Naeem's experience with Counterweight Plus
Naeem is a 38-year-old cab driver from Hackney, London. He completed the Counterweight-Plus programme through NHS Homerton at the Hackney Diabetes Centre.
|Blood pressure (mm/Hg)||155/13||135/90|
|Fasting blood glucose (mmol/L)||9.8||4.7|
Getting started with Counterweight-Plus
After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2018, Naeem’s GP invited him to attend an information session about living with type 2 diabetes. While waiting in the reception area at the information session, he happened to pick up a brochure about the Counterweight-Plus programme being run at the Hackney Diabetes Centre in Homerton. “Being newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I thought to myself I would give it a go.” His main motivation for starting the programme was a desire to achieve type 2 diabetes remission. Naeem was able to put his type 2 diabetes into remission and he has maintained his remission to this day!
Despite his enthusiasm to start the programme, Naeem had a few hesitations. “I was questioning whether I would get the support I needed and whether I would need to adjust my day-to-day life to accommodate the programme”. When asked how he was able to manage his concerns, Naeem highlighted that he received encouragement and support from his dietitian from day one of the programme, helping him to stay motivated and keep on track. As can be expected, Naeem faced a few challenges during the total diet replacement stage of the programme. “As a cab driver who is out for 12 hours a day, it was difficult for me to prepare shakes on the go”. Naeem identified that forward planning with his dietitian was key in being able to identify solutions to his challenges. Another challenge that Naeem identified was that he missed having variety in his diet. Luckily, we have a number of strategies to enhance the shakes and soups to help people avoid getting tired of the same flavours. “Having the same meals every day can get boring, but adding chilli powder or pepper to the soups was a big help”.
Motivation to keep going
After achieving diabetes remission early in the programme, Naeem found that his motivation to keep going came from the friendships he made with his dietitian and other individuals completing the programme with him at the Hackney Diabetes Centre. “After achieving remission, my biggest motivation came from the dietitian and the group, many of which I am still in contact with today”. Naeem says that seeing everyone’s progress with their weight loss and diabetes results gave them all a sense of pride in each other.
Reflecting on where he is now
With the long term support of his dietitian and fellow group members, Naeem has maintained his weight loss and kept his type 2 diabetes in remission. “Before losing weight, I was often unable to walk more than 5 meters without feeling out of breath and needing to sit down”. Now having lost 32kg, Naeem feels that he has regained his mobility and his freedom. He is now able to walk short commutes that he previously would have driven, he attends the gym regularly and he has even managed to run a half-marathon on the treadmill! Thanks to the Counterweight-Plus programme, Naeem has gained a good understanding of energy balance and how to implement regular exercise, enabling him to keep his weight off long term. Naeem says that anyone who is looking to lose weight and manage their type 2 diabetes should consider Counterweight-Plus. “It’s not a quick fix, it’s a long term commitment to ensure that you stay happy and healthy. You have a short life so make the most of it.”