Diet

In October 2009 I started having a few health scares; continued tiredness, a lack of sleep and too many visits to the bathroom.  Combined with the fact that I was overweight I had a feeling what was wrong, so I booked an appointment with my doctor.  I went to see him and, after hearing my symptoms, he booked me in for a blood test and put me on the scales.  After the initial message of “one at a time please!” my weight was confirmed at an appalling 24 stone.  A few days later I had the blood test and then after more sleepless nights, I returned to see my doctor for the results.

November 2009

I sat there waiting for the inevitable as he slowly went through the results; cholesterol normal (big shock there!), blood pressure normal (another surprise), blood count normal.  Finally he got the big one, blood sugar level; my last 2 blood tests during the previous 3 years had been 5.6 and the 6.9, still looking at the computer screen my doctor said “blood sugar level is 12!”  Although, I had already guessed I was diabetic I was shocked and my shock quickly turned to pain and, aged 44, I sat there and cried!

Why was I shocked?  I was overweight and eating like mad and was wearing size 54 inch waist trousers and size 21½ inch collar shirts.  If eating was a sport I would have been in the Great Britain team at every Olympic Games.

Once the tears had gone the doctor asked me if I wanted tablets or diet so, not wanting to become hooked on pills, I answered diet.  After giving a look of “haven’t we been here before?” he asked if I wanted any help.  I said “yes please” and yes we had been there before, 3 previous diets between the age of 18 and 35.  Another appointment was made for me to see the Sister for help, so off I went with my wife, Debbie, so that she would be involved all the way with both buying the shopping and preparing the meals.

Back to the doctor’s surgery I went, this time to see the Sister.  When I went in I told her I was diabetic and, as she’d known me since I was 15 and had treated me previously, her answer was an unsympathetic “I’m not surprised!”  She then asked if I would be interested in seeing a Lifestyle Coach that regularly visited the surgery.  As I had seen a dietician a few years before and it had been a success I gladly accepted the offer.  When I was 28 I was 18 stone and with the help of a dietician at St Editha’s hospital I lost 6 stone.  Unfortunately as had been always been my problem, when I put my mid to it I loose weight but then loose focus and put it back on.

  • 1983 age 18 – 12 stone 10 lbs to 10 stone 12 lbs in 2 months
  • 1993 age 27 – 18 stone to 12 stone in 6 months
  • 1999 age 34 – 20 stone to 16 stone in 5 months

So, in December 2009 age 44 and weighing 24 stone, I had my first appointment with Carol, the Lifestyle Coach.  I didn’t go alone; Debbie joined me as she also had an issue with her weight.  We were both weighed and measured and then came the questions;

  • how much fruit did I eat – easy answer none
  • how much exercise a week did I do – walking up and down the stairs, to and from the car and around the shops
  • how many sweets, biscuits, cakes and crisps were eaten each week – before I was diagnosed diabetic loads, in the month since I was told I was diabetic 2 bars of chocolate then nothing
  • what did we drink – full fat fizzy pop was the answer.  The 4 of us, me Debbie and our 2 daughters, were drinking between 8 and 16 litres of fizzy cola a week

When the questions were all answered Carol told us both we had to complete a food diary, listing every single thing we ate and drank.  We were also told it was not a diet but a complete change of lifestyle that was required.  No quick fix, loose weight then go back to the bad old ways.

The task began, it was very hard but we were both determined to succeed.  Every day we wrote down everything we ate and drank.  The first change was to start buying fruit and squash and we started reducing the amount of fizzy pop we brought and drank.

The first big test came a few weeks after our first visit to see Carol, Christmas arrived the time to eat, drink and be merry.  I told Carol I would be very happy if my weight did not change as I doubted I would loose any over the festive season.  For years this time had been an excuse for me to blow out, sit there Christmas morning opening the presents and eating loads of chocolates.  Come lunch time, the plate would be piled high with food, cleared and then sent back for seconds and thirds so I declared Christmas 2009 would be different.  The big day came and I unwrapped my large bar of chocolate, brought before I was diagnosed diabetic, I didn’t open it I gave it to my daughters to share, something I would never had done before as I would have demolished it alone.  Then came lunch time and this time a sensible amount of food was put on my plate and, when I finished, I did not ask for seconds.

This sensible eating and drinking continued throughout Christmas and New Year and then came time for our next appointment with Carol and, surprise surprise, when we were both weighed we had both lost 4 lbs each. A month later in February I had my first blood test since the diabetes was diagnosed and, when the results came back, my blood sugar was down from 12 to 9.

My next big challenge came at the beginning of June when I volunteered to walk around Walsall Arboretum.  When I arrived there I was informed each lap was 3 miles long, so I said I would complete 1 lap then go home.  At the end of the 1st lap I felt great, so I went for it and I completed the full 3 laps, or more importantly I walked 9 miles without stopping, a first for many many years.

In October 2009 I started having a few health scares; continued tiredness, a lack of sleep and too many visits to the bathroom.  Combined with the fact that I was overweight I had a feeling what was wrong, so I booked an appointment with my doctor.  I went to see him and, after hearing my symptoms, he booked me in for a blood teat and put me on the scales.  After the initial message of “one at a time please!” my weight was confirmed at an appalling 24 stone.  A few days later I had the blood test and then after more sleepless nights, I returned to see my doctor for the results.

I sat there waiting for the inevitable as he slowly went through the results; cholesterol normal (big shock there!), blood pressure normal (another surprise), blood count normal.  Finally he got the big one, blood sugar level; my last 2 blood tests during the previous 3 years had been 5.6 and the 6.9, still looking at the computer screen my doctor said “blood sugar level is 12!”  Although, I had already guessed I was diabetic I was shocked and my shock quickly turned to pain and, aged 44, I sat there and cried!

Why was I shocked?  I was overweight and eating like mad and was wearing size 54 inch waist trousers and size 21½ inch collar shirts.  If eating was a sport I would have been in the Great Britain team at every Olympic Games.

Once the tears had gone the doctor asked me if I wanted tablets or diet so, not wanting to become hooked on pills, I answered diet.  After giving a look of “haven’t we been here before?” he asked if I wanted any help.  I said “yes please” and yes we had been there before, 3 previous diets between the age of 18 and 35.  Another appointment was made for me to see the Sister for help, so off I went with my wife, Debbie, so that she would be involved all the way with both buying the shopping and preparing the meals.

Back to the doctor’s surgery I went, this time to see the Sister.  When I went in I told her I was diabetic and, as she’d known me since I was 15 and had treated me previously, her answer was an unsympathetic “I’m not surprised!”  She then asked if I would be interested in seeing a Lifestyle Coach that regularly visited the surgery.  As I had seen a dietician a few years before and it had been a success I gladly accepted the offer.  When I was 28 I was 18 stone and with the help of a dietician at St Editha’s hospital I lost 6 stone.  Unfortunately as had been always been my problem, when I put my mid to it I loose weight but then loose focus and put it back on.

  • 1983 age 18 – 12 stone 10 lbs to 10 stone 12 lbs in 2 months
  • 1993 age 27 – 18 stone to 12 stone in 6 months
  • 1999 age 34 – 20 stone to 16 stone in 5 months

So, in December 2009 age 44 and weighing 24 stone, I had my first appointment with Carol, the Lifestyle Coach.  I didn’t go alone; Debbie joined me as she also had an issue with her weight.  We were both weighed and measured and then came the questions;

  • how much fruit did I eat – easy answer none
  • how much exercise a week did I do – walking up and down the stairs, to and from the car and around the shops
  • how many sweets, biscuits, cakes and crisps were eaten each week – before I was diagnosed diabetic loads, in the month since I was told I was diabetic 2 bars of chocolate then nothing
  • what did we drink – full fat fizzy pop was the answer.  The 4 of us, me Debbie and our 2 daughters, were drinking between 8 and 16 litres of fizzy cola a week

When the questions were all answered Carol told us both we had to complete a food diary, listing every single thing we ate and drank.  We were also told it was not a diet but a complete change of lifestyle that was required.  No quick fix, loose weight then go back to the bad old ways.

The task began, it was very hard but we were both determined to succeed.  Every day we wrote down everything we ate and drank.  The first change was to start buying fruit and squash and we started reducing the amount of fizzy pop we brought and drank.

The first big test came a few weeks after our first visit to see Carol, Christmas arrived the time to eat, drink and be merry.  I told Carol I would be very happy if my weight did not change as I doubted I would loose any over the festive season.  For years this time had been an excuse for me to blow out, sit there Christmas morning opening the presents and eating loads of chocolates.  Come lunch time, the plate would be piled high with food, cleared and then sent back for seconds and thirds so I declared Christmas 2009 would be different.  The big day came and I unwrapped my large bar of chocolate, brought before I was diagnosed diabetic, I didn’t open it I gave it to my daughters to share, something I would never had done before as I would have demolished it alone.  Then came lunch time and this time a sensible amount of food was put on my plate and, when I finished, I did not ask for seconds.

This sensible eating and drinking continued throughout Christmas and New Year and then came time for our next appointment with Carol and, surprise surprise, when we were both weighed we had both lost 4 lbs each. A month later in February I had my first blood test since the diabetes was diagnosed and, when the results came back, my blood sugar was down from 12 to 9.

My next big challenge came at the beginning of June when I volunteered to walk around Walsall Arboretum.  When I arrived there I was informed each lap was 3 miles long, so I said I would complete 1 lap then go home.  At the end of the 1st lap I felt great, so I went for it and I completed the full 3 laps, or more importantly I walked 9 miles without stopping, a first for many many years.

Walsall Arboretum – June 2010

June was also time for our six month check up with Carol, since first seeing Carol we had both changed what we eat and drink, the way we eat and even started exercising.  We were both weighed and the results were 5½ stone lost for me and 3 stone lost by Debbie and also a big reduction in the size of clothing.  I went from size 54 trousers to size 42 and 21½ collar to 18½ and Debbie had gone from size 24 to 18.

July 2010

July 2010

The weight loss has slowed down since July caused by 2 family bereavements but having now lost over 9 stone between us, we are determined to continue the weight reduction and have invested in a pair bicycles.

Decmber 2010

As Carol said when we first met her, it is not just a diet it is a complete lifestyle change.

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