"It started with a bowl of chips after dinner; then, I got the diagnosis I dreaded." ~ Melinda's story
Weight loss: 82 kg down to 59 kg
HbA1c: 6.2 down to 5.9
In Remission: Yes
Melinda Jones is a Sydney girl at heart, but her husband Stephen’s career in the fire brigade took them all over New South Wales. Eventually settling in the small town of Queanbeyan with their two children, Melinda felt less and less motivated to exercise in the cool climate as the temptation to indulge in comfort food grew and grew. Diagnosed with prediabetes by her long-standing GP of several years, it wasn’t until she started seeing a new doctor that things came to a head.
“It started with a snack after dinner. We’d finish the washing up, and then I’d have a bowl of chips, even if I felt full. We just got into a lazy pattern, and I started gaining weight.
“My old GP knew my blood sugars were on the rise but wasn’t very helpful; their advice was to stop eating chicken skin. I was taking afternoon naps by the time we took a family holiday earlier this year. I had so little energy and developed an infection that I couldn’t shift.
“I saw a new doctor who obviously had some alarm bells going off, and she suggested some tests. In April 2022, she told me I had fatty liver disease and an HbA1c of 6.2.
“It didn’t surprise me, and yet it did - it felt like a kick in the guts. My new doctor put me on metformin and gave me a stern talking-to. I needed to lose weight.
“So I started walking and walking and walking some more. I initially had some success with weight loss, but I plateaued and still wasn’t addressing the problem's root. I was eating 10 pieces of fruit a day, thinking it was healthy - little did I know! Then, one day, we were driving back from the farm with the radio on and heard Dr Peter Brukner being interviewed about his experience with type 2 diabetes. He described how he reversed his condition and developed a digital program to help others do the same. My husband Stephen and I just looked at each other and said, “Well, that makes a lot of sense.” When we got home, Stephen jumped on the internet and signed me up for a trial of the Defeat Diabetes Program.
That night, I logged in and started reading, and it made so much sense. I told him, “You should have just paid the subscription fee for the program; don’t bother with the free trial. This is what we need.”
My husband loves to cook, so he began cooking most of our meals from the Defeat Diabetes program. Our grown children were delighted that we’d adopted this way of eating as we emptied our pantry of all the biscuits, pastries and chocolate and gave them to our kids. We rethought a lot of the foods we were eating, going from lots of processed foods to lots of whole foods and even changed our serving sizes. Even though I hate cooking, I made the Defeat Diabetes breakfast muffins, and they turned out so well it really boosted my kitchen confidence. And the community and team at Defeat Diabetes are so supportive it motivates me to give other recipes a go.
“Pretty quickly, my blood sugars came back under control and by June, my HbA1c was 5.9. My weight loss also accelerated without trying; within 8 months, I lost 17 kilos. My husband has lost even more weight!
“My fatty liver has cleared up, and my legs no longer tingle at night. I had a heart anomaly, and I hope to be able to get off the tablets as I’m feeling SO much better. I feel rejuvenated! I have three grandchildren, and it used to be hard for me to get down and play with them, but now I can do all the fun, silly things I’d missed out on. I even go on the trampoline!
“This program works. It’s so doable. Now we don’t fall asleep in front of the TV; we feel healthier and have far more energy. I’m not about to go down the rabbit hole of all the complications of diabetes - the amputations, the loss of eyesight. My health is what motivates me. How stupid would you have to be not to make a small change for your health unless you want to kill yourself slowly and painfully?
“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved with the support of Stephen and the DD community. If you’re thinking about whether it’s for you, I say just try it - you’re not going to lose anything by trying it - other than a few kilos!”
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