Janice has been taking part in our Diabetes REWIND Programme to reduce her weight, live a healthier lifestyle and reduce her Type 2 diabetes. The programme consists of total diet replacement, using soups and shakes, food reintroduction and maintenance for long-term sustained results. We asked her some questions about her journey on the programme so far.
How did you hear about us?
I didn’t know I was diabetic until July 2019, I went to the doctor because I had a bite on my leg which has caused my leg to swell up and I couldn’t walk. The doctor sent me to the hospital to get a blood test done and the results came out the same week and showed that I had diabetes with an hba1c being 48. I only went to get my leg checked and I walked out with diabetes. I was going on holiday that same week and came back and had another blood test done and it was still 48. So the GP said, look I don’t want to put you on any medication, so there is this programme that I think you will strongly benefit from.
How did you feel when you received that news?
My mum has it, my husband has it, and a lot of my mum’s relatives have it, so I just thought I was meant to have it, and I didn’t know that diabetes could be reversed until I heard about the programme. I decided I wanted to get on board with this, because I didn’t want to take any medication or go on insulin, so I’m going to give this my all.
What were the challenges that you faced while on the programme and how did you overcome them?
One challenge was not having sugar in my tea, having black tea with no sugar, I thought it tasted so horrible! However, if I found if I drink it hot it’s fine, but if I leave it to cool down, it doesn’t taste so great. What helped me was that I started a new job a few weeks before and I wasn’t in my car as much, I was walking and taking the bus and the train, so that helped the transition from my old world into my new world. When I started my new job, I had informed all my colleagues that this is what I am going to be doing, I might get a little antsy and hangry. It has not been a major challenge because I drank lots of water and that really helped me. I was expecting to experience all the side effects such as the mood swings the hunger pangs, tiredness but I didn’t experience any of those at all.
What kept you going?
I think I was just focusing on a new job and learning new things, so I didn’t have time to think about being hungry. I was constantly being offered cake at work and I would easily decline it. Because I started so many new things (new job, walking to work, new colleagues, new offices), starting the programme didn’t feel any different. If I were still in my old job, still driving back and forth, I feel it would not have been as easy, because of old habits, but everything was new.
You started the food reintroduction phase earlier, usually people struggle with this phase, how did you manage to go about it so easily?
I started the food reintroduction phase while being away in Barbados. So, I called up my auntie (who is also diabetic) and I told her about the programme, and she assured me not to worry as she is also eating very healthy. I took my shakes along with me and my auntie was very supportive and would even offer to make my shake for me sometimes. With the weather being so hot there, I would fill the container and add some ice and it felt like having a milkshake. Being in Barbados, I made my mind up to not have any sweets before going, and my auntie cooked lots of vegetables, fresh fish and chicken, with plenty of salad.
What advice would you give a service user who is just starting out?
1. Keep positive
2. Know that this programme is going to help you
3. Drink lots of water because it helps with hunger pangs
For more information about the Diabetes REWIND Programme, click here.