August 2009 and my weight had ballooned to 105kg which for a diabetic was the road to ruin. TOWN Clubs of Victoria was suggested by my doctor as a possible solution, and proved to be the answer for me.
My first meeting was in September. My doctor provided me with a certificate showing an achievable, healthy weight goal, as required by TOWN. This goal was revised regularly until I eventually reached my desired weight based on age, height and fitness.
The Clubs are staffed by volunteers, all of whom have either reached their goal weight, or are on the road to it.
Each week I was weighed, the result then entered in my record book to show my progress. In my opinion this was the best spur to keep me motivated. Although the loss may be only 100g those small numbers all add up.
I had worked out a food regime with good nutrition and diabetes friendly and sustainable for the rest of my life. To learn quantities I initially filled a side plate with my main meal then turned it out onto a dinner plate until I learned proportions. If I exercised more heavily my intake would be increased as sudden weight loss is not recommended.
Basically to reach my goal, my breakfast consisted of oats or wheat biscuit with skim milk or a small serve of fruit and a hot drink. Lunch was either home-made vegetable soup with crackers or multigrain bread with a topping of low-fat margarine and salad or tinned fish. This was followed by fresh fruit and a drink. Dinner (if at home) varied greatly. A small serve of meat, fish or chicken together with several vegetables and a little carbohydrate. Sometimes I would finish with the meal with fresh fruit or other healthy dessert, then my drink.
My lifestyle requires that I dine out quite often, also many of the meetings I attend offer luscious teas and suppers.
It was a great challenge to accept hospitality but not ruin my goals. The advice from T.O.W.N. group leaders and members helped immeasurably, but ultimately I had to be in control. The kilojoules I put into my mouth were not to exceed my energy (exercise) output. It has taken me over fifteen months, but I’ve finally reached my goal with a loss of 35 kilos, one third of my original weight. I feel great even after being hospitalised for several weeks for an unrelated problem.
My journey has not been easy, it is hard to remain dedicated and I’ll admit I fell by the wayside sometimes, but with the help of the wonderful members of my club I picked myself up and got on with the job. I doubt I could have remained motivated without TOWN. Thank you!
Nan Dennis Before
Nan Dennis After