Ryan Shand’s family has a history of type 2 diabetes, and Ryan has struggled with his weight for most of his adult life. A year ago he reached 143kg and was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, indicating a high risk of diabetes if not treated.
“I was morbidly obese and barely able to support my own weight. I was always tired, especially after eating and I was always eating”, Ryan said.
When his doctor told the 32 year old man that he probably only had another three years to live, he decided to take action.
“I realised that I needed to get serious, because this was probably the last chance I would get”.
Ryan started by making a few small changes – walking to the roundabout and back, choosing salad instead of chips with his dinner. He became more and more interested in nutrition and exercise.
“I learned about insulin and insulin resistance, how the body digests food and metabolises different sources into energy, and I have been intermittent fasting now for 8 months with great success.”*
Today Ryan is a fit and healthy 87kg, with blood glucose levels in the normal range and a much lower risk of diabetes. He runs marathons and is sharing his passion for fitness and nutrition with his children.
Diabetes WA’s Health Services Operations Manager, Sophie McGough said that Ryan could be an inspiration to the estimated 200,000 Western Australians with pre-diabetes.
“For people who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the condition can be delayed or prevented in up to 60% of cases by maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active and following a healthy eating plan,” Sophie said.
“Ryan made some significant changes to his lifestyle and has managed to steer away from diabetes and a number of associated health issues. What a champion!”
Ryan says he couldn’t have achieved his healthy body without support from friends and family.
“Support from my family was critical to my success – they kept encouraging me when I was struggling. Joining parkrun was also helpful, because I made some great friends in the parkrun community and we run together every week. And of course being able to play with my kids has been the ultimate reward for my efforts.”
Ryan will be running for Diabetes WA in the HBF Run for a Reason, alongside his family. You can help Ryan reach his fundraising goal here: https://hbfrun2018.everydayhero.com/au/ryan-s-help-diabetes-wa
*Intermittent fasting worked well for Ryan, but may not work for everyone. Contact your doctor or a dietitian for advice on what would work best for you.