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Ten years ago, Arminder Singh moved to New Zealand from India. Since his move, he had gained weight due to lifestyle changes.
In January 2015, his Hba1c had increased to 50 mmol/mol and he was prescribed two metformin per day.
“I was scared I am only 44 years old. I had two family members pass away at my age. I felt I could die too if I didn’t do anything,” he said.
He was referred to the Sport Auckland Choose Change Programme by his GP for diabetes.
Arminder’s goal was to get his health back on track to live a longer and healthier life. Prior to joining the programme, he mentioned that his energy levels were low and that he was always sleepy.
He also exhibited low confidence levels and doubted his ability to make changes to his lifestyle.
His sessions with the psychologist helped to boost his confidence levels and address barriers to change including depression.
His dietary choices encompassed foods high in refined carbohydrates and fats due to high intakes of takeaways four to five days a week.
The session with the dietitian helped to bring awareness on his current dietary habits and the changes he needed to make for better blood glucose control.
He has now reduced his takeaways and has healthier home cooked meals. He has also decreased his carbohydrate intake from five chapattis to one and has half a plate of vegetables at most meals. Although he has successfully managed to reduce his carbohydrate portion, he mentioned that he was not experiencing hunger as he ate mindfully and felt satisfied with the meals he had.
The weekly goal setting with the Healthy Lifestyle Coordinator helped to motivate him to keep track. Each week, a small, realistic and achievable goal was set for both diet and physical activity.
Achieving these realistic goals also helped him to gain the confidence and motivation that he needed to continue.
Initially, he was not physically active. Lack of motivation and time due to his demanding work schedule was one of the main barriers that prevented him from being active. He has given health a priority and has made exercise a part of his daily routine by incorporating five days a week of brisk walking and jogging.
The programme has had a huge impact on his life.
His wife, who has been a major support, noticed a positive change in his attitude.
He is now an energetic and a happier person. He is also more active within the family and takes more interest in helping at home.
Upon completion of the programme, Arminder has lost a total of 9.7 kilograms in weight and seven centimetres off his waist.
His Hba1c has dropped from 50 mmol/mol to 38 mmol/mol and he is no longer on any medication. His fitness levels have increased and he is now a happier, energetic and confident person.
Arminder hopes to continue with his weight loss journey.
The programme has brought awareness and helped him gain control over his health. It has also equipped him with the tools that he needs to making healthier lifestyle choices and achieve his weight loss target of losing another 10 kilograms by the end of this year.
Anyone who is over the age of 18 and would like to learn more about nutrition and physical activity can go online and self-refer to the programme at www.sportauckland.co.nz (Green Prescription tab) or call 0800 ACTIVE (0800 228 483). They can also of course ask their GP or Nurse for a referral.
Photo Caption: Arminder Singh with Sport Auckland’s Registered Dietitian Reishma Edward