It's time to make the change


This month we sat down with one of our Healthy U subscribers who has turned his health around. Nigel Armour, 39, from the Sunshine Coast was your average husband and father of three. Occasionally nicknamed "telly tubby" by his family, Nigel exercised here and there and ate whatever and whenever he felt like it. But a recent health scare and a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, convinced Nigel to bite the bullet and change his lifestyle for the better.


"If I knew then what I know now, I would have changed my ways years ago and most likely not have developed type 2 diabetes."


"I think people tend to know what they are doing wrong and have some idea of how to improve their lifestyle, the hardest part is taking the first step and making changes… and then of course sticking to it,'' Nigel said.


He went from eating large amounts of junk food, skipping meals and barely exercising, to finding healthy meals the whole family enjoys and making exercise a family event.


"I didn't want to be told I couldn't have or do something, but then I had the wakeup call of my life and I wanted to take control," he said. These days Nigel has prioritised breakfast, reduced his intake of junk foods, cut out late night snacks, reduced his portion sizes and increased his fruit and vegetable intake.


"Previously my idea of interaction with my three sons was playing the Wii or watching a movie with them," Nigel said. "Now I love exercising with them, whether it be taekwondo a few nights a week, going for runs, swimming at the beach or bike riding. It doesn't really matter what it is, as long as it is movement. Some of these things I hadn't done in nearly 20 years."


Nigel says it wasn't easy making these changes but it has definitely been worth it. He found it hard knowing what and when to eat and struggled to mix his meals up to avoid boredom. "I didn't stop eating things I enjoy, I just don't eat them every day and in large amounts. I am now in control," he said.


When it came to physical activity Nigel was a little too self-conscious for the gym.  "I pulled out the treadmill I had mothballed years ago and started walking. Consistency was my focus. Using the treadmill was great to start, but I can only look at a wall for so long, so with a little bit of confidence from my weight loss, I took my exercise regime outside and continued to broaden it over time and then involve the family," he said.


Along his journey Nigel had regular check-ups with his GP. His weight loss has hit the 20 kilogram mark, his blood glucose levels have improved significantly and he is still amazed at his increased levels of energy and overall mood and happiness. On top of this he says he feels more relaxed, his body is stronger and more toned, his interaction with his children has greatly improved and his wife is a lot happier too!


"If I knew then what I know now, I would have changed my ways years ago and most likely not have developed type 2 diabetes. Changing your lifestyle is difficult and requires effort and determination," he said. "Remember you are not alone and to ask for help from family, friends and health professionals. There will always be bumps in the road, so deal with them as they come and move on and if you put effort in, you will reap from the benefits."


Diabetes Queensland congratulates Nigel on the amazing changes he made to his diet and exercise regime and his health outcomes clearly speak for themselves. Well done!