Terri , 66, Guelph Ontario
Age diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
Number of years in remission
Life before diagnosis
I’ve had life-long challenges with my weight and health. I went on my first diet at age 9 and over the decades tried every diet, including a low-carb Atkins diet in the 1990s, in which I lost 90 pounds. But I would always regain the weight when I made the mistake of thinking I could return to a "normal" diet. At my highest weight, in 2011, I was 325 pounds.
By 2011 I was in my worst health ever. I could no longer walk and was in a wheelchair because my weight caused the bulging of my spinal disks. I had depression, agoraphobia, and panic disorder. I was on the maximum does of Seroquel for my mental health issues, which also increased my diabetes risk. I had high blood pressure and had already had a heart attack at age 53. I had psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and constantly itchy skin. I had irritable bowel syndrome. I had fatty liver and kidney problems. I was on a slew of pills. I was very sick.
That year I was told I had type 2 diabetes, too, and needed to be on even more medications. I knew I just had to do something, that if I did not, I would be dead soon. I asked the doctor to give me three months to see if I could improve my blood glucose numbers.
Why did you try remission?
I have many relatives who’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. I've seen what it can do. I’ve seen loved ones lose toes or their eyesight, have their kidneys fail, have heart attacks and die by age 60. It is a serious disease that has to be taken seriously.
What did you do?
I started a low-carb diet again and within four or five months was able to normalize my blood sugar and put my diabetes into remission. I lost about 120 pounds over the next year or so, but I made the mistake of thinking I could add back in some carbs. I regained about 90 of those 120 pounds by 2016. I realized I had a carb addiction and I had to be very strict.
I finally got it right in 2016 with a very low carb diet, then ketogenic diet with less than 10g of carbs. By 2018, by a process of elimination of foods that flared my IBS or psoriasis, I became carnivore. I’ve now lost a total of 200 pounds since my top weight and have been able to keep it off with no struggle. Now I am 126 pounds, which is just right for my 5’2” size. My diabetes has stayed in remission. My HbA1c is regularly now around 4.8. I eliminated my fatty liver and at my last check up, I have actually restored my kidney function. My blood pressure normalized and I came off blood pressure meds. My life-long depression and panic became normal reactions to life events. I am off all medications except a sleep aid, because I now have so much energy I sometimes have trouble sleeping.
What are you doing now?
Largely because of my psoriasis and IBS, I’ve found that a carnivore diet, with a tiny bit of vegetables like sliced cucumber or pickles, is the best choice to keep me symptom free. My husband eats low carb, and my kids generally eat low carb, unprocessed foods. They worry about me eating carnivore, feeling it is too restrictive, but they cannot argue with my incredible transformation. Being sick is much more restrictive to me! All my labs and blood tests are excellent so my doctor, who has seen all that I have been through, supports my choice.
What is your favorite “go-to” meal?
Any type of beef – a steak, a roast, ribeye. I often have that with chicken and some sliced cucumber.
What do you want others to know?
I was inspired by stories of people I found who had lost 150, 200 pounds. I hope that maybe I can inspire others with my story. It is never too late. You can be incredibly sick, like I was, and still improve your health. You just have to try, to find your “Why”, and be willing to change what you eat to find what works best for you.
Keep tweaking until you find the diet you can easily sustain. I discovered, doing keto, that I could not have anything that tasted sweet, even with non-caloric sweeteners, as it would cause me to lose control. So now I do not risk any sweet tastes. You have to find what is right for you. I have found a way of eating in which I feel healthy, nourished, satisfied, and strong, without cravings or hunger. That is a wonderful feeling. I actually feel my life began at 59 and finally I am now living my best life.