Published 28 april 2019

How a healthier lifestyle helped DRWF supporter Stewart Wells, of Blisworth, Northamptonshire, reverse his condition.

In 2016, at the age of 64 and weighing more than 19 stone, I decided enough was enough. If I did not change my lifestyle, I was faced with increasing problems related to my diabetes, including being very lethargic and getting less able to cope in old age.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2005 and prescribed metformin and over time, following a gradual deterioration, additional medication was added to my prescription.

Diets had always been a problem for me and whichever one was chosen I ended up putting more weight on than I lost. I wanted to eat “my food,” so I decided to adopt a 1,500 calorie a day diet. I could eat anything I wished but only up to that limit. For example, if I wanted fish and chips at 1,200 calories I would limit myself to a low calorie breakfast, have no lunch and have fish and chips in the evening as a main meal. I also included a non-alcohol policy and kept a food diary. From March to June, my weight dropped to 16.6 stone. To continue losing weight I increased my daily calorie intake to 2,500 and added two gym sessions per week, in addition to aqua aerobics three times a week, dog walking and dancing (as an avid rock and roll fan). By September my weight was down to 14.5 stone and I was eating well!

My body fat percentage had dropped to 16.9 and a check-up with my doctor showed a drastic improvement in HbA1c levels - at 44, way below the “diabetes” level. I was over the moon - this meant no more medication. The task was completed but what surprised me was the other benefits that I gained, including: being less tired, less snoring (much to the delight of my wife), my manners have improved, and my dancing has improved. There was one downside - the cost of a new wardrobe!

I am very proud of what has been achieved and I know that my family are too. I want to thank my wife Gill for all the support she has given me. I would not have achieved it without her. To other people with type 2 diabetes I recommend taking the plunge - and change your lifestyle. Diets can still include curries and fish and chips - but remember to keep to your calorie targets. Keep a diary - it’s a must. It not only controls your intake but you start to educate yourself on each item of your diet.

Type 2 diabetes can be beaten and there are real benefits to both yourself and your family.