The title there is to get your attention. Because it’s probably not the sort of subject you’d come to this blog expecting to read about. And I will get to the clothes, but having got your attention I want to write about why there’s less of me than there was a couple of months ago, and why I’m very glad about that.
I’ve deliberately held back from writing this for those couple of months, because it’s all quite personal, and also because I wanted to be well on the way to achieving what I’d decided to do. Which was to lose a lot of weight quickly, because I had to. Two and a half stone, because I had to.
Which sounds very dramatic, but actually it’s been a new kind of pleasure, I’m feeling absolutely fine and yes, I’ve been buying new clothes because the old ones don’t fit me anymore. Here’s what’s happened.
About three months ago a regular and nothing to worry about bloods check turned into something to worry about when the nurse at my GP practice asked me to go and repeat it.
“Your blood sugar level is elevated and we need to see whether it’s a blip or not.”
It wasn’t and when I went into the surgery to see her about it she told me I was now what they would categorise as “pre-diabetic.” We talked through this and though she said she’d be sending me some notes about the condition and what might be done about it I couldn’t really take in what she was saying. Because that’s what happens isn’t it? To me anyway, the immediate worry and bad news had stopped my ears from working properly.
So I went straight home and started searching the internet for what she’d probably just told me anyway. And in doing so remembered a book I’d noticed being reviewed in The Guardian a few days before and had skimmed over because, well Type 2 Diabetes was nothing to do with me was it?
The review’s here and immediately going and buying the book online led to everything I’ve done since:
“It’s 10 years since Professor Roy Taylor revolutionised treatment for type 2 diabetes with a groundbreaking study that showed the disease could be reversed through rapid weight loss. Until his research was published, type 2 diabetes was thought to be an incurable, lifelong condition. Now, for many people, we know it is not.
But his achievements – and the thousands of people he has cured – are not something he dwells upon. “I’m in a very lucky position of being able to do this research,” he says, “which really extends what I’ve been doing as a doctor throughout my life.” He laughs at the suggestion that he must occasionally marvel at his own success: “No, no,” he chuckles. “Lots of occupations make a useful contribution to society. I wouldn’t set myself apart.”
Modest words for a man whose “useful contribution to society” has given hope to the 3.9m people diagnosed with the condition in the UK and who has shown doctors a new way to fight a disease which causes 185 amputations and 700 premature deaths every week.
Now, he wants to go one step further and share everything he has learned directly with the public, in a new book, Your Simple Guide to Reversing Type 2 Diabetes.Donna Ferguson, The Guardian 15th May 2021
And I’m not going to say one more word about Roy Taylor’s research or reasoning about sugar, fat or how the pancreas and liver work in here because, unlike him, I’m not a doctor and so am in no way qualified to hand out medical advice to anyone. Nor will I engage in any individual medical correspondence after what I’m writing is published. All I’m going to do is tell you what I decided to do for myself and how it’s going so far. Which would seem to be very well and might at least encourage you to read Roy Taylor’s little book. That’s all this is for, encouragement. For you, and also for me. Because what I’m doing isn’t done yet.
But I am two and a half stone lighter now than I was eight weeks ago. Which is what the book calls Stage 1 out of 3 of hopefully getting myself out of this pre-diabetic condition. As of this morning I weigh 11 stone 4, having spent these last two months eating mostly ‘meal replacement’ shakes and protein bars, plus a daily small helping of actual vegetables and so am now ready to start the book’s Stage 2, which is the gradual reintroduction of ‘proper food’ for the next month. Stage 3 then being a proper diet with no shakes but something like three quarters of the food I used to eat, for the rest of what I’m hoping will be a healthier life.
And it’s taken some doing. The finding of the meal replacement stuff I was going to eat, the sticking to it and my partner Sarah’s help and understanding, all the way through these eight weeks of a no more than 800 calories a day life. And as a method it might not appeal to everyone. But just for me it hasn’t been anywhere near as hard as it might sound.
I’ve enjoyed the gradual lightening of my being, encouragingly quick at the start. And though I’ve never previously possessed a set of scales I’m sure I weigh less now than at any time since my twenties. After which life happened, then the more recent and relative inactivity of the lockdowns. And I’d accepted the idea we all get naturally heavier as we age. Having lost some weight a few years ago when I gave up on the wine I’d not noticed it creeping back on. Until it turned out my blood sugar was worryingly high and all this began.
And I’m not done yet, I know that. It’ll take me a while to set up and get used to the less of a diet I’m aiming at, one that will definitely contain less chocolate and apple pie than before, sadly, but not be too puritan to enjoy a longer and happier life than I was suddenly looking at just eight weeks ago.
And the new clothes? A size down on the t-shirts and jeans and a brand new belt, having run out of holes on the old one. And the unexpectedly happy reintroduction of stripes to my wardrobe. But no, this isn’t the kind of blog post that ends with ‘before and after the miracle diet’ pictures. But if you see me walking towards you sometime soon there’s less of me than there was. And I’m very happy about that.
And to repeat. This is written for the encouragement myself and maybe others and from purely personal experience. But I’m not a medic of any kind and won’t engage in any correspondence about individual cases. If you’re worried talk to your own NHS doctors and nurses. And maybe go and read Roy Taylor’s book.