As regular readers will know, 2014 was a bit of a life-changing year for me. Following some serious health issues, I was in a pretty bad place both emotionally and physically. My health had been rubbish for months – years probably. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and it felt like the life that had once been so full of opportunities and potential had narrowed to a gloomy place filled with an uncomfortable, unresponsive body and a narrowing outlook ahead…
My lovely Diabetes Nurse told me quite forcefully that I should take a long slow look at a mildly depressing future – we could slow things down with drugs and diets, but at the end of the day I was facing a life injecting insulin somewhere in my future.
I was furious and frustrated, but she was utterly dismissive when I suggested that I might be able to do something to help myself… which actually turned out to be exactly what I needed to grit my teeth and set myself a goal to prove her wrong.
It had somehow slipped my attention that I had managed to move from my ‘solidly-built‘ youth to ‘properly obese‘ in my 40’s; I now had at least an embarrassing 7 stone to lose. I knew it wasn’t going to be fast or easy, and it honestly felt a bit like an enormously insurmountable hill to climb. But I knew I had to start somewhere.
And I just knew that with a little grit and determination it was possible; even if I couldn’t cure the diabetes, I could only feel better by getting slimmer and fitter.
So first I walked. Once, then twice a day. Then I cycled. Eventually I ran. I didn’t diet (I love my food too much!). But I did make better choices. I watched my portions, cut the junk and just tried to choose the healthier option.
And as the weight dropped away, my health began to return by the magical bucketload…
Just nine months later, in November last year, my GP declared I was no longer diabetic.
I had actually lost the seven stone, and no longer needed daily doses of metformin – and along the way I’d cured my IBS, my perpetual joint issues, my back pain and entirely refound my life again! You can see a longer, fuller story of the life changes that happened along the journey story here.
Needing a new target to keep moving forwards, I joined the local gym (so far I had worked entirely alone, creaking away on a cross-trainer and exercise bike, too embarrassed to heave my bulk out in public…), where the scarily amazing Pete Roper The OffRoad Running Guru who suggested that I might really ‘enjoy’ training for, and then completing, THE BEAST – Poole Athletic Club’s punishing 14 mile multi-terrain event around the Dorset coastline.
While I’m not sure ‘enjoy’ is the word I’d use, I was definitely in need of a new challenge, and this seems like a great way raise some money for Diabetes UK to spread awareness. I have a new ‘enormously insurmountable hill to climb’ (actually, a lot more than one, looking at the course). Looking back at that top photo, and the person I was such a short time ago, it almost feels like a silly task to contemplate. But once again, with a little grit and determination I know it is possible.
Type 2 Diabetes IS manageable – and even reversible – if you can be helped and supported into making some life changes. And that’s why I’m over-sharing all of this with you. I’d love it if you could support in any way you can – and thanks for just taking the time to read this far :)
My JustGiving page is here (or click the image below) – if you could spare even £1 for DiabetesUk to help more people like me, that would be fabulous.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity.
Thanks for all your support and kind words over the last 18mths – each and every one has meant more than you could know.