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This photograph shows Neil before starting the Defeat Diabetes Program where he is visibly heavier than the photo showing him after the Defeat Diabetes Program.

Neil's type 2 diabetes is in remission – here's how he did it!

Weight loss: 16 kg in 16 months
HbA1c: 12.2 down to 5.3
In Remission: 
Yes

As a rural farmer, I have a pretty active job, often shearing up to 600 sheep daily!

I’d never really had any health issues, I didn’t consider myself overweight, and like many men my age, and I hadn’t visited the doctors in years. 

So when did type 2 diabetes become a concern for you? 

For peace of mind, my father-in-law (a man who likes to keep up-to-date with his yearly health checks) urged me to go for a long-overdue health check-up. I thought it would be a simple routine visit; I couldn’t have been more wrong.

At the time, I had no idea what an HbA1c was, but when the doctor said mine was a shockingly high 12.2% and diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease, it sent shockwaves through me. 

Did you have any symptoms?

Looking back at all the symptoms I was experiencing, I’d just put them down to the natural aging process. Lethargy, tiredness, lack of energy, worsening eyesight, pins and needles in my feet, frequent urination and increased thirst. I thought it was all normal, but now I know it’s not.

What did you do after your diagnosis?

After the clinic visit, I searched for information on type 2 diabetes. Of course, the first port of call was Google, where I furiously tried to find information about my condition. 

A quick search for “the best foods for type 2 diabetes” told me blueberries were good for people with type 2 diabetes. I have to laugh about this now, but at the time, acting out of pure shock and desperation, I downed a few punnets, thinking it might instantly cure me!

Taking a more science-based approach to my research led me to the Defeat Diabetes Program.

I was a little sceptical at first because the program suggested that by focusing on eating protein and healthy fat, I would want to eat less.  I thought NO WAY it would work for me because I’ve always been a big eater. No one will beat me in an eating competition!

What benefits have you seen from the Defeat Diabetes Program?  

Now I eat a third of what I used to eat, and I’m never hungry. I eat two meals a day; I couldn’t possibly fit in breakfast. 

Better yet, my health markers have improved and my HbA1c is down to 5.3, meaning I’ve put my type 2 diabetes into remission!

I feel like I’m 20 years old again, I have so much energy, and I sleep solidly through the night (something I used to struggle with)! 

And while weight loss wasn’t my motivation for joining the Defeat Diabetes Program, I’ve also lost around 16kg without trying. My girlfriend reckons I’m too skinny now!

What's happened since you reversed your type 2 diabetes?

I’m so grateful for all that I’ve learnt in the Defeat Diabetes Program and incredibly thankful for people like Dr Peter Brukner and Dr Paul Mason for creating the Defeat Diabetes Program to help educate people on nutrition.

In some ways, I feel so cheated by the dietary guidelines. I can see so many flaws in the system. I used to think I ate pretty well, I even had a juicer and would make “healthy juices” every day, but I know now that’s what got me here.

Defeat Diabetes has shown me the path to better health and I've been so inspired by what I've achieved on the Program. I now spend every waking moment educating myself on nutrition.

I'm getting involved with some men’s health initiatives in my community, and I now plan to retire from farming in five years and travel around Australia, educating people in rural communities about diet. I had no idea just how much Defeat Diabetes would change the course of my life.

Any advice for those thinking about thinking joining the Defeat Diabetes Program?

If you’re thinking about this lifestyle, I reckon the key to getting better is educating yourself. If you are open to making some simple lifestyle changes, you won’t regret it. If a simple farmer can do it, then so can you! 

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Deb Jeffries – After two decades in remission, Covid made me relapse!
Maria Frazer – Going low carb really has changed my life
Sue Carson – Changing what I eat, rather than how much I eat, has been a revelation
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