Throughout Diabetes Awareness Week 2021, we’ll be sharing a multitude of real-life success stories. Today’s success story is kindly shared by Michelle, a participant on the Momenta Newcastle’s Diabetes Remission Programme – using exante products as part of the initiative.
Momenta Newcastle are delivering a group-based Diabetes Remission Programme (DRP) virtually over Zoom in Birmingham & Solihull CCG as part of the NHS England Low Calorie Diet Programme pilot.
The Momenta DRP has 20 group sessions and one individual phone-call in three phases over 12 months, including an initial 12 weeks of Total Diet Replacement (TDR) products including shakes, soups, bars and meals. Referred participants must meet NHSE eligibility criteria and comply with medication adjustment advice given by their GP at referral.
Michelle works full-time for a bank supporting vulnerable clients and those with special needs. Her work is rewarding but busy and at times stressful – her home life is no more restful. Michelle lives with her partner, children and her ageing parents and on many an occasion she is cooking for nine people! She is very much looking forward to her wedding later this year after inevitable rearrangements and delays due to COVID. Michelle’s ‘me time’ is limited but she has good friends and dog called Rocco and together they have embraced an active lifestyle as part of her journey towards diabetes remission.
Want to understand more about Type 2 Diabetes? Check out our informative blog post below…
Life before the programme
Michelle knows what is like to suffer from Type 2 diabetes as it runs through her family. She was diagnosed in December 2019 and ‘simply hated it’, reacting badly to medication and feeling poorly. She was aware that she was at her heaviest when she was diagnosed and knew that she had to do something to change as her health was deteriorating: ‘Life was awful! You can live with diabetes, but it totally changes your lifestyle’.
It was Michelle’s 73-year-old Dad who spotted the press coverage about the programme whilst browsing on his tablet. Recognising that she would be an ideal participant he encouraged her to approach her GP. Michelle describes pestering her GP ‘like a dog with a bone’ to get assessed and referred onto the programme.
“I really need to do this for me”
‘I really need to do this for me’ Michelle was excited and determined but open-minded about the programme: ‘It’s up to me whether I make a success of it or not’. She considers that the timing was right for her and that being in lockdown and working from home has helped her to keep focused and on track. She describes the support from her Coach and the other members of the group as invaluable – enjoying the opportunity to chat and meet up regularly. ‘The tools and support are all in place (on Momenta)’
Phase 1 – Michelle didn’t feel great in the first week on the Total Diet Replacement (TDR) products, but she soon adapted, taking full advantage of the programme tools and group support throughout this phase. When it got tough, she would remember her goals, refer to her Workbook and make good use of the High Performance Toolkit – reminding herself that ‘It’s for only 12 weeks’.
Attending every virtual group meeting has given her support and motivation to keep on track with her goals: ‘If I was feeling low or demotivated, I came out of the meetings feeling positive’
Michelle stresses the importance of planning to get off to a good start in Phase 1 ‘Reboot’ and throughout the programme. She emphasises the importance of carefully planning which TDR products to order and when to have them throughout the day and drinking plenty of water at regular intervals.
Her starting weight was 97.5kg. During the TDR phase Michelle lost weight steadily, finishing the 12 weeks at 82.9kg – nearly 15kg or 2 ½ stone lighter – having lost 15% of her starting body weight in just three months.