"Demetrius is so enthusiastic and motivated, he's a shining example of how the NDPP can support our participants in making lifestyle changes."
Demetrius polices his diet
Police Community Support Officer, Demetrius Georghiou always tried to keep fit and eat well but when he started getting daily migraines he booked himself in for a blood test. The results revealed he was at high risk of Type 2 diabetes.
"It was the shock of my life. I didn't eat sweets or chocolate. It was hard for me because I'm generally very positive but I felt depressed."
Despite the disappointing news, the father of two was determined to sign up to his local Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP) in Battle and change his fate.
The programme, delivered by health services provider Ingeus, aims to support those at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to reduce the risk, or even stop them getting diabetes altogether.
"I admit I did have some preconceptions about the group. I wasn't sure I'd fit in, but I needn't have worried. The educator Jo is a lovely lady and a great communicator. She taught us about hidden sugars, how to see through advertising and to decipher labels. The group members were more mixed than I imagined, of all ages and weights, and we supported each other, sharing our ups and downs."
Demetrius admitted that although he didn't indulge much in sweet treats, he was unaware of what the correct portion sizes were for each food group, including the healthy ones.
"What I learned was that my larger portions - even with the healthier foods like fruit - were giving me an energy overload! What's more, I'd been eating certain breakfast cereals which seemed healthy from the advertising, but were actually quite high in sugar too.
"I became disciplined. I reduced my portion sizes and increased my exercise, including walking 10 thousand steps a day. My migraines stopped within a week and since starting the programme I've lost a stone and a half, plus my waist has gone down a few inches! Seeing results has been a real incentive and I'd say to anyone who's sceptical, you will see change if you approach it with a positive attitude and stick with it. I still have roasts and wine, but I'm more mindful of what I eat, I savour it and I stick to the right food.
"My family are happy for me, they feel they have the old me back and we support each other. It's a lifestyle change but one that is made easier by the course and the support we get there."
Ingeus educator, Jo Redfearn added: "Demetrius is so enthusiastic and motivated, he's a shining example of how the NDPP can support our participants in making lifestyle changes to improve their future health."