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Judy, 69


Judy, 69, Southern Ontario

Age diagnosed with type 2 diabetes :


Number of years in remission:

More than 1

Life before diagnosis:

Up until age 40, I had no problem with my weight; I could eat what I wanted and was healthy. At age 20 I weighed about 120 pounds. Looking back I now see that I gained about 10 pounds every decade. I had gestational diabetes with my first child but it went away after the birth. I was in my mid-40s and weighed about 145 pounds when I was told I had prediabetes. I tried to cut back on sugar and exercise more, although that didn’t last long, and since I didn’t feel ill I soon forgot about it. Over the next 20 years, I continued to gain weight gradually and also began to have health issues; high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, glaucoma, dry eyes, arthritis, ulcerative colitis. I use a CPAP machine and I take medication for all these conditions and still didn’t realize then that they were all probably related to my worsening metabolic health. I really didn't know what prediabetes or diabetes was.

Judy, 69


I didn’t think I had symptoms. But in actual fact, I did feel tired a lot and had to pee so many times. When I was out with friends I was always looking for the washrooms. I didn’t feel hungry or thirsty. 


I had been experiencing stomach pain and heartburn for a few months, but over Christmas 2022 it was really bad. In January 2023 I went to my doctor who diagnosed me with acid reflux, prescribed medication, and sent me for a scope and bloodwork. I weighed 160 pounds. In February, my doctor called me with the test results: I had type 2 diabetes. My A1c was 6.6%.  I was in shock, I felt it was my own fault and was embarrassed to tell anyone at first. My doctor said he could prescribe diabetes medication right away or I could try and get my A1c numbers down with just diet and exercise and repeat the bloodwork in 3 months. I wanted to try just diet and exercise without medication first. I asked him what should I eat? He suggested I go on the Diabetes Canada website and get recipes and information. He told me that even if I get my blood sugars down to normal I will always be diabetic.

Why did you try remission?

I thought about all the medication I was already taking and just didn’t want to take anymore, at least I could try it for the next three months. I had no idea how I was going to do it though.

What did you do?

I went on the Diabetes Canada website and listened to Diabetes Canada podcasts. Listening to other people’s experiences with type 2 diabetes was helpful to me. I heard them talk about remission, so I googled diabetes remission and found this site. I liked the "Remission Possible" name (I'm a fan of Mission Impossible), I liked the fact it was Canadian, and I liked reading the success stories. With the information from those sources, I learned about the types of foods that are good for diabetes and what to avoid. I got rid of all the ultra-processed food in my kitchen and learned how to read labels at the grocery store. I made up meals days ahead of time that were healthy and put them in the fridge so they were always ready to eat at mealtimes. For breakfast, I had made up glass jars with plain yogurt, raw nuts, berries, and steel-cut oats. I made lunch in containers with spinach, fruit, veg, raw nuts, chicken, goat cheese, chia seeds, avocado, and a dressing made up of balsamic vinegar and flax seed oil. I cooked dinner every day, usually eggs with tomatoes and avocado on one slice of whole grain bread or chicken with steamed vegetables. I had been given an exercise bike so I exercised for 30 minutes every morning and drank lots of water.

What happened?

I started to lose weight and felt less tired. After three months, my A1c was down to 6.2%. That gave me the incentive to keep going, it was a great feeling and I didn’t need to take diabetic medication. In August, my A1c was 5.9% and by December it was 5.7% and most recently in May 2024 it was 5.8% so I am doing great.  I was back to what I weighed in my twenties. My blood pressure was normal and my cholesterol was normal.  In November, I started to use a blood glucose monitor my doctor gave me. It became addictive but the strips and needles were expensive; the government didn’t cover the cost for these diabetic aids unless I was on insulin. I’m not sure what happened, I must have become complacent because my A1c result in March had gone back up to 5.9% but my blood glucose was 5.6% in an average of 90 days with the metre.

What are you doing now?

I’m still exercising and I'm careful not to eat ultra-processed food, and to avoid sugar or too much starchy vegetables. I’m very strict with myself, even more so since my A1c went up earlier this year. I discovered recently that the balsamic vinegar I was using had 8 grams of sugar! So that may have explained the increase. Another time, I almost made a huge mistake. I thought I had bought my usual plain yogurt with 2 grams sugar in 3/4 cup to make up my breakfast jars. I was just about to add a tablespoon of the yogurt into the first jar when I noticed the yogurt was a slightly different colour than usual. I looked at the container. I had mistakenly bought vanilla and cinnamon yogurt instead of plain and there were 14 grams of sugar in it for 3/4 cup! I didn’t eat it; I gave it to someone who doesn’t have diabetes. In the spring I started intermittent fasting. I fast for 16 hours and then eat my three meals in an 8-hour window. And I have lost 5 more pounds.

What is your favourite go-to meal?

I love all the healthy food that I eat every day. The yogurt, fruit, nuts and oats for breakfast are not only delicious, they are also filling, and so are the salads that I make. I love poached eggs but also will do scrambled or an omelet. If I feel hungry in the evening I will eat fruit with nuts for a snack or just drink plain water.

What do you want others to know?

I know changing your lifestyle is not easy. You need family and friends to help you along the way at first. Be strong. It does get easier over time and when you’re healthy and fit you will look and feel amazing, you won’t believe what you did and you’ll look back in a year (as in my case) or however long it takes you and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

Top tips:

What works for me along with a healthy diet is:

I drink lots of water every day, exercise after meals, try to get enough sleep, and try to lower stress. And I watch out for hidden sources of sugar.

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