An ‘ex-diabetic’ who changed his life after being diagnosed with the condition 11 years ago has written a book to help other sufferers.
Barry Landsberg, 62, from Little Brickhill, author of ‘Becoming an Ex-Diabetic’, lost six stone in 15 months after he discovered he had diabetes.
His self-confessed love of food and hate of exercise, lead Barry to weighing 19 stone. A product manager for AGFA Graphics, he was diagnosed with type two diabetes while working in France.
He said: “I had not been looking after myself and they discovered I had a lot of sugar in my blood.
“I thought it was just because I was getting old as I had just turned 50. I had just accepted that the rest of my life I would be big.”
His GP in the UK told him he needed to change his lifestyle.
Barry said: “I fell out with him because I wanted a quick fix. I wanted him to give me a pill to make it go away. I wanted the easy way out.
“He said I would have to change my diet. I didn’t like it, but now I’m very grateful to him. I’ve done it the hard way and it has been a lifestyle change.”
After the initial weight loss, the dad-of-two became interested in fitness and took up kickboxing and other sports.
He said: “They were things I never would have dreamed of trying before.”
Barry kept a journal during his battle to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Two years ago he sat down and began to seriously write a book to inspire other people with the condition.
His book promotes the idea that you can be diabetic without having to live the life of one.
He added: “The myth is when you get it you have it for the rest of your life.”
In Autumn 2012 Barry’s doctors took him off the diabetes register, and due to his new health and fitness regime he quickly recovered after having a heart operation last August.
Barry continued: “They told me had I been the weight I was before I would not have recovered as well.”
More than 9,000 people in Milton Keynes have diabetes. About 90 per cent of these people have type two diabetes and according to Diabetes UK, thousands of people in the UK do not even know they have it.
Pav Kalfi, a clinical advisor for Diabetes UK, said: “There’s no such thing as a cure. With a change of diet the effects can be reversed and you can come off medication, but you’ll still have it.
“It’s just in the short term that it’s not a problem, but chances are that later in life it will catch up with Barry and he will need to go on to medication.
“It’s fantastic what he’s done. It’s achievable for anyone to come off the medication and be in Barry’s state, but not everyone has the determination. It’s something which can be manageable.
“Barry has managed it extremely well. He still has diabetes, but he is delaying any problems which come along with that. The fact he has been successfully managing it for 11 years, is a great achievement.”
Wife of nearly 40 years, Linda, 61, is proud of Barry’s achievement.
The programme manager for the Open University said: “It was really something he decided he had to do.”
Linda also said that he had tried dieting for about 20 years without long-term success.
She added: “He can do things now he couldn’t do before.”