Woman sheds the pounds and gets her life back on track

A woman from Bury St Edmunds is getting her life back on track after losing nearly three stone and reducing her diabetes symptoms.

Jan Cansdale no longer needs some of her diabetes medication and her story backs up research showing the Slimming World programme is successful in supporting patients who have type 2 diabetes to lose weight and manage their blood sugar levels.

As Diabetes Week starts today, Monday June 8, and runs until Sunday, June 14, Jan said: “When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes the doctor told me I would need to take medication to manage it and I needed to take control of my weight to help manage the condition. Being overweight impacted on so many aspects of my life, from struggling to find clothes that I liked to fit to not being able to do simple everyday tasks without feeling out of breath. I always felt like I was lacking energy, and like I was on a slippery slope to gaining more and more weight – I didn’t really see a way out”

Research, published in the journal Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, involved patients who were referred to a Slimming World group by their diabetes specialist nurse. By 12 months, patients on average, had lost a clinically significant 5.5% of their weight and a quarter of patients achieved more than a 10% weight reduction. Over 80% of patients saw improvements in their diabetes control.

The findings are of particular importance as new NHS research shows the risk of dying in hospital from Covid-19 is higher in people with diabetes.

Jan, pictured above before her weight loss, attends the St Edmundsbury CEVA Primary School Slimming World group, which is currently running virtually.

She said: “Currently we’re attending virtual groups and I’m loving it – it’s just like my usual weekly group – except from the comfort of my home. I still get great recipes and ideas for getting active, and after our meetings I feel so ready for the week ahead, just like I do at my in-person group. I can’t wait for the time to come when we can physically meet up as a group again but until then, I have a whole world of expert support and friendship at my fingertips. I’m definitely not feeling on my own with my weight-loss journey. As a group we’re closer than ever before.”

With support from her diabetes care team, Jan followed Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan.

She said: “People think slimming means going hungry, yet it’s not like that at all with this healthy eating plan. I love food and it’s never once felt like I was on ‘a diet’ – even during lockdown I’ve been able to make whatever is in the supermarket or my store cupboard fit with my diabetes care plan. That’s the beauty of Food Optimising, it’s so flexible with so many foods that we can eat and enjoy freely and recipes to choose from so you never need to go hungry. I can still eat my favourite meals

Today Jan has lost a total of 2st 6 lb and gone from size 22 to a size 18. Jan is also more active nowadays and during lockdown has been regularly walking when she has the spare time after her working hours.

“Thanks to the changes I’ve made my health has improved dramatically and I no longer need to take my steroids, statins and my diabetes medication has been reduced. My diabetes is now under control and my blood count is now under 7.  I’ve got my life back and I couldn’t be happier!”

Laura Goodwin, who runs the St Edmundsbury CEVA Primary School Slimming World group, says: “Looking after ourselves and our health is more important than ever right now, and the changes Jan has told us about are incredible. I hope her success will inspire other people in Bury St Edmunds who’d like to lose weight, improve their health and form new lifestyle habits to take action. Members have been loving our new virtual service and I’m proud to say the ‘Slimming World magic’ is just as present and alive online. There’s a warm welcome waiting for you at our virtual group and, just think, if you start today you could feel like a completely new person just like Jan does.”

The St Edmundsbury CEVA Primary School group currently meets virtually every Tuesday at 6.30pm and 8pm. To join call Laura on 07572 880290 or send an email to lauragoodwin1988@gmail.com

For more information, motivation and recipe ideas visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk

Pictured top is Jan Cansdale following her weight loss.

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