Walking 300 miles in one month is an impressive feat, so it’s no surprise advisor Joe, nominated his client, Gurprit who achieved just that during our Move IT Month Challenge in April.  That’s more than 600,000 steps in four weeks!

Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes was Gurprit’s wake up call to address his unhealthy lifestyle.  One year later and after joining Livewell in July 2021, the 40-year-old scientist from Littleover has lost 8% of his body weight, transformed his sedentary behaviour and most importantly put his diabetes into remission.

A shocking warning

“25 May 2021 was the day everything changed.  My practice nurse told me I had type 2 diabetes which was a shock but explained why I had been feeling so poorly.  Like a lot of people, I’d got stuck in a rut and didn’t take proper care of myself – eating all the wrong things and doing barely any exercise.  I took a long hard look at myself in the mirror and saw how my excess weight was affecting my health.

At 39 I was determined not to become dependent on medication, so I researched the impact of lifestyle change on diabetes and the nurse put me in touch with Livewell for support to lose weight.

Building healthier habits

From my first appointment with advisor Joe, I felt motivated to change my mindset.  I joined the Facebook Group for peer support and recipe ideas and looked to that and the Livewell website for inspiring stories of other people who had transformed their lives – I enjoyed hearing their stories and felt if other people in Derby could lose weight during a pandemic, then maybe I could too. 

Nervous about going to the gym when Covid cases were still high, I tried the Livewell workouts on YouTube to exercise at home and I started walking. From a mile a day, I steadily increased my distance and relished the challenge of striding out for longer.  Virtual challenges opened a whole new world for me - I power walked legendary routes such as Machu Picchu, the Inca trail in Peru in my local area.  The rewards include medals and trees planted for every 20% of the route completed, which boosted my confidence and drove me to succeed. 

Eating a healthy, low carb diet is important for managing type 2 diabetes so I ditched the chocolate bars, biscuits and fatty takeaways and introduced home made stir fries and salads.  Before I’d tuck into two McDonalds a day and have a chocolate bar or biscuit with every cup of tea but by increasing vegetarian sources of protein such as tofu, lentils, beans and nuts at every meal, I felt fuller and didn’t need to reach for sweet treats. 

Bump in the road

Going back to the office full-time in February threw me off kilter.  My established routine working at home, which involved plenty of walking breaks and eating balanced meals, was difficult to maintain in the workplace. Tempting chocolates, buffet foods and lots of sitting in meetings meant the pounds started to creep back on.  It was gutting to see the scales moving in the wrong direction. 

Luckily Joe urged me to join Livewell’s Move IT Month challenge in April.  He suggested it might help to refocus me and he was right - the timing couldn’t have been better!  I aimed for the 100,000 step limit a week and walked at every opportunity. 

Healthy living for life

From that point on I haven’t looked back.  Walking is something I have to do now, a bit like breathing – colleagues smile when I get up to stretch and stroll around the meeting room.  I make time to head out every lunch time and force myself to finish on time when I can to walk after work too.  

Weekends are when I up my walking game. I aim to cover 18 miles each day over two walks and my longest distance so far in one go is 16 miles.  My next goal is to do 20 miles without stopping!  I enjoy walking around my local community and parks – it gives me some head space and time to reflect.

At work, I’m strong enough to refuse the office biscuits and I take my own fruit and lunch instead.  I still enjoy an occasional treat but instead of having a donut as a reward, I’ll do something else I enjoy like listening to music or chatting to a friend.

I’ve lost four stone so far and feel healthier than I have done for years.  My long-term aim is to lose another three and keep my diabetes in remission."

Advisor, Joe Wilkinson added:

"Gurprit is a great example of what you can achieve by simply walking more and demonstrates that exercise doesn’t have to be gym-based or make you feel uncomfortable. Tough periods happen for most people when trying to lose weight and that’s when Gurprit made the choice to have fortnightly or three-weekly contact by phone to keep him on track. I would urge all clients to do the same or use the drop-in weigh in sessions for extra support.  A massive well done, great achievement Gurprit - keep it up."

 Gurprit’s typical day of eating and exercise before and after his lifestyle changes.





2-3 slices of white toast with lots of jam and butter or McDonald’s breakfast

Porridge with yoghurt, seeds, nuts and a plum


McDonald’s with a large milkshake

Salad and soya chunks or other meat free alternative


Takeaway such as large pizza, veggie kebab

Thai/Indian restaurant meal if working late

Homemade stir fries – lots of vegetables and meat free protein


Chocolates – 4/5 bars a day (one with every cup of coffee/tea) biscuits, cookies, scones, donuts.



7000-8000 steps on a work-day

1000-2000 steps at a weekend

12,000-14,000 steps on a work-day

30,000-40,000 steps a day at the weekend