Healthy Goals helps woman overhaul her health

Jashoda Patel says she feels better than ever as she approaches 70.png

A woman from Leicester who feels “on top of the world” following her own personal health drive is sharing her story to mark Diabetes Week.

 Jashoda Patel was inspired to change her lifestyle by a city-wide campaign to raise awareness of and prevent type 2 diabetes.

 Soon to be 70, she has been taking part in a diet and exercise programme called Healthy Goals, which is part of the Leicester Changing Diabetes programme. 

The mother of two who lives on Uppingham Road in Leicester said: “Losing my husband was very hard and I became very down. I was on my own and I used food to comfort me. I began to gain weight and 10 years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My depression got worse after my diagnosis and I tried to diet, but nothing worked. My health started to decline but I didn’t know how to change this.”

 It was only after visiting her GP last year, who suggested she made some lifestyle changes, that Jashoda was inspired to join Healthy Goals, an all-female group 12-week activity and lifestyle programme which was run by coaches from Leicester City Football Club Community Trust.

 Jashoda added: “Joining Healthy Goals was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve made some new friends, but it’s the motivation that everyone gives that has worked for me. I’ve lost weight and as I feel on top of the world, which is not how I thought I’d feel as I approach the grand old age of 70.”

 Healthy Goals is just one initiative which has been launched by the Leicester Changing Diabetes programme, a city-wide campaign to reduce type 2 diabetes rates, in collaboration with the Centre for BME Healt in Leicester

 Dr Deirdre Harrington, academic lead for Leicester Changing Diabetes, of the University of Leicester, said: “We know that exercise plays a large part of preventing or managing type 2 diabetes, which is why we wanted to launch an-all female activity and lifestyle group.

“The Healthy Goals programme gives attendees the chance to participate in some gentle exercise, develop skills to make healthy lifestyle changes and meet new people. We’ve overseen two different groups so far and feedback has been so positive that we’re currently recruiting more people for a third round of the initiative.”

 As part of the campaign, Leicester Changing Diabetes has launched a series of programmes in a bid to drive down type 2 diabetes rates across the city and raise awareness of the condition.

Its Walking Cricket sessions have been particularly popular with the over 50s and the team have also carried out several diabetes screening events, with the next one being at Bradgate Bakery for staff later this month.

Leicester Changing Diabetes is a partnership programme with Novo Nordisk and the Leicester Diabetes Centre based at Leicester General Hospital. The global initiative Cities Changing Diabetes was created by pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk and was launched in response to the dramatic rise of diabetes within urban areas.  

 The Leicester Diabetes Centre – a partnership and collaboration between the Leicester’s Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Leicester – is an international Centre of Excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation and is led by Professor Melanie Davies CBE and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.

The next Healthy Goals programme on Saturday, June 23. To sign up or to find out more information, email Sundeep Rohit on sunny.rohit@leicester.ac.uk or call 0116 258 8964.

Fiona Bailey