A hiss and a roar

Grant Bason, 57, from the Bay of Plenty, tells his story.

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A couple of years ago I learned through my GP that I have type 2 diabetes. I was feeling listless and lacking in energy but it was a total surprise when the blood tests came back. With a hiss and a roar, as I usually do, I dieted, exercised and controlled my food intake and weight well. But then I had a minor operation that put me off work for four weeks. Over this period, I fell back into bad habits of little exercise and poor eating. I put the weight back on and my blood sugar levels were very high.

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Winning a Fitbit motivated me to become healthier.
It has helped very much in
my exercise planning, gives me a digital read out and diary via my iPhone and desktop PC. I love seeing the running total over time.

Last August, I won a Fitbit Charge HR in a Diabetes NZ prize draw – what an awesome surprise! This piece of kit helped me to get back off the couch. Coincidentally, my wife and I had recently purchased a good quality exercycle to help us rehabilitate injuries and winning the Fitbit motivated me to become healthier. It has helped very much in my exercise planning, gives me a digital read out and diary via my iphone and desktop PC. I love seeing the running total over time.


On the diet front, I’m trying to change and eat more healthily. There is a lot of information out there about eating healthy: carbs vs no carbs, protein vs no proteins. I have purchased The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet book and researched recipes and menu plans via the web. I have found the recipes and meal plans on the Diabetes NZ website to be the easiest to follow. They are less time consuming, more affordable and, considering the modern lifestyle, easier to manage.

My work is packing and processing orders in a warehouse, then we load these on to pallets and onto trucks for delivery to our customers. It’s very heavy work and I work the graveyard [night] shift. I wear the Fitbit all the time – it never leaves my wrist. Some days I will do 24,000 steps in a 24-hour period. My previous exercise routine has taken a hit as I now spend a lot of time during daytime hours sleeping. I try to get out on the weekends walking and I have taken up photography.


I learned just recently, after annual testing, that my diabetes has progressed and I have had to up my metformin and am now using a blood pressure tablet to try and limit some damage happening to my liver. We have once again revisited my diet and further restricted it to cut down sugars and carbohydrates, the problem being trying to find menu plans that involve locally available produce. I have just recently been using Te Atatu Toasted healthy muesli, which has been a boon.


My diabetes nurse said to me: “If you want to get on top of this thing, you have got to get off the couch and change your diet.” I am trying my best to control my diet, lose weight, and get some more control over my diabetes. It’s a work in progress.

Grant shared his story in the Spring 2017 issue of Diabetes magazine. Subscribe to Diabetes NZ today to receive your copy.

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Jo Chapman