"Ten months on, I eat as much as I did before but the right things now."
Beryl blitzed her diabetes risk
Having lived through the Second World War, grandmother of four, Beryl Langley embraced a full and active life until a motor accident slowed her down.
"I used to go out a lot, but after the accident I stopped driving," explained Beryl. "I was told to rest for six weeks and I admit I liked the excuse to put my feet up. I became rather lazy. I put on weight and it got to a point where housework felt like hard work. Thankfully, there was still a part of me that said: Come on kid, get yourself out of this!"
The Brighton-based pensioner ordered a full MOT from her GP. When her blood results showed she was at high risk of developing diabetes, she was invited to join her local Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in Hove.
The programme, delivered by health services provider Ingeus, aims to support those at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to reduce that risk, or even stop them getting diabetes altogether.
"I was surprised. I'd never considered myself at risk. I'd been active and in good health most of my life. But I picked up the phone straightaway and joined the programme."
Ingeus educator, Lucy Case runs the local group to which Beryl brought her daughters, Chris and Sue so they could help her take notes.
"Lucy is delightful and made us feel very welcome and included," Chris said. To which Beryl added: "The small group setting felt personal and inclusive, not at all intimidating."
The 10-month programme covered a range of topics including physical activity, portion control and making healthy meals.
"I learned about how choosing the right foods can make a difference. For instance, I didn't think I'd like brown bread and had avoided it, but now that I've made the swap, I don't touch white bread! I've lost a stone in weight and have every intention of keeping it off.
"I can't praise the programme highly enough. Ten months on, I eat as much as I did before but the right things now. I'm exercising and my blood sugar levels have gone down so I'm no longer considered at risk. I feel so much better."
Chris added, "We are all delighted with Mum's progress and how the diabetes prevention classes were run."
Beryl has increased the pace again and is back to her active social life, which includes speaking at Westdene Primary School about her childhood experiences during the war.
"I've been very lucky. I'm so grateful to my GP and I'd certainly recommend getting a full MOT. I'd say to anyone who discovers they're at risk, keep positive and the programme can help you too."