I reversed my diabetes and ditched my meds after making two simple changes

WHEN Helen Rogers was at her heaviest, she was miserable and would often not leave her house for days on end.

The 56-year-old was 20st 8.5lbs, battling type 2 diabetes and says she had dieted for her 'whole adult life'.



Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of diabetes – accounting for between 85 and 95 per cent of all cases, according to Diabetes UK.

It develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin.

It can also be triggered when the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly.

Helen, who lives in Birmingham said: "Back in 2018 I had uncontrolled diabetes and was under threat of having to take insulin.

"I was taking nine tablets a day; six were to manage the diabetes, two were for my blood pressure and one statin."

Helen joined Slimming World in March 2018 after she says she slipped into 'bad habits'.

She explained: "I worked from home for 25 years and sometimes I didn’t leave my house for days on end. Before joining Slimming World, I wouldn’t think about what I was eating at all.

"As I was always jumping on calls, I usually just grabbed quick food like toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch (with crisps) and then I’d have a cooked meal for tea. 

"If I did ever have salad or chips, I’d have more bread with it too and although I didn’t ever eat fried food or takeaways or sweet foods or chocolate, I enjoyed many savoury snacks like crisps, nuts, crumpets and crackers.

“Soon after joining Slimming World, I lost 2 stone. Having retired aged 53 in March 2019 (after 35 years working for BT) I was going out socialising and eating at restaurants all the time.

"I used to think that was why I was so slow at losing the next stone", Helen said.

In March 2020 the coronavirus had started to spread across the UK and therefore Helen was unable to go out at much.

She explains how she struggled at the start of lockdown with her food and said she has a 'lightbulb moment'.

I’m off all my diabetes medication and have dropped from taking nine tablets a day to just two

"I realised that it was now down to me. I could no longer blame my social life", she said.

Since joining Slimming World, Helen has lost a whopping 8st after making two simple changes to her lifestyle – meal planning and exercise.

She has also reversed her type 2 diabetes and no longer has to take medication.

"Losing 8st has changed my life. I had blood tests this month and the results are already back.  It looks like my latest diabetes blood results are ‘41’ which means my diabetes is now in remission.

"I’m super chuffed and I feel fantastic.  My cholesterol looks good too. I still take one tablet for my blood pressure and another for my cholesterol but I’m off all my diabetes medication and have dropped from taking nine tablets a day to just two.”

Helen’s simple meal swaps that helped her shed 8st

Helen Rogers was 20st 8.5lbs when she joined Slimming World and lost 8st 1lb and is now at 12st 7.5lb.

Here's what Helen made swaps for to help her on her weight loss journey.

BEFORE

Breakfast: Toast spread thickly with butter 

Lunch: Ham, cheese or tuna sandwich (granary bread spread with butter) & crisps

Dinner: Cooked roast dinner with gravy or chicken & frozen chips, sliced bread and butter

Snacks: anything really – crisps, salted nuts, crackers

AFTER

Breakfast: Fruit and yoghurt or eggs

Lunch: Pitta or bagel thin with low fat sausages or meat and salad with bulgar wheat mix

Dinner: Slimming World sweet chilli chicken with lots of vegetables, spinach and/or salad

Snacks: Corn cakes, low fat crisps, high fibre bar, fish sticks, boiled eggs, ham, fruit or a Babybel light

A study from Slimming World shows that those who had been Slimming World members for six months or more and lost at least 10 per cent of their body weight, more than half (54 per cent) said they had reversed their type 2 diabetes.

Three quarters also saw improvements in their blood glucose management and two thirds were able to reduce or stop taking medication. 

Helen said she has enjoyed the flexibility the plan she is on offers and said it's easy to plan meals.

She said: "When I do eat out now I try and plan ahead to see what I can have and I also typically stick to just a main course rather than having a starter too.

"Also, if I know I’m going to be out for lunchtime, I will often take something with me (like a filled pitta) and just buy a drink somewhere and eat my own meal"

She added that the group support she receives each week from her local club helps her feel supported.

"I also like that it helps you focus on what the week ahead has in store and how best to factor in any potential ‘danger’ meals or events", she added.

GET YOUR STEPS IN

While meal planning has helped Helen, she also championed her daily walks for helping her shed the weight.

She said: "From being someone who used to avoid doing any exercise at all, I now walk 10-14K steps a day and go out of my way to walk to places I used to always drive to.

"I have so much more energy, I’ve even joined a gym! I’m able to get up and down the stairs a lot easier and as I’m now a size 14/16 (compared to a size 26/28 previously), it’s also far easier to buy clothes.

“I’m delighted that I’m healthier having lost weight and I’m especially glad I managed to reverse the diabetes.

"I’ve recently successfully applied for a new part-time job as an exam invigilator at my old senior school; previously I did not have had the enthusiasm or motivation to even look for a new role so I’m definitely looking forward to starting this new chapter of my life in the New Year.”

Dr Jacquie Lavin said the improvements Helen has made to her health are incredible. 

"Our research has shown that a fifth (22 per cent) of members participating in the study with type 2 diabetes were able to stop taking medication completely and 85 per cent said they were more active."

Angie Griffin runs the Water Orton Slimming World group and is Helen’s Slimming World Consultant. 

She added: “Helen is a real inspiration.  I think the reality of Helen’s achievements is now starting to sink in for her. 

"It’s incredible she has lost 8 stone, reversed her type 2 diabetes and reduced all her medication! To see Helen 'really' smiling is wonderful. She is funny, caring, encouraging and so much more – I’m so proud of her!”



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