A new be­gin­ning

The blog­ger be­hind Fat Mum Slim, Chantelle Ellem, opens up about her dis­cov­ery and jour­ney with in­sulin re­sis­tance

Diabetic Living - - Contents -

When I was about eight years old, a friend pulled me aside to tell me all about a birth­day party she was hav­ing. She was invit­ing the whole class, ev­ery­one ex­cept me.

“I can’t in­vite you to my pool party,” she told me, “be­cause you’re too fat.”

I re­alise how crazy that sounds right now, but back then part of me thought it made sense. I hadn’t re­alised I was that chubby (for the record I was chubby, not obese) or that it af­fected things that much, es­pe­cially the par­ties that I could or couldn’t at­tend.

Since that point in my life, my weight has been a con­stant sore spot. In my 20s, Mon­days were for new be­gin­nings – new di­ets. I’ve dab­bled in low-fat; I’ve trudged my way through low­carb (long be­fore cauliflower in ev­ery­thing was a thing); and I’ve even at­tempted the lemon diet – the least fun of them all.

In my late 20s, not long af­ter my daugh­ter was born, I turned up to my doc­tor’s of­fice for a check-up and some­how we got onto the topic of my weight. I cried, be­cause the frus­tra­tion of try­ing to lose weight and fail­ing is an emo­tional one.

My doc­tor was young, pas­sion­ate and ea­ger to find an­swers, so she sent me off to take the In­sulin Fast­ing Test to see if I had in­sulin re­sis­tance.

My re­sults came back and

I was re­ferred to a spe­cial­ist.

The en­docri­nol­o­gist I saw hap­pened to be a leader in the field. He was older and very se­ri­ous, but some­what en­dear­ing. He shared that my re­sults were some of the high­est he’d ever seen, what in­sulin re­sis­tance meant for my life, and the changes that I’d have to make mov­ing for­ward.

I wanted to hug him, be­cause it was oddly com­fort­ing to hear that my chal­lenges with my weight weren’t just lim­ited to my in­abil­ity to stick it out with the lemon diet – there was more to it than that.

There were changes that needed to be made in my life. I went to a di­eti­tian who spe­cialised in in­sulin re­sis­tance. Her brother, who also hap­pened to be the re­cep­tion­ist, had man­aged to drop over 50kg, all while suf­fer­ing se­vere in­sulin re­sis­tance, too. I felt hope – some­thing I hadn’t felt in a very long time.

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