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‘I lost half my body weight and turned my life around after I struggled to take my puppy for a walk’ – Wales Online

Aug 27th, 2022

A mum-of-two who lost almost half her body weight and put her type 2 diabetes into remission couldnt have done it without her Cavapoo Goldie - who motivated her to change her life. Christine Barnett lost more than 10 stone and dropped from a size 24 to a size 8 within 18 months, after following health and wellbeing brand exantes 800-calorie diet plan, and using her new furry friend as a mini personal trainer.

In August 2020 the 39-year-old, from St Helens in Liverpool, weighed 21st 13lbs. And when she bought her Cavapoo Goldie with husband Chris, Christine was disheartened by feeling breathless and unfit on every dog walk. The nurse, who now weighs 11st 7lbs, said: I wanted to give Goldie the long daily walks she deserved but I was panting and becoming short of breath, even on the shortest of walks.

By the time I got home I was completely breathless and I knew something had to change, if not for myself, for my family and my dog. It was a huge reality check for me after years of struggling with my weight. I was a size 16 when I was 13-years-old and I was always aware of the stares and laughs I got in school, because I was big. Even as I got older Id wear dark and loose clothes to avoid standing out even more.

I had no confidence, I would comfort eat and I hated clothes shopping. Christine began working as a nurse in 2003 and found it even harder to control her diet.

By the time she gave birth to her daughter in 2006 she was 20 stone and shortly after, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Two years later, she was still on medication, and after falling pregnant again with her son, she had to have insulin injections.

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high. It's often linked to being overweight or inactive, or a family history of the condition. The disease means the body does not produce enough insulin, the hormone which controls blood sugar levels, or the body's cells dont react to insulin.

This is different from type 1 diabetes, where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. Christine added: I did manage to lose some weight after giving birth to Lucas. I tried all sorts of diets but the weight always came back.

Before I got Goldie I remember seeing a photo of myself on my nieces phone and I couldnt believe how big and unwell I looked. That was probably another moment that gave me a bit of a reality check. Around the same time I started walking I was introduced to exante by a friend who lost 7 stone during lockdown. I started out on the very low-calorie diet plan which meant consuming 800 calories a day initially.

I stopped eating crumpets for breakfast and swapped them for a meal replacement shake or porridge. For lunch I had a shake, bar or pot meal, and for dinner Id have a healthy 200-calorie meal. I stopped the chocolate and crisps too and switched to the exante bars. I couldnt believe it when I lost 12lbs within the first week.

exante is based in the UK and offers a range of diet plans, shakes, bars, snacks and other products that help thousands of people lose and then maintain their weight, and transform their lives. While Christine initially found walks with Goldie challenging, as she lost weight and built up her fitness levels, she began to enjoy them and was able to take Goldie on adventures without feeling short of breath.

By August 2021, she was given the news shed reversed her type 2 diabetes and no longer needed to take medication - and by February this year Christine weighed 11st 7lbs - a weight she maintains now. She said: I made sure I drank lots of water and surprisingly I didnt feel hungry because the products are filling. I didnt have a weight loss goal initially, I took each stone at a time, as I got closer to a healthy weight I gradually increased my calories to 1,200 on some days.

To be able to say Ive lost more than 10 stone is incredible for me. It was wonderful having Goldie by my side on my journey - she has no idea how much she motivated me to change my life for the better. After, I had the excess skin removed from my abdomen with a Fleur de Lis abdominoplasty.

"I can now wear things Ive always wanted to, last Christmas I bought a pair of Levis and Timberland boots because Im confident enough to wear stuff like that, even my feet went from a size 8 to a size 6. I make much healthier food choices now, I know more about nutrition and how to maintain my weight.

"I follow the plan three days a week. I used to have to take medication for high blood pressure and I dont need that now either.

Christine walks up to five miles a day now and enjoys clothes shopping and embracing the outdoors. Her favourite exante shakes, which are less than 200 calories each, are mocha frappe, coconut latte and lemon cheesecake.

The exante 800 plan is an 800-calorie diet designed for effective weight loss. It was featured in ITV2s two-part documentary, Fast Fix. The study followed volunteers as they followed the plan and put their conditions into remission.

Lujain Alhassan, a nutritionist at exante, said following a nutritionally-complete meal replacement plan while on a very low-calorie diet saves people the hassle of calorie counting and going over their daily consumption limits. She added: Following a very low-calorie diet with food doesnt ensure you will consume the daily recommended amount of nutrients.

"It can increase your risk of developing nutrient deficiencies, health complications and may even make weight loss more difficult. A recognised meal replacement programme, like exantes, saves people the hassle of calorie counting and meal planning. Our shakes for example are low-calorie but nutritionally complete, so its a safe way to diet.

Read more:
'I lost half my body weight and turned my life around after I struggled to take my puppy for a walk' - Wales Online

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