Have you ever got to that point where enough is enough and you know something has to change? I got to that point at the start of last year. I have been overweight all my life and I have struggled to find a way to manage it effectively. I had recently started a new job and I was fed up of having to make excuses as to why I couldn’t take the stairs or keep up with people when going to meetings. I decided to go to my doctor and ask to be referred to weight management. At the same time I was given a blood test and told that I was extremely close to a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. That scared me as I knew it runs in the family and it is something I really wanted to avoid.
Walking into my first Weigh Ahead session at the John Charles Centre for Sport was the best decision I ever made. I was supported from day 1 and I was actually fearful of what would happen after I had completed my 8 week classroom and gym sessions. I was worried I would slip into old habits like I had done before. I was so relieved when I heard about the Moving On programme, knowing that the support wouldn’t just disappear.
Over this last year I have worked really hard and I can’t believe how far I have come. I now go to the gym at least 3 days a week and aqua aerobics once a week. I can keep up with friends and don’t feel like I am holding others back any more. In fact I am usually the one saying we should take the stairs instead of the lift.
Physically my health is much better. I have lost a total of 6st 2lb in just 12 months. I have also had a recent blood test and I am back in the normal ranges, meaning I am no longer at immediate risk of Type 2 Diabetes, although I will still have to have annual checks to monitor this. I feel like I have been given a new shot at life.
For those of you who have been following my progress you will know I did a 10km charity walk back in August. Now I want to push myself further and feel it only fitting that Diabetes UK should be my charity of choice. I have seen loved ones battle with this disease, both type 1 and type 2. There isn’t a day goes by that you can forget you are Diabetic, yet they never let it hold them back. They are my inspiration and help push me forward.
Because of this I have set myself a huge challenge, both personal and financial. On Saturday 7th May I will be completing a 50km challenge at the John Charles Centre for Sport, where it all began for me. Over the course of between 3 and 4 hours I will cycle and use the crosstrainer to complete a distance further than a marathon. Never did I think I would be excited of that prospect, but I am.
To show your support please visit my just giving page at www.justgiving.com/gemma4diabetesuk or text GEMB62 and your donation amount to 70070. Every penny means more to me than you will know, as I never thought a year ago I could, or I would, ever be able to do something like this. Now I believe anything is possible.
Thank you each and every one of you for your support, financial and emotional. It is this that helps push me further, to become a better, lighter and healthier me.