Janice’s REWIND story
Janice has been taking part in ICS Health & Wellbeing’s Diabetes REWIND Programme to reduce her weight, live a healthier lifestyle and reduce her type 2 diabetes. The programme consists of total diet replacement, using soups and shakes, food reintroduction and maintenance for long-term sustained results. We asked her some questions about her journey on the programme so far.
Q. How did you hear about us?
A. I didn’t know I was diabetic until July 2019. I went to the doctor because I had a bite on my leg which had caused my leg to swell up and I couldn’t walk. The doctor sent me to the hospital to get a blood test and the results, which came out the same week, showed I had diabetes with a HbA1c (average blood glucose) reading of 48. I only went to get my leg checked and I walked out with diabetes! I was going on holiday that same week and when I came back, I had another blood test done and it was still 48. My GP said, “Look I don’t want to put you on any medication, so there is this programme that I think you will strongly benefit from.”
Q. How did you feel when you received that news?
A. My mum has it, my husband has it, and a lot of my mum’s relatives have it, so I just thought I was meant to have it. I didn’t know that diabetes could be reversed until I heard about the programme. I decided I wanted to get on board with the programme because I didn’t want to take any medication or go on insulin. I’m wanted to give it my all.
Q. What were the challenges you faced while on the programme and how did you overcome them?
A. One challenge was not having sugar in my tea. Black tea with no sugar tasted so horrible! However, I found if I drank it hot it was fine, but if I left it to cool down, it didn’t taste so great. What helped me was that I started a new job a few weeks before and I wasn’t in my car as much. I was walking and taking the bus and the train, so that helped the transition from my old world into my new world. When I started my new job, I informed all my colleagues about the programme I was going to be doing and warned them that I might get a little antsy and ‘hangry’. It has not been a major challenge because I drank lots of water and that really helped me. I was expecting to experience side effects such as mood swings, hunger pangs and tiredness but I didn’t experience any of those at all.
Q. What kept you going?
A. I think I was just focusing on a new job and learning new things, so I didn’t have time to think about being hungry. I was constantly being offered cake at work and I would easily decline it. Because I started so many new things – new job, walking to work, new colleagues, new offices – starting the programme didn’t feel any different. If I were still in my old job, still driving back and forth, I feel it would not have been as easy, because of old habits, but everything was new.
Q. People usually struggle with the ‘food reintroduction’ phase. How did you find it?
A. I started the food reintroduction phase while staying with my Auntie in Barbados. When I called her up (she is also diabetic) and told her about the programme she assured me not to worry as she eats very healthily. I took my shakes along with me and my Auntie was very supportive and would even offer to make my shake for me sometimes! With the weather being so hot there, I would fill the container and add some ice and it felt like having a milkshake. Before I went, I made my mind up not to have any sweets whilst I was out there and my auntie cooked lots of vegetables, fresh fish and chicken, with plenty of salad.
Q. What advice would you give a service user who is just starting out?
1. Keep positive
2. Know that this programme is going to help you
3. Drink lots of water because it helps with hunger pangs