In the years 2008 to 2009 I was ‘unknowingly’ suffering from many of the symptoms of Insulin resistance such as fatigue, lack of concentration, inability to focus, glaucoma and always feeling and looking bloated. I began to gain weight, but due to feeling sleepy, especially after meals, I found it difficult to lose weight through exercise. I’d tell others “I was trying”, but the truth was that I was quickly losing my mobility and the 5 minute walk to my local gym was difficult enough to deter me from any meaningful exercise or activities.
Early 2010, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. My doctor vaguely explained the problem and told me that losing 15% of my body weight would help me to avoid becoming insulin dependent. Due to watching a close relative go through a similar trauma which (over a 15 year period) led to his demise, I was devastated by my diagnosis! It felt like I had been told exactly what would kill me.
I searched the internet for help and advice. It was a mine of information. Much of that info was misleading, insignificant or sales jargon. I also phoned a friend - Jools Chaffer who heads a local charitable organisation ‘dizzy’ / Support for Diabetes. Jools sent me some information and urged me to visit him and his wife Jane to gain further support. He assured me that he could help. For reasons I can’t explain, I continued along the road of self destruction for a further two years reaching 23 stone in weight and a 52 inch waistline. I was unable to walk much further than 500 yards without stopping for a while to rest to reduce the excruciating pain in my back and hips. I began shopping on-line and having my groceries delivered because I couldn’t manage walk along the aisles in the supermarket even with a trolley to lean on!
Over the next couple of years I had visited the doctor a couple of times, told things were getting worse and was put on medication to help lower my blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of further damage to my vital organs. I eventually posted a message of discontent on a social media site. It was a message of discontent for the health service and my own inability to deal with the effects of diabetes. Many of my friends obviously saw this as a cry for help and several responded with “Speak to Jools Chaffer” or “Contact Dizzy”. I heeded their advice and visited dizzy: Support for Diabetes. The advice and support I received has not only changed my life but possibly saved my life!
Jools explained the symptoms and effects that I had been experiencing and gave me several books on nutrition, recipes and portion sizes. He took time to describe how my body reacts to food intake, its inability to deal with blood sugar and advised me on how I could begin gentle exercise to regain mobility. He suggested I avoid “Fad” diets and develop a healthy way of life which would lead to sustainable weight loss and reduce the symptoms and effects of this insidious disease. I found Jools to be a caring and enthusiastic believer in his plight to help people with diabetes.
I was invited to a food awareness seminar presented by Jane Chaffer. I gained more knowledge on nutrition and health conscious eating. Dieting didn’t come into it. I was being taught a lifestyle to combat the symptoms of my illness. The ensuing results can only be described as remarkable.
In the first week to ten days I lost a stone in weight. The suit I had bought the previous month no longer fitted me. The weight loss continued at an amazing rate – “I shed 5 stone in 4 months”. I continued to seek advise, guidance and reassurance from Jools and Jane. My 15 minute walks each day became 30 and 40 minute walks; the symptoms of diabetes were becoming tolerable; it felt like I had been given a new lease on life! Each step of the way to recovery, I have sought advice from Jools and he has guided me through gentle exercise routines; educating me on the pro’s and con’s increasing my activities.
I am 56 years old. I have been leading this new lifestyle for almost 7 months and have lost almost 7 stone in weight and over 12 inches off my waistline. I have now taken up a new hobby of cycling. I ride 10 miles at least 3 days per week. I ride 25 to 30 miles most Sundays. I started revisiting my local leisure centre (I walk there) for a swim and have even spent an hour in the gymnasium on several occasions. My blood sugar levels have reduced significantly to a safe and almost normal level; I no longer require medication because my diabetes is now completely controlled by “lifestyle”.
The team at dizzy: Support for Diabetes has shown me a way to live with diabetes rather than die from it! I take pride in my achievement but equally and wholeheartedly give thanks to Jools, Jane and all the team for all their support.
Steve Green 20/09/12
I am 47 years of age and have had Diabetes all my life. I have never really had alot of help, advice or someone to talk to that can relate to what I am going through. 2-3 years ago dizzy opened in my local area, dizzy gives support to those who are living with Diabetes, the staff are all very friendly and I have found them all very helpful.
I would like to say thank you to Jools, I am very grateful for how he has helped me hugely and has now become a very good friend. He has been there and helped me with my general health and also been there personally through the bad times.
dizzy being around in the community are helping thousands of people who are living with Diabetes, like myself. It has been nice, very useful and I would recommend everyone to go to dizzy. They have made my life a lot easier and I have also gained a friend too.
Mr. Aidrian Linnington