Stories

Glenn: “My life has completely changed!”

Glenn spent years trying various crash diets without long-term success. As the days went by, Glenn knew that he needed to make a change, but never found the motivation to commit to something long-term. Glenn was then informed that he may need to go on insulin to help manage his type-2 diabetes, and after speaking with his GP about Second Nature, he decided to sign up. Glenn’s gone on to lose an incredible 17.7kg (39lbs / nearly 3 stone), and return his blood sugar and blood pressure back down into the healthy range! 

A bit about you

My name is Glenn. I’m 65 years old and have recently retired. In 1993 I had major surgery and have struggled with weight ever since. I came out of hospital slightly overweight but from then on it was a steady upwards spiral, punctuated with diets of every type – normally the current fad diet – until I reached a weight of nearly 22 stones. In 1996 I was admitted to hospital with a complication from the previous bout of surgery and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when they tested my blood sugar levels. I must admit that, at that time, I didn’t give too much thought to the possible problems that diabetes can bring and carried on leading life without too much change, other than taking the medication. Over the years the medication was increased and it wasn’t until I retired in 2018 when the diabetic nurse at the doctor’s surgery started talking to me about moving onto insulin injections that I started to pay attention to the seriousness of my situation.

In 2019 my daughter heard about the Second Nature programme through a friend and suggested that I speak to my doctor about it. A few weeks later I was invited to join the programme and my life has completely changed after just 12 weeks!

Incredible changes in just 12 weeks!

When I look back at the first 12 weeks of the programme I’m astonished at how things have changed. I was pretty sceptical about the ability of the programme to help very much but I also knew that I had nothing to lose by engaging with it. For me, the mindfulness element was the real eye-opener. Just being aware of what I do changed how I approach things. The results from the first 12 weeks have given me the motivation to continue building a completely different lifestyle without being on a ‘diet’, feeling hungry, or feeling bad and wrong. I can now see clearly that it’s up to me to take responsibility for how I live and that this doesn’t need to be onerous. For the record, in the first 12 weeks, I lost 17.7kg (39lb), my BMI went down from 38.01 to 31.2, my blood sugar levels are now normal and my blood pressure has dropped to normal.

My lifestyle before the programme was pretty much one where I lived by the maxim of ‘it can wait until tomorrow, then I’ll do something about it‘. I was very unfit, avoided exercise, had very little energy and, as my wife will attest, my moods were very unpredictable. The worst part was that in my mind I knew I had to do something but I couldn’t get myself motivated to do anything to turn the tide. Looking back I can see that I was avoiding the painful truth of the situation I was in and had decided to bury my head in the sand, wanting it all to just go away but not knowing how to get there.

Group and health coach support were essential

When I signed up to Second Nature I joined a group of 13 with a health coach. I had already made a decision to engage fully in the programme and being able to have online chats with others in the group really helped especially as I soon discovered that none of my issues were unique to me. The group was really encouraging and understood what was going on.

Our health coach, Robbie, was always very encouraging. He would ask lots of thought-provoking questions relating to the daily articles we were reading and was always very positive, steering us back to looking at the underlying reasons for how we were feeling or what we were doing. This level of support and encouragement was one of the main motivators for sticking with the programme, the second being the results I was seeing in my energy levels, weight, and mental attitude.

Another key feature of the programme is the daily articles covering everything from nutrition and exercise to mindfulness. If I’d been given these as a book to read it’s unlikely that I would have got to the end of it! Reading them daily gave me plenty of time to consider each article individually and my understanding, especially of nutrition, has inspired me to look at how I eat in a much more careful and considered way. In the 12 weeks of reading the daily articles, my awareness in so many areas of health has become much clearer and has set me up for the future in a way that diets could ever do because I now understand the importance of lifestyle choices and being mindful as opposed to the crash that comes when you stop dieting.

Any words of wisdom for your peers?

If I was to pick one thing I liked most about the programme it would be that it’s not being ‘done’ to you. It’s about taking responsibility for my health and being given the tools to support me which is a sustainable lifestyle and one I’m looking forward to. The next phase of the programme is Sustain; I’ve joined the motivation group as I want to ensure that the results I’ve already achieved are the beginning of a much healthier future.

Many people have asked me what has happened, especially if they haven’t seen me for a while. When I tell them about Second Nature they find it hard to believe that it could make that much difference, especially in such a short amount of time. I would urge anyone who is battling with type-2 diabetes or weight to enrol. The only advice I’d give is to make a commitment to fully engage in those first 12 weeks, it soon goes by and it will make a huge difference to your health and your life.

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Write a response

Jill sutton
11 June, 2020

Recently diagnosed type 2 and need to lose weight


Helen
12 May, 2020

Well done Glenn, I think it’s brilliant how far you have come.