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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 Foodon 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

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