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Michael’s story: How a change in mindset helped me achieve type 2 remission

Man seen from the back is walking along a sandy beach. The sky is blue.


On New Year’s Eve 2022 I had a wake-up call and decided I needed to make changes. I started to lose weight by exercising and following a healthier diet.



In 2015, when I was in my late forties, I had a stroke. From then on, I attended the local wellman clinic for a blood test. This is where, four years ago, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
At the time there were a number of factors that could be responsible for my diagnosis. The main one being that I was overweight. However, I had been a strongman contestant doing competitions like Britain’s Strongest Man, an annual event held in the UK. My weight then was 21 stone, so a bit on the heavy side but I was also very fit with it. 
The advice given to me was to try and lose some weight. However, me being me, I didn’t really take that onboard. I did make some changes to my eating habits, but I was still eating a lot of carbohydrates and gaining weight.



In August 2022, my blood test showed that my HbA1c was 60mmol/mol and the doctor felt my diet was not working. To be honest though, I wasn’t really doing the diet properly. The decision was made that I would be put on metformin, which at the time I accepted.

I started with one tablet a day with my meal, then in the second week this was increased to two tablets. I was only on the tablets for about six weeks but that was long enough for me; that’s when I decided it was time to take charge of my life. I had also been getting headaches and cramps in my shoulders and legs, and I just felt really out of sorts.

Food and healthy eating

Diet and exercise

On New Year’s Eve 2022 I had a wake-up call and decided I needed to make changes. I started to lose weight by exercising and following a healthier diet. This was three-and-a-half years after my initial diagnosis, but I was committed to making the changes.  
I looked at different types of diets and researched ways to put your type 2 diabetes into remission. I got the Carbs & Calorie Counter book from Diabetes UK and decided to do a low carbohydrate diet with a calorie intake of about 1,000 calories a day. What I missed the most was not having bread, and you pay so much more when you buy the low-carb bread. I now keep this in the freezer and treat myself to a few slices at the weekend.  
By August 2023, I had lost up to 4 stone and my blood test showed my HbA1c was 43mmol/mol without medication. I was pleased to be told by the diabetes specialist nurse that in eight-and-a-half months my diabetes was now in remission. My next review will be in six months’ time.  
For exercise, I started with chair yoga for seniors, which I found very beneficial – and anyone can do it. Then on YouTube I discovered an exercise programme, where the lady running the online classes was in her mid-fifties and she exercises with her mother who is in her eighties, so that really inspired me. I thought if her mother can do it, then I have no excuse. I also got myself an electronic treadmill a couple months ago, which I use regularly. 



Having the right mindset is important. I’m ex-military, so you get used to working on your own or as a team – you can just get on and do it. I feel a lot better for all the changes I have made with my diet and losing the weight. I’m now at about 14 stone 12. I’ve still got around 30lbs to lose to get my weight to where it should be for my height, which is 5ft 9. My BMI is now 31.2 and it was 37.6 when I started, so it’s a work in progress.  
At home I have my two Border Collie dogs, called Max and Bonny, so that’s a good incentive to go out for a walk with them. I also do all my shopping online, which makes it much easier for me to keep to my regime and make progress. 
My motivation to stay in remission is that I don’t want to be taking any diabetes medication.  However, I have found navigating around the information on food has not been easy and it can be so difficult getting to grips with the labelling on food products, which is extremely confusing. However, my experience has shown that it may be possible for some people to put their type 2 diabetes into remission, you just need to make the necessary changes and have a strong mindset.

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