Diabetic David, 50, gets wake-up call
Last updated at 16:07, Friday, 21 September 2012
DIABETIC David Took is determined to shed at least a stone in a sponsored slim he started earlier this month. In the process he hopes not only to improve his health but to raise more funds in memory of his son Joe, he tells CLAIRE CRISP
WALNEY’S David Took admits that losing his son Joe in a road accident earlier this year, coupled with a family history of chronic illness, gave him the “wake-up call” he needed about his own health.
David, an insulin-dependent diabetic, says: “Our son Joseph died in Abbey Road in February when he was only 18.
“After losing Joe and seeing the devastating effect on the family, I don’t want to put them through anything else.”
He adds: “My father was also a diabetic and had a stroke when he was just 53, which left him totally dependent on my mother for his care. Eventually after 10 years in a wheelchair he had a second stroke, which killed him. He was a diabetic, like me, and I must be honest, the thought of going through that is frightening.”
Determined not to fall prey to the same problems as his father, the 50-year-old has decided to cut the risk of stroke and other serious illnesses by shedding four stones by next summer, to improve the management of his diabetes.
He is giving his long-term weight loss target a boost by doing a six-week sponsored slim at Barrow’s Nuffield Health centre.
David decided to do a sponsored slim as, not only will it raise money for a number of charities in Joe’s memory, but he hopes it will give him the motivation to stick with his six-week diet and fitness regime. He says: “I am the type of person that needs someone watching over me, so this seemed a good way to do it.”
David, who aims to lose 14lbs to 20lbs during the course of the six-week sponsored slim, went for a body “MOT” at Nuffield Health a couple of weeks ago, before starting his new healthy regime.
He weighed in at 17st 9lbs and says: “I am getting weighed every two weeks and hope to lose 9lbs and get down to 17st by the time I have my first weigh-in this week.”
After just over a week of eating healthily and taking more exercise David is already seeing results – not just on his waistline but in his health. He says: “My sugar levels have already dropped to six or seven after one week, before that they were anything from 14-20. I am looking forward to giving my doctor the good news. If I can maintain this, I may be able to get back to my pre-diabetic conditions.”
David was diagnosed with diabetes two years ago in August 2010 after feeling unwell for some time: “I was getting all the classic symptoms and couldn’t work out why I was feeling so tired all the time.”
He says it was during this period he gained so much of the weight he is hoping to lose: “I was eating all the wrong things for my condition, so you can imagine I put on a lot of weight at that time. I was taking no physical exercise, eating badly and sleeping a lot – although at the time I didn’t realise there was a medical cause underlying my weight gain.”
As part of his six-week slimming programme David plans to go the gym up to four times a week.
“I have a bad leg and spine and so I am mainly doing low impact exercise such as cycling and also upper body weights to begin to convert fat to muscle and burn up more calories,” he says.
Coupled with exercise, David has made some big changes to his eating habits: “I have cut down on eating fat and starch and have cut out white rice and potatoes completely, though I can’t give up bread.
“For breakfast I am having porridge, with something like a ham omelette for lunch and a light tea with no chips or anything.
“I’ve also cut down on snacks and treats such as cakes, crisps and fizzy pop.”
Far from finding his new healthy regime a struggle, David is enjoying the health kick so far.
He said: “I don’t feel like I am ‘giving something up’ – I feel like I am gaining my health back.
“I took the same attitude when I gave up smoking after being diagnosed as a diabetic, I didn’t feel I was losing out on smoking, just that I was getting my health back and trying to undo 30 years of bad living!”
He says the whole family has been supportive so far: “My wife Jacky is right behind me and is cooking healthier meals and not buying all the usual chocolates and crisps at the supermarket. We have also cut out our Chinese takeaways at the weekends – though we’ll be treating ourselves to one after this is over!”
Formerly a painter and decorator, David’s ill health has meant he’s been unable to work for some time now. But he says: “I have recently started doing a mobile karaoke on a part-time basis and I am hoping to get back to work soon too. Losing weight is all part of this long-term goal.”
A total of five local charities, including The Royal Air Force Association, Barrow Firefighters, Macmillan Nurses, North West Air Ambulance and Furness Children’s Trust, will share all the funds David raises through his sponsored slim. He finishes: “I wanted to spread the money and pay back a lot of the people that have helped us since we lost Joseph.”
- If you would like to sponsor David he has left sponsorship forms in the Furness Childcare Trust in Dalton Road and also in Tastebuds Cafe in Duke Street, both in Barrow.
First published at 16:36, Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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