I found out about the Diabetes UK-funded DiRECT trial, which was in its early stages at the time. DiRECT looks at using low-calorie diets for weight loss to help put diabetes in to remission. I wasn’t in the right geographical are to take part in the study, but then I found another very low-calorie diet that I wanted to follow. My GP was concerned that it might not be safe for someone with type 2 diabetes but I told her “I’m going to be 50 soon, if I don’t try, I’ll never know.”
After a couple of weeks, I got the most amazing release of energy. I started running faster, and my swimming and cycling improved too. Mentally, I’d never felt so good. My GP supported me to reduce my medication as I started to lose weight and a blood test shortly before my birthday confirmed that my diabetes was in remission.
The hardest thing was transitioning from a really strict diet to a whole new lifestyle. A dietitian helped me do that, and my older son was a great source of support as well. To begin with I tried a high-protein, low carb diet but then I started researching vegan diets.
I’d become scared of eating fruit, because I considered it high carb. But I got to a stage where I felt my body needed more natural foods. Now, I eat a lot of fruit, salads, vegetables, wholegrains. My favourite dish is probably a lentil curry with rice. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed my diet so much. I feel amazing.