My name's Tariq, I'm 53 years old. I am based in Glasgow and own a post office. About 10 years ago, after being in hospital for a week, the test results came back and I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
For nine years, the diabetes was managed through the use of tablets, something I wasn't a fan of and which I was never really happy about. I was desperate to reverse the diabetes because some of the people who have diabetes I knew had lost limbs as a result of it being out of control. That was quite frightening for me. I was actually terrified. I told myself that I was not going to let that happen.
After doing some research, I came across a study being conducted by my alma mater, Glasgow University, about a year ago. They were looking for Southeast Asians who had been diagnosed with diabetes within the previous six months. I contacted them, but I didn't qualify because my diagnosis was nine years ago. They did, however, recommend that I contact Counterweight, which I did.
Elliott contacted me, took me through a screening and felt that I was a great candidate for the Counterweight programme. We started this journey a year ago, and I haven't looked back!
“I took it week by week”
There were moments of weakness, and days when I wondered, "Why am I doing this?" But I stayed focused. I think the calls with Elliott were key. Being able to speak with a professional who had gone through the process with others and understood the difficulties. Knowing I had a scheduled call, initially every week, helped me stay motivated. I didn't consider it a twelve-month programme. I took it one week at a time. I'd think if I could just get to the next phone call, I'd be fine.
“Just do it”
I would say to anyone considering the programme to "just do it." I had my first preparatory call with Elliot and mentally prepared myself, knowing that I was going to have a complete break from food and only have four shakes a day. I work a very long day, starting at half three and finishing at seven o'clock at night. I have a longer day than most people because my work is my life, and if I can do it, anyone can!
“The best thing I’ve ever done!”
When I started the programme I was 13½ stone, I’m now 10½ stone. So, it's been the best thing I've ever done, I’ve never looked back. I don't ache anymore, my knees don't hurt anymore, my joints don't hurt anymore, and I don't have brain fog. I feel a hundred times better and healthier.
“The diabetes nurse couldn't believe the numbers I had achieved using diet alone.”
I'm now in remission from diabetes and haven't taken any medications in over a year. I was over the moon about that. The diabetes nurse couldn't believe the numbers I had achieved using diet alone. She said she'd never witnessed anything like this!
“I’d rather have a piece of fruit”
I've learned a lot about myself, my body, and my eating habits. I've also put strategies in place to ensure that I don't overeat again. Now my philosophy is if I feel hungry, I eat something healthy. I say to people: “I’m not on a diet; I've just changed my eating habits.” I eat a lot of whole food, plenty of salad, lots of fresh veg and fresh fruit. I eat a bit of meat, but I don't overeat.