Jules’s Story

My fitness story and how I lost almost 8 stone and reversed Diabetes!

I thought this would be a good place to tell my story and to explain why I may seem obsessed with my Cycling and general fitness, hopefully after reading this you will understand and also it might just help somebody with their fitness and weight loss goals as well as help any health issues.

Back on June 29th 2011 I was told that I was type 2 diabetic which was a bit of a blow because we had just finished a magazine shoot for diabetes UK and it was a horrific story so it really hit home to me, the poor chap who was otherwise healthy and a very avid walker lost his leg below the knee because of a simple accident and diabetes related problems. So I decided that I needed a severe lifestyle change. I already suffered from Hypertension and Asthma and Hypertension and Diabetes is a bad mix,   I was 17 stone 8lb which for me was lighter than I had been for a while as well, my average weight over the last couple years had been just over 18 stone thanks to what I called the “good life”  but in reality was a massive over indulgence on my part. I am a social photographer which involves weddings and parties and I used to eat at every wedding rich fried and very calorific food. I also used to mix cocktails for Sue and I most nights which was a fab hobby but again a very calorific one that ultimately had to stop. 2 years later we have a fab life and still eat very well, we often eat out and most months enjoy a very nice afternoon tea at a nice hotel so keeping fit does not hamper a fun and foodie life too.

I did already have a Gym and used to walk on my treadmill most days but I was a very lazy walker in fact I would Facebook  on my iPhone whilst walking which just goes to show the minimum effort that I used.  no pain no gain 🙂  was NOT my motto haha.

The change started !

30th June 2011

I was lucky that I already had my great treadmill so I started walking properly this time,  uphill level 16 using intervals for an hour everyday at about 4.5mph and I also radically changed my diet, no more booze at home apart from christmas and special occasions, no more over indulgence just a careful balanced diet to control my weight and diabetes. I was on all sorts of meds and to be honest felt awful but as time went on my weight improved and I started to love my food just as much as I did before thanks to Weight Loss Resources which is an online community that has helped me to understand food and what it does to me an has given me so much support over the past 2 years.

It was not long before the weight started shifting fast and I started to feel better,  I invested in a Cross Trainer for my Gym and then a Recumbent bike and thats where it all got interesting,  I brought a Polar FT60 HRM (heart rate monitor) which monitors the amount of calories I burn at the gym so I could really target my weight loss from here on in.

Over the next few months I built up a great workout, normally 30 minutes on the Treadmill,  30 on the Cross Trainer and 20 minutes on my Bike if I worked hard this would burn about 1000 calories and after deducting background calories that gave me about 850 extra calories to eat or not as needed.  I did these workouts on average 6 days a week depending on our work, mostly first thing in the morning after my porridge.

fast forward 9 months and my diabetes was completely reversed, although “technically” I will never be cured my bloods are amazing,  when I was diagnosed my HBA1c blood tests came back at 17.2  I had this done several times since and it just keeps getting better, in April 2013 my HBA1c results were 4.8 thats below national average 🙂 which makes me uber proud and very happy, my Hypertension is also very well controlled at the moment to so health wise I am doing great and very proud of that too.

Running…..who me?

After watching a Nike advert (yeah I know how cliche)  In March 2013 I started running outside and its made the world of difference and I just LOVE it 🙂  I joined a running club LRR (Lordshill Road Runners) and train twice a week and I also run the local Parkrun if I am not shooting weddings, these are run all over the country and are 5k (3.1 miles aprox)  races and you can run-walk-jog its your call, they are so much fun, my best time is 22:14 at the moment but I am working on that as we speak. I have also entered and ran several 10k’s (6.2 miles aprox) my best time for a road race is 45:04 and for an off road trail 10k its 49:55 again as we speak I am working on those both,  I have also entered a 10 mile race as well as 2 half marathons the most exciting being in Florida USA at Disney 🙂  and no I am not dressing up as Mickey mouse 🙂

As of  May 2013 I am currently 7 stone 12lb lighter than I was before I started and very happy,  below is a before and after photo which I hope you will get a chuckle out of like I do when I look at chubby me 🙂

Fast forward to July 2014 I borrowed a MTB from my running coach Ant Gritton and used it for a birthday duathlon before heading off to California to run a couple of Marathons. Whilst over there I met a peloton of Cyclists climbing Mount Lee heading towards the Griffith Park Observatory. I stopped at the top and spoke to them and to be fair “I was hooked” Came home and ordered my Canyon Endurace. 3 years on, here we are…..

Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.