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Couch to 5K
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The best present you could get for year end

So today, just before my W9R2 run, I had a blood sugar quarterly review at my local clinic. My HbA1c has fallen from 56 mmol/mol to 41 - from well within the type 2 diabetic range to below even the pre-diabetic range. I have lost one stone since August (6.5kg). The HbA1c is the lowest reading since 2011. This outstripped even my most optimistic hope of "reducing the HbA1c number". I have two things to thank for that. The first being the diet recommended by my dietitian back in August, and reinforced by the staff at the DESMOND course attended in early November. The second being the recommendation of my GP to join the Couch25K members, and embrace a realistic exercise regime. Thanks to the support of all the wonderful people on this forum, I have managed a reprieve from T2D, and intend not to rest on my laurels.

Whilst it seems that the diet (1,500 calories per day and 150g carbs maximum) allows my own system to cope with blood sugar levels without the need for medication, I still have LDL, systolic blood pressure and waist circumference that are in the danger zone according to the DESMOND booklet. desmond-project.org.uk

So my new year's resolution will be to continue the Couch25K type and quantity of exercise, perhaps participating in the bridge to 10K or the local park runs, and to try to address the root cause of high blood pressure and LDL cholestrol.

Thank you to all of you for your motivating posts which explore both negative and positive aspects of the journey we are all taking to improve our health with exercise. All the best for 2019 to all HealthUnlocked members. God bless the NHS and its staff. Yay hay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Wow this is really fantastic news about the health benefits!

I wonder if I could get my dad to start this running malarkey... I’ll work on it!

Congratulations and keep up the good work!

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Well done on that run... and congratulations on those results! You’ve scored some big victories already, couple more to go but you’re on it. Enjoy that graduation run and working out those last couple of pieces of the jigsaw. A very happy new year to you.

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Wow. What an inspiration you are to all those doing C25K and those with Type 2 diabetes. Your HBA1C has plummeted to that of a non diabetic! The health benefits you have gained will be profound both short and long term. You should be so proud of yourself.

I’m on week 8 so just behind you. Happy new year and enjoy you graduation.

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Congrats!!!

Re the cholesterol - I have had VERY high levels of cholesterol for the past 30 years. Started out with total chol of 10.5 mmol/L and got it down to 8.5 with diet. Started running 5 years ago, did weekly 5K parkruns , some 10K races and a few HM's -- NO downwards movement of the chol number at all . Finally had to start taking statins about 2 years ago when I was found to have hardening/calcification of my heart arteries. Finally got the numbers down to what the cardiologist wanted after about 18 months of increasing strength statins ( 20 mg CRESTOR) . Now 72 and training for my first ( slow) marathon - running is good healthwise but sometimes with too much cholesterol being produced by my body, it is not enough . I have had no problems/side effects with the drugs. I have not had any problems with blood sugar

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Thank you to all for the supportive replies. I realize that I am so lucky that I have had family support, time off work and a clearer mind than most of 2018 to be able to create and follow my plan. And I also realize that most people will not be so lucky as I am. I almost feel like a cheat to have been diagnosed T2D, and to be able to recover from the blood sugar range within such a short time. I do think, though, that the T2D has been the warning I needed to take note that I just can't carry on life without exercise or attention to food and drink intake without some serious consequences. I have said to my GP for over five years that I have a target to stop taking all medicines "for life" because they are not a cure - they just mask underlying symptoms. If anyone wishes to make use of the detailed (and very boring) spreadsheets I used to keep track both of my daily steps and distance, and of my diet, I am happy to share with individuals. For most people though, the OCD nature of keeping track would probably drive you insane. Thanks again to everyone here. What a great group of people I have come to know.

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Congratulations on the amazing, positive changes you made in 2018. I wish you a happy, healthy, and run-filled 2019.

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Oh, I read your name as Mermancouchto5k and thought you must be s swimmer! Well done on changing your life around. Here's to 2019 🥂

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That’s brilliant news, well done for sticking to the diet and of course the running. Good luck for the graduation run!

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Huge well done... Happy and Healthy New Year!

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Did you also change the type of carbs that you ate?

Well done on your lower HbA1c

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Hi Ziggy, I replied to Mercman below but wanted to say that fit my husband in the same situation we cut out the white carbs & upped the veg & brown carbs: wholewheat pasta, rice, quinoa, swapped to spelt flour & sourdough bread. Avoided/minimised foods with high glycaemic load (bananas, dried fruits, baked potato). Now things have stabilised we are gradually having some of these again & keeping an eye on things. Hope that helps! 🙂

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Not really. I still eat bread, but a lot less of it. Rice, and much less of it. And last week I even had about 10 chips that I had not had for about six weeks. It is tempting to replace more carbs with fats, but I need to be conscious of the LDL and high blood pressure, and make sure I don't make those worse. Thinking of intermittent fasting too, for the new year

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Congratulations Mercman on what you have achieved in such a short time! As someone who was also diagnosed with T2D in May last year, and so far have achieved a drop in blood sugar level from 54 to 42 (not quite as good as you!), I know how much this will mean to you. I agree that diet and c25k have made a real difference - I too have high BP and cholesterol but that will be a longer battle!

All the best for your graduation later this week - I can really recommend parkrun and bridge to 10k as next steps.

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Hi Jonathan, thanks for confirming your success too. If I have any senior breakthrough moments with the bp and cholestrol, I will post on here too.

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This is fantastic news for you - very well done! I appreciate your dedication and determination having spent most of last year supporting my husband in the same endeavour ( HbA1c 44 to 37, 1.5 stones lost from 11.5 st). His mindset is very much the same as yours; not wanting to be on medication at the age of 49 for the rest of his life.

Running has undoubtedly helped along with cutting out white carbs and a once a week fast (very effective). Thanks for sharing your experiences on the forum and good luck with your running. Happy New Year!

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Thanks for the positive feedback Slinkymalinki. I cannot underestimate the support I have had from my wife, both sons and my nephew (a MSc pharmacist) who came on ONE run with me in week 1 before he returned to London, but who has remained in touch on a weekly basis to cheer me on throughout C25K. I am blessed with caring friends and family. It helps a lot if you are not alone in this quest for better health.

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Terrific achievements, well done 👍🏻

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