It’s never too old or too late to start eating well and incorporating exercising program in your daily life.
Here, let me share with you stories of real people I know who have made lifestyle changes and benefited from it:
My mom’s friend, Auntie Ong.
Few days ago, I took my mom to visit her friend, who is also a retired nurse. It was a pleasant surprise to see how different she had looked.
Auntie Ong had always been a very hardworking person, both at work and at home. She had never employed any maids, and with a household comprising of her husband and 3 boys, she had kept the double storey house spick and span. As hard as she worked, it’s as hard as she ate. She basically ate whatever she feels like eating. Therefore, she has always been overweight.
When we saw her, she was 11 kg lighter, dropping from 63kg to 52kg in 6 months. Her waistline shrunk from 36inches to 31 inches and a fat layer which used to be noticeable in her neck area, was gone. She shared her lifestyle change:
- Morning- fruits for breakfast- she said it’s a matter of getting used to.
- Lunch- lean meat and vegetable dishes. She normally does not take rice
- Dinner- some dishes and maybe a slice or two of Gardenia Breakthru bread
- Exercise program- She brought a treadmill from Carrefour for about RM200 and walk on it about 30 min a day (at an incline) while watching TV.
She also cut off table sugar and white flour from her diet.
Effects: She felt less tired, more energetic and looks so much better in clothes. My mom had started asking her to wear a cheongsam but she said she still prefer loose fitting clothes. Afterall, the main objective of leading a more healthy lifestyle is for health after seeing her family member suffer from health problems (her husband had cancer a few years ago and her father was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 75). After retirement, she also find more time to take care of herself instead of leading a hurried life.
My colleague, G.
I’ve mentioned about my friend in an earlier post. We have been friends for so many years. After I joined my current company for about a year, she was pregnant with her son. And now her son is already in Standard 2.
About 4 years ago, G was diagnosed with nephritis, an auto immune disease whereby her own immune system were attacking her kidneys. She realised that during a routine medical checkup. That immediately prompted her to make lifestyle changes- she no longer eat food that she loved, cut down lots of salt and protein from her diet. For years, she ate food that was bland and tasteless.
Then, because she had eliminated so much of protein from her diet, she developed some other health complications like gout and excessive water and fat retention. The excessive water and fat retention made her put on about 8kg, turning her body into a fat and water storing machine. As her medical doctor had not prescribed any steroids to her, my mom had suspected that it could be from the Chinese medication that she was taking. She reduced and eventually stopped taking Chinese medication. But her mom found her another traditional Chinese doctor to compliment the current conventional treatment she is taking and she is getting much better.
But what I find to be most inspiring is that she does not give up and let her condition stop her from living a quality life. She had made the lifestyle changes:
- waking up early almost every morning to go for walks
- during weekends or public holidays, her whole family will go to a club, where they will spent time swimming at the pool. She incorporated exercise as part of the family activity.
- she takes note of her diet, but sometimes allow herself to indulge in her favourite food- in moderation.
- she made sure she gets lots of rest- she goes to bed early, about 9.30pm or 10pm.
Effects: She dropped 8kg, from all that fat and water retention weight. She feels more energetic and is very productive at work.
My friend’s husband
My friend’s husband had suffered from juvenile diabetes, meaning he had contracted diabetes at a very young age. Her husband led a sedentary lifestyle, and a full meal is a must (consisting of rice and dishes). Few months back, he suffered an infection and complication from diabetes, where a wound from surgery look a long time to heal (more than a month).
For months, I have nagged at her to ask her husband to start exercising whenever she told me about health problems that her husband is facing. When a person has diabetes, exercising is crucial to regulate the insulin levels. Studies after studies had consistently shown that exercise help tremendously in a person with diabetes. Exercise helps the body to increase blood circulation, improve the immune system and may hold the key in preventing other diseases related to diabetes such as heart problems, high blood pressure and kidney failure. But a precaution that a diabetic must take is to ensure that the person must make sure the blood sugar level do not drop -meaning the person must fuel up constantly during exercise.
Few days ago, my friend finally told me a very good news- her husband had finally signed up in a gym that had opened hear their home. Her husband signed up because he had 4 friends: 2 who are membership consultants and another 2 who are personal trainers. After their first session in the gym, they went out to play futsall together. Her husband enjoy himself so much and is looking forward to more sessions. As for my friend, hopefully she need not worry so much for her husband as I am sure he will obtain lots of benefit from exercising.
Additional research that supports the benefits of exercise for people with diabetes.
- University of Michigan (2007, June 15). Dramatic Health Benefits After Just One Exercise Session. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2008
- American College of Physicians (2007, September 18). Both Aerobic And Resistance Exercise Improved Blood Sugar Control In People With Diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2008
- University Of Otago (2001, October 3). New Study Shows Targeted Lifestyle Changes Could Turn The Tide Aganst Diabetes And Heart Disease; Results Show A 20% Improvement In The Body’s Ability To Use Insulin. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2008
- BMJ-British Medical Journal (2007, January 21). Lifestyle Changes Effective In Protecting Against Type II Diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2008
- Mayo Clinic (2008,
January 4). Moderate Exercise Yields Big Benefits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2008