Auckland father-of-four Avan Polo, 52, a development consultant, decided to take action after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Six months later his GP gave him some fantastic news – his blood sugar levels had returned to “normal”.
Here he explains how he did it and why he wants to help others do the same.
Back in May last year, I declared I was no longer six foot tall or bullet proof. This might be a shock to some of you, I’ve kept this pretty quiet.
I was told that I had become a diabetic – that’s right, I had let myself balloon out to a crazy 120.5kg and certainly wasn’t very active at all, and type 2 diabetes found me.
Not one for feeling sorry for myself, I took this challenge head on and decided to make some positive changes to my life and the way I lived it. I printed off some advice from the Diabetes NZ website and made a plan.
I started walking daily, at least 20-40 minutes, and one of my daughters became my “support crew”, encouraging me to exercise early in the morning. I also parked further away from work and walked to and from my office too.
I cut out all the bad things particularly sugar, dairy and the dreaded potato. The big one for me was to reduce my portion sizes. I signed up to the diet My Food Bag (Fresh Start Lite) and learned a lot about healthy eating. I’m eating lots of salads, more chicken and fish and less meat. Cooking has become my happy place and I’ve managed to become quite creative along the way.
I went to see my diabetes nurse and doctor in January. I have lost 15kg and weigh 105kg, but still have a way to go yet. I’m looking to drop at least another 10kg by June. The end-game goal is 95kg or better.
My original blood sugar reading last May was 68, which is rather high, but at my most recent check up I was informed that I am now down to 37, which puts me in everyday normal range. My blood pressure and cholesterol figures have improved and I now have more energy.
I’ll have another follow-up test in six months to make sure I am on track.
I’d be happy to talk to or help anyone that needs it. You can contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avan shares his story in the Autumn issue of Diabetes Wellness magazine.