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Befor
e
‘I was at serious
risk of developing
diabetes’
Jill Kennedy, 48, an operations manager from
Wakefi eld, had always thought she was eating
healthy food – so when she found out she
was at risk of type 2 diabetes, it came as a
terrible shock. She explains how she got her
health back on course. WORDS: OLIVIA GORDON
When I was growing up, my sister was
always skinny and loved sports, while I
‘I thought the
last gift to me was giving me a kick-start to
get healthy. It was at this point that I went to
was the plump one who hated exercise and
doctor was quite
the doctor’s for a sick note to stay off work
was happier indoors with a book. Being for a while after losing my dad. The doctor
the bigger one only started to bother me
rude, but looking
decided to take a blood test for type 2 diabetes.
when I hit adulthood, and over the years I The test showed that my blood glucose
repeatedly lost weight – but as soon as I lost
back, he just
was elevated at 6.6 and the doctor told me:
it, I’d return to my usual ways. ‘You’re getting towards being very obese –
Pie and chips was never on the menu for wanted to shock you’re at serious risk of developing diabetes
me – I’ve never eaten lots of sweet, fatty or
unhealthy things. I love cheese and crisps,
me into doing
and problems with your thyroid. Even healthy
food has calories!’
but also fruit and veg. What I didn’t realise
was that despite eating relatively healthy
something about
The advice I needed
foods, I was eating more than I should. I
my health. And he
I thought the doctor was quite rude, but
probably ate one-and-a-half times as much looking back, he just wanted to shock me
as I needed, and gradually, almost without
succeeded’
into doing something about my health. And
noticing, I gained three or four pounds here he succeeded – it was a real wake-up call:
and there and didn’t do anything about in the mirror, I thought I looked okay, but time to stop messing around; my eating was
it. I also got hardly any exercise. My job’s whenever I saw a photo with someone else affecting my health. I know people live with
quite sedentary – it involves a lot of long standing at my side, I realised I was bigger diabetes and cope well, but I really wanted to
days travelling the country by train, so than I thought! Seeing how much weight I avoid it if possible.
there’s not much time to exercise, and I’d had to lose was daunting, overwhelming – My problem was all about portion size.
buy ready-made sandwiches and crisps to especially because I wasn’t even eating junk So I bought a calorie-counter book and
fill up on en route. Before I knew it, I was food. I thought, ‘How on earth am I going started weighing everything I was eating.
approaching 16 stone at 5ft 7ins. to lose weight?’ I tried to stick to a balanced 1,000 to 1,200
Then, last February, I lost my dad calories a day, with plenty of complex
Fooling myself to Parkinson’s disease. Under those carbohydrates – writing down every
I never went above a dress size 18 because circumstances, I couldn’t face eating, and in a mouthful I ate and adding it all up. It was a
I refused to do so, but the size 18s were few days I lost half a stone. It sounds strange shock to realise how much more I’d been
extremely tight and I had to buy stretchy to look at it this way, but people started eating than was necessary. Previously, for
clothes with elasticated waistbands. Looking noticing I’d lost weight and it was as if Dad’s spaghetti Bolognese, I’d used a full pack of
44 Sweet Magazine
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