she’s feeling more clear headed. Best of all, her risk of developing type 2 diabetes has been reduced.
“I found it (telephone health coaching) very helpful,” says Brenda.
The Life! Telephone Health Coaching Service is also a great option for people who live in rural areas, work shifts or have other commitments that make it difficult for them to attend a course.