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I decided I need to take control of my own health

Alan decided to take better care of himself after a series of health problems including Type 2 diabetes.

I turned 69 on 2nd November. I think that I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes around 2002, and was advised to pay attention to my diet. I was also taking statins, for high cholesterol, and feel that this had a link with the diabetes. I also developed non allergic angioedema.

I was only marginally obese with a BMI of around 26. Weight was 13st 11lb at the peak with a waist size of 38ins. I was receiving regular check-ups for both diabetes and cholesterol from my GP. Because of the angioedema attacks, I had been taken off statins and a series of other anti-cholesterol drugs were tried. I decided that I needed to take control of my own health.

Last year when attending my GP for a regular check-up, I enquired if these was any other help available - exercise or gym classes. As mentioned I was marginally obese so the practice nurse referred me to a local health centre for a discussion. From there I was recommended to a 12-week food awareness course.

Most of this was common sense and my diet was not really that bad. However, it drew my attention to various things - calories in food, portion control and exercise. I then started to take more of an interest in food and began making soups, taking recipes from Enjoy Food on the Diabetes UK website and increased my walking.

Growing my own

I also grow a lot of salad vegetables and salad now forms a large part of my diet. Breakfast is always porridge, with the addition of blackberries or raspberries from the garden. I also started adding a good handful of mixed nuts, which I chop to very small pieces in the smoothie makers.

I set myself various small targets 13st, 12.5 stone etc with an ultimate target of 11st 4 lb. As weight started to drop so did my waist size, which has now reduced from 38 to 33/34. I advised my GP that I was stopping all cholesterol drugs and she tried to counsel me against this. I was then put onto quarterly reviews to monitor me more regularly.

Controlled weight loss has continued to my present level. I have now revised my weight target to 11st and am looking to achieve this by way of extra exercise. So far the exercise has all been of the aerobic type - walking. I received a set of dumbbells for my birthday yesterday as I am looking to add resistance exercises to the walking, I have also just restarted the Canadian Airforce exercises. I now eat what I like, just smaller portions. I check calories whenever possible as I like to limit my intake to no more than 2,500 calories per day, quite often it is a lot less than this.

Alan's words