It was February 2013 and Judith Fletcher was facing a grim situation. Following a triple bypass and a severe infection, she had developed type 2 diabetes.

 

Her medical condition meant that she was also getting virtually no exercise, to the extent of having trouble even walking.

 

However, three months and lots of hard work later, Judith had turned things around. She had lost weight, was going to the gym twice a week, had renewed interest in her hobbies and no longer needed insulin to control her diabetes during the day.

 

Judith put her newly-rediscovered zest for life down to two things – her belief in herself and the support she received from the ‘BEAT IT PLUS’ program.

 

“I feel so much better for having done it – I’m up and about much more than I used to be,” Judith said.

 

“I’ve lost eight and a half kilograms in weight, I no longer need insulin during the day [Judith originally needed 10-12 units of insulin before each meal] and I’ve also dropped ten units of insulin each night [from 60 to 50 units]” she said.

 

“You have got to want to do it for yourself, it can’t work if you are doing it for someone else. I’m going into a maintenance program now to help me continue the good work,” Judith said.

 

 

“It was good because you are exercising with people who have the same problem, they aren’t the skinny ones at the gym.

 

Judith was a part of the BEAT IT PLUS program, a joint initiative of the Australian Diabetes Council and Camden Hospital. She, along with four other people, participated in the twelve-week program which gave her the skills, support and motivation to start exercising, eating better and take an active interest in their health.

 

Judith said the program had allowed her to take charge of her life and that she was now looking forward to improving her fitness and continuing the good results she had already achieved.

 

“I just want to get fit and healthy,” Judith said. “I have a new goal – I want to lose 30 kilos. But I don’t want to do it overnight – if you lose it slow you keep it off.

 

“Once you start losing the weight you just want to keep going. It’s always hard to get started, but I am making the time for myself. I want to be above the grass for a while yet.” Judith said that she enjoyed life much more after learning about different ways of cooking food and trying different options at mealtime.

 

And for the future? Judith plans on getting out and finishing her computer course, catching up on her reading (while on her exercise bike!) and spending more time with her family.

 

“I am now going to class to learn to use a computer - I am a bit of a dinosaur in that regard,” she laughed.

 

 “Now that I have done this, I would to like to do new things in a number of different areas. Just keeping up with my grandchildren would be an achievement in itself!” Judith said.

 

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ADC is Australia’s oldest and largest not-for-profit organisation focused on providing support and services nationally and internationally to people living with and at risk of diabetes, their families, carers, friends and allied health professionals.

 

ADC makes a positive difference to the everyday lives of those living with and at risk of diabetes and their carers. We do this by ensuring decisions in areas of policy, research, delivery of services and programs are made in the best interest of those living with and at risk of diabetes.

 

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