November 16 2015 Fit for Family Life
As a father to two young children, Stephen knew he needed plenty of energy to keep up with his kids. Here’s his story on how the Life! Program helped him to change his habits long-term to stay fit, healthy and play an active role in his kids’ lives.
“I heard about the Life! program after I discovered that I had a high cholesterol level during a routine health check. Initially I was hesitant as I thought the Life! program was focused more on diabetes prevention, but then I decided to give it a go in case I could pick up some useful information.
Telephone health coaching worked out really well for me, as the calls didn’t take up a huge amount of time and there was enough of a gap between them for me to focus on my health and well-being and integrate the information I was given into my lifestyle. As soon as I’d found out about my elevated cholesterol level, I had started making some changes, and to have that process supported on a regular basis, to have that conversation with someone – it’s really beneficial. The information was very useful to my particular needs. I already had a reasonable understanding of a lot of the subjects that are covered in the Life! program, but it was good to be reminded of what I should – and shouldn’t – be doing.
I also learnt some new things that helped me. For example, I picked up a lot of information on saturated fats that I hadn’t fully understood previously. Portion size was one of the big ones for me: through participating on the program, I gained a clear understanding of what a proper portion size actually is. I measured my portions for three or four months and kept a record of them in a diary.
I didn’t have to make any dramatic changes, I simply had to get back into good habits and, again, having a Health Coach asking you on a regular basis about your progress is really good.
I knew I needed to re-establish an exercise routine as I’d just become a dad again, and it’s all too easy not to make time for exercise when you’ve got a baby. Now I’ve integrated it back into my lifestyle. In fact, I’m cycling 14km a day to work and back. I’ve lowered my alcohol consumption and I’ve switched to eating low- or reduced-fat meat. My general health is really good again. I’ve managed to reduce my waistline to a decent level and I’ve lost about 10kg. My cholesterol has dropped down, too.
The great thing is that I’m sure I’ll be able to keep up the good work. What I learnt on the Life! program helped me to make simple but effective changes that really haven’t impacted on my lifestyle very much.”
The Life! program is a Victorian lifestyle modification program that helps you reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Run by expert health professionals, the program is delivered as a Group Course or a Telephone Health Coaching service. To learn more about the Life! program visit www.lifeprogram.org.au or call 13 74 75