“I’m Making Healthier Choices by myself”
Meet Nicci – one of our fabulous participants who is smashing her goals! Nicci is the perfect example of how learning about healthy lifestyle choices and how to implement them in a day-to-day routine can positively affect general health and wellbeing. Nicci works with myself, Amanda (dietitian), and our exercise physiologist, Bianca, and is proof that the collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to health works!
Nicci has Down Syndrome and lives in a group home. She receives daily support from staff with activities of daily living but is motivated to become more independent and take her health into her own hands! I interviewed Nicci in February 2020, who kindly shared some of her thoughts and experiences since starting with Active Ability…
Could you tell our readers about your goals for your health and wellbeing and how you’ve achieved them?
Biggest goal is to lose weight and I have lost a bunch of weight – about 8 kg! Another goal is learning how to lose weight by myself.
How do you feel about your weight loss?
Do you enjoy learning about nutrition?
Yes! A favourite thing that I have learnt is having decent portions at night-time meals. I would definitely like to try [learning about making] breakfast smoothies in future.
Does seeing a dietitian help you to make healthier choices? Do you feel like you have become more independent in choosing healthier options for yourself?
Yes it does. She’s also a “rock-chick”. I’m making healthier choices by myself. At the café I’m now [only] having an iced coffee instead of a drink plus and two baked snacks [e.g. muffins & croissants]. I have also learnt about portion sizes at dinner.
Let’s talk about exercise. Have you been enjoying exercise with our exercise physiologists?
Yes – definitely enjoying different exercises with Bianca. I have definitely been smashing things [with exercise]; I do Zumba, swimming, exercise program with Bianca and dancing.
Do you think since working with exercise physiologists you’ve become more active in day-to-day life?
Definitely, and [I have] not been so down on myself, either.
Do you like working with a dietitian and exercise physiologist at the same time?
Nicci in action – completing her home-based exercises
It can be very difficult for a person with an intellectual disability to become independent with their dietary choices and healthful behaviours but they should never be underestimated! Nicci’s journey shows just how far she has come in understanding portion control, choosing healthier options when in the community and in participating in more activity in day to day life. This has translated to significant weight loss and improved independence in these areas for Nicci!
Healthful behaviours are often associated, meaning people with healthy diets often have healthier activity levels as well. The combined approach of dietetic consults and exercise physiology looks at health and wellbeing holistically and translates to real NDIS goals being met.
Written by Amanda Eldridge (APD)
Contact us today for more information about how our dietitians and exercise physiologists (or both) can help you!