“I’ve lost 16kg since di­ag­no­sis” Type 2 was a bless­ing for Bella Mux­wor­thy

The re­moval of a tu­mour led to dis­cov­er­ing type 2 for Bella Mux­wor­thy, 41, a chef turned coun­sel­lor

Diabetic Living - - Contents -

When were you first di­ag­nosed with di­a­betes?

Two weeks af­ter I got mar­ried in Oc­to­ber 2013. I felt re­ally ill and the doc­tors found a ten­nis­ball sized tu­mour on my left ovary that was at­tached to my pan­creas. I was told if they didn’t re­move the tu­mour I’d get cancer, and if they did re­move it I’d get di­a­betes – which is in my fam­ily. My grand­fa­ther and his mum both had type 1.

That sounds tough…

Deal­ing with the emo­tional side was re­ally dif­fi­cult. I got de­pressed and anx­ious. Then I dis­cov­ered that be­cause of the tu­mour I wasn’t able to have chil­dren. I feel so grate­ful for all the sup­port from my hus­band, Troy, and other loved ones. But I had to mourn and get on and deal with my life.

How did you ad­just?

Be­fore the di­ag­no­sis I worked shifts as a chef so didn’t have time to sit down for proper meals. I also drank two to four glasses of fizzy drink or juice every day. Thank­fully I had a great di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor and did a lot of on­line re­search.

Food, ex­er­cise and stress af­fect peo­ple with di­a­betes in dif­fer­ent ways so I ex­per­i­mented to see what worked for me. I knew how to cook healthy meals, so I cut down my por­tions and be­came more ac­tive. Now I eat more protein and less carbs, and I see a nu­tri­tion­ist every few months and an en­docri­nol­o­gist every three months.

Any other new habits?

I walk for 40 to 60 min­utes daily. I love my calf mus­cles now! I do Zumba, yoga or Pi­lates once a week, and if it’s rain­ing I put on an aer­o­bics video or some mu­sic and dance around the house.

What has sur­prised you?

I didn’t know diet would have such a big im­pact on my blood glu­cose lev­els (BGLs) or how im­por­tant por­tion con­trol is. I’ve lost 16 ki­los since my di­ag­no­sis. I’ve eaten so many dif­fer­ent fruits and veg­eta­bles that I wouldn’t have tried be­fore.

On my birthday I had a piece of cake, which I hadn’t done for five months. I started to stress out but my BGLs were fine. I thought I wouldn’t be able to have treats.

What treats do you eat?

Ice-cream is my weak­ness but I just have one scoop of Peters Light & Creamy with fruit! I saw how much my grand­fa­ther suf­fered – he had to have his legs am­pu­tated. He warned me about life­style choices.

Are there any pos­i­tives?

Yes, I changed my ca­reer. I went back to uni to study psy­chol­ogy and now I’m help­ing some of my clients deal with their di­a­betes.

Do you have any ad­vice for oth­ers?

Your men­tal and emo­tional health im­pact the phys­i­cal side and all three have to work to­gether for a bal­anced, happy life.

Life is good for Bella – thanks to her choices.

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