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