I found my 60th birthday this summer hard; I feel I’ve not yet achieved the reasonably contented stable life that I wanted.

I’ve been living in France for 17 years, firstly doing what so many British people do – buying and renovating an old farm and creating my holiday cottage business. I came out here with my two early teenaged children and my younger lover. The lover left after a couple of years and we continued on our own collecting a gang of animals and learning so much the hard way. After about 10 successful years’ business I had to give up due to back problems resulting in an operation. (Perhaps hardly surprising with cleaning three holiday cottages, managing two acres and all the animals as well as rambling old farmhouse where I took B&B guests in my “spare time”).

I moved locally and now live in a three-bedroomed house, but still with land and animals. I’ve been working a bit as an English Coach in companies, but work has dried up as this is the first area to go when businesses make cuts. So, I’m desperately looking for work at the moment, which I think looks a bit odd to prospective employers when they see my age.

I’ve suffered all my life with excruciating migraines and have for a long time understood that they were connected to blood sugar levels. Sometimes I’d get what in our family we call “galloping hunger” and have to keep on and on eating trying to stave off the approaching migraine.

Then three years ago I was found to be diabetic following routine blood tests by a not very diligent GP. My HbA1c was 15. Initially I was surprised at the reaction of the blood test lab staff and my doctor, but soon found the Diabetes.co.uk site and learned that this was pretty high. I then read as much as possible to get a good perspective on the whole thing. I soon realised that there were lots of different approaches. I joined the French which has a strong local group in Saint Malo. There I was introduced to the local Hospital Consultant who was angry theat my GP had refused to refer me to her; she told me to ring her secretary for an appointment which I got immediately. They got me into hospital and kept me for lots of tests. The hospital dietician gave the same advice as seems to be standard NHS stuff in the UK. with plenty of carbohydrates at each meal.

I went home and limited the carbs and got the BS levels down. On diagnosis, I found that I’d lost my excess weight without noticing. So really things looked pretty good as I started exercising (walking) more.

However three years on, I’ve regained the weight, exercise less and had been eating far too much bread, rice and pasta and making and sharing cakes with my grandchildren and having snacks of cereals and chocalates. I know quite a lot about nutrition and knew what I was doing.

So what I’ll probably concentrate on in this Blog is motivation and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I don’t think I’m the only one to fall after a year or two. I’ve seen posters on the Forum who after diagnosis do really well, getting weight and Blood Sugar levels under control. Then they seem to disappear from view. Of course it may be that they’ve got to where they want to be, are maintaining that position and don’t feel the need for the Forum any more; I really hope that most people fall into this category, but I believe there are others like me.

So I’m trying to find out how to maintain things at a good level. I’m also trying to be a writer, but  I find it very hard to write and need an outside pressure to force me to get on with it. So committing to this Blog will help me.

I’ve now just completed a week of the Atkins Induction phase and lost 3 kg! My BS levels are right down too, so it looks good today. I’m trying to walk the dog more too. But even if I manage to lose the 15 kg that I’m aiming for, what will happen after that?

So, after this long rambling introduction, I’ll stop here and in future will post on my experiences, learning and reflections more briefly. I promise!

All Comments are welcome. I’m always keen to learn more about other people; everyone is unique and fascinating.

Jane in France.

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