I was Type 2. My lifestyle was really hectic at work and I ate irregularly and unhealthfully. I was at my heaviest at 18 stones [252 lb]. But then I got really ill and later found out that I was close to slipping into a diabetic coma, which is when I had to go in to hospital for three days to receive intravenous insulin. Actually, when I got ill I was thinner than normal but was getting heavy before the hospital incident. I remember it differently. However, just by making tiny modifications to my diet, doing HIIT [high-intensity interval training], and controlling stress at work, I became healthy.

Bringing my weight down without dieting helped me reverse my condition. I cut out sugar in my teas and coffees. I drastically reduced my gluten intake, including wheat. I discovered high-intensity [interval training] mainly because I didn’t have the time to go to the gym and do long workouts. And finally I cut down my stress at work and learned to say no. This was the biggest mental change I came to when I was in hospital. I had no goals other than to fit in my clothes better. I now have a relatively new wardrobe for little expense.

I currently still reduce my gluten and sugar intake but I do indulge in cakes and stuff (my not-so-guilty pleasure); but I am again mindful, not obsessive. I am down to 15.5 stones [217 lb]. I was never meant to be Twiggy (famous UK model in the ’60s known for being thin). Drinking black coffee in moderation helps. I also use more cinnamon in my diet, typically with natural yogurt sweetened with added honey, which is often my dessert. But I can assure you I’m not doing the equivalent of extolling the virtues of a fitness DVD by having secretly had liposuction and all-over-body plastic surgery. <LOL>

My major challenges are being mindful of what I eat. I cannot cut out sugar and gluten completely from my diet, but I can be mindful of how much I eat and when. I now listen to my body more closely when I am overindulging. Too much wheat or gluten and I bloat. I still check my blood sugars from time to time especially if I have (over)indulged.

The take-home message for me is: enjoy food but make small changes and be mindful and don’t be too harsh on yourself!

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Ornette D Clennon