'Becoming diabetic forced me to change my life around'

Charles Torkington, 54, an IT specialist from Thirsk in North Yorkshire, says being diagnosed with diabetes gave him the determination to change his diet and his life.

"I was a pilot for 30 years, and was fit and active. But when I left the forces eight years ago, my life changed.

"I studied IT and stopped exercising due to work pressures. My weight went up to just over 15 stone (95kg).

"Then I started getting pains in my legs, which I thought were linked to a back injury. My doctor said it was either cancer or diabetes.

"A week later, he rang to say I had diabetes.My blood sugar levels were so high they were off the scale.

"My GP put me on an exercise and diet regime, reducing portion sizes and cutting out alcohol completely. I now eat lots of vegetables, salmon and skinned chicken, and no processed food at all.

"I run up the stairs instead of walking, I walk to get the weekend shopping, and polish the car vigorously by hand. I also walk three or four miles in the countryside at weekends.

"I'm now 11 stone 8lb (74kg) and feel so much better. I've got loads of energy and my blood sugar is under control. Becoming diabetic forced me to change my life. I'm very happy now."

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 30 Jun 2016