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Inspiring Success Stories – How one woman stopped sugar-coating her life and reversed her Type 2 Diabetes
Inspiring Success Stories come to you from the authentic voices of inspirational people I have coached during their health journey. These are the people that have looked fear, judgment, self-doubt and everyday struggles in the eye and have taken them on with wholehearted determination. They choose to live a full, healthy and happy life.
“To date, not only have I achieved my biggest goal which was to reverse Type 2 Diabetes, I have also recorded a show reel and launched a blog. I am more confident, have a greater sense of peace and alround happiness with every aspect of my life.”
This is Rhian’s story…
“I’ve been on some kind of diet since I was 9 years old. A morbidly obese and unhappy child, my mum didn’t know what to do other than take me to a slimming group. And the yo-yo effect began. Messing up my mind and my metabolism.
I’ve tried every “diet” you can possibly think of and I’ve had periods in my life where I have been very slim and relatively fit….and periods of being morbidly obese. There seemed to be no balance – no equilibrium… And after having my children and leaving a corporate career to be a stay at home mum, I just got bigger and bigger.
I always wanted to “go on a diet”, get a quick fix….to just wake up tomorrow and to be a different person – but the changes required to make that happen just seemed too immense and too hard. And the health aspect didn’t really click with me until recently when I realised I had eaten my way to 110KG and a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
At this point I had two choices,
- stay the same,take medication and open myself up to a number of nasty side effects which include heart disease, kidney failure, glaucoma, amputation and alzheimers – almost certainly dying prematurely.
- Or I could change.
I decided to change. Or at least at this point I knew that I had to “try’ to change and the will was there….it wasn’t strong – but it was there and I had to hold on to that.
Rhian before her health transformation at 110kg and now, in red, shopping for a dress for her show reel experience – 25kg lighter and well on her way to achieving optimal health and happiness.
My interest in finding that illusive ”secret” to weight loss had brought a number of nutrition based courses to my attention, one of which was with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, it trained Health Coaches…and I knew I needed help with my health. This is how I found Heidi Jones, Health Coach, endurance athlete and LuluLemon Brand Ambassador. I made an appointment to go and see her….and then I cancelled it!
Subconsciously I was sabotaging myself already! I just knew it was going to be hard and already my self doubt was telling me that I just could not do it. I thought it was going to be a rigid “diet”, a list of do’s and dont’s – just more things for me to feel like I was failing at!
But after yet another cycle of binge eating, self loathing, sleep and feeling incredibly low, I somehow managed to find the courage to re-book and keep my appointment. I knew I needed help!
Heidi was bright, smiley, radiant and energetic. And she looked so incredibly healthy and happy. Everything I wasn’t, yet everything I admired and wanted to be. At our first appointment, she listened to me talking about myself and was very accepting of everything that I said. I felt no judgement at all. I felt at ease with her and it already felt like she was on my side and wanted to help me change.
And that was the beginning of 6 months of change, difficult self reflection, understanding, soul searching, acceptance and re-educating myself on what my body needed to flourish. And it certainly wasn’t about a “diet” or a list of rules.
I discovered that food really wasn’t my issue. It was my self esteem. My mind was holding me back and I was racked with self doubt and loathing. I remember vividily one of the initial exercises that we did which involved a “circle of life”….here I scored areas of my life based on my level of satisfaction and I realized that I was unhappy with many things….there was a lot to work on. And for the first 3 months of my journey with Heidi – food and my weight really did not come into the equation. And slowly I realized that I had to stop obsessing about everything that I ate and punish myself for eating “bad” foods.
I was in a better place, feeling slightly more confident in my abilities and starting to uncover my dreams and what it was in life that gave my happiness everyday. And it certainly didn’t include food.
And then – in January 2017 my doctor told me that the diabetes medication I was taking just wasn’t cutting it and I had to start injecting insulin and that I realized I needed to do something about my nutrition. I sat with Heidi the next day and her words rung true in my mind “This is serious Rhian and you need to take control of this.”
I already knew from the reading I had done and the documentaries I had watched, that Type 2 diabetes was a lifestyle disease and by changing my lifestyle it could be reversed. Yes – it required a drastic change in lifestyle – but I knew this was what I wanted to do.
I decided it would be my 2017 goal to ensure that I was not a type 2 diabetic by the end of the year and that I did not need the medication.
Up to this point I had been avoiding the scales and not keeping a food diary….so I took control, weighed myself and accepted the number, I had a body composition test done and I decided that as well as working with Heidi to understand the nutrition and keep me focused towards my goal I would also get the help of a personal trainer. I threw myself into the program 100%, completely changing my approach to food, and exercising, which was a mixture of HIIT and weight training to start my body burning fat. With increased insulin it is difficult for the body to burn fat as it stores everything as glucose….so I was at a metabolic disadvantage that I needed to change.
With Heidi’s support and guidance I did a vegan detox for 2 weeks. I found this incredibly hard and to this day I still don’t like the taste of green juice….but after that 2 weeks I felt energized, I felt empowered and I felt like achieving that meant I could achieve anything. I changed my nutrition to low GI and heavily plant based and this, accompanied with my training plan saw me start to lose weight. I still eat meat and all food groups, but I make a conscious and educated choice about my food. It has to be clean and low GI. Not a single processed mouthful has entered my body since January 2017. I kicked my diet coke addiction going from around 6 cans per day to zero. And I have not touched a fizzy drink since January.
I have now lost 25KG in 5 months and I have reduced my body fat percentage by 15% and increased my lean muscle by 3KG.
Last week I had a blood glucose test and I am delighted to say that I am no longer a type 2 diabetic. I reversed it and I am also able to reduce my thyroid medication. All because of the food I am eating and the exercise and self love that I show my mind and body.
Rhian – proud to be free of Type 2 diabetes
Heidi challenged me and held me accountable. I set goals and I would have to report back on my progress – so it really motivated me to get things done. To date, not only have I achieved my biggest goal which was to reverse Type 2 Diabetes, I have also recorded a show reel and launched a blog. I am more confident, have a greater sense of peace and alround happiness with every aspect of my life. In my honest opinion, everyone should have a healthcoach…it’s like a basic human necessity for wellbeing and happiness. I continue to see Heidi in a group environment to help me with focusing on my goals and being a better version of myself every day. I know this is just the beginning and it excites me to think where I might be this time next year with my changed mindset and my new approach to life.
Rhian living out her show reel dream
Rhian competing and completing her first 5k
My Blog, www.sugarcoatedme.com is an authentic reflection of me, how I reversed my diabetes, how I lost weight and continue to (I am only half way there) and more importantly how I learned to love life again and everything in between. I would love you to come and follow me on Instagram or Facebook. It’s a lot of fun, I have new goals now and I’d love to share it all with you.
If you have health issues, if you are unhappy with aspects of your life, if you want to make a change my advice would be to get a health coach today and commit 100% to making a change with your mind and your body. It’s the best investment you will make. Only you can do it.”