“You don’t go on Dr Liu’s 101 Program to lose weight – you do it to live to 101!
For most of my career, I worked in investment banking at Societe Generale and was very comfortable in New York as its managing director and global head of securitisation.
It was during that time that I received a phone call which would change my life forever. It was the doctor who a few days earlier had overseen my annual corporate health check. Having always been healthy and active, I usually sailed through these however, on this occasion I wasn’t so lucky. He suspected that I had Type 2 diabetes and I should consult my doctor immediately to confirm the diagnosis. Knowing almost nothing about the condition and having no idea if I had ever been pre-diabetic it was a real wake up call.
My doctor told me I had a chronic condition and that if I didn’t manage it carefully it could shorten my life. The shock deepened when, she sent me to an institute for the blind to get advice about damage to my vision and, where I also learnt diabetes was a major cause of amputation. The objective was to shock me and it worked.
I researched the condition, hit the gym, took on a trainer and changed my diet completely. I went to a dietician who taught me to focus on managing my carbohydrate intake particularly, reading and knowing the carb content of food. I was told I could never repair what was done. My pancreas was damaged and no matter what I did I would always be diabetic.
I lost a lot of weight, dropping to 82 kilos, kept a strict regime, measured my blood sugar and took 500mg of Metformin daily. I remained stable for the next five years however, it is a progressive disease and the only way to stop it from evolving was to lose more weight.
Once you get to the point where your pancreas can’t process sugar efficiently the only way to deal with it is to put less stress on it and reduce its workload by getting your weight down. A few colleagues had great results in losing weight and when quizzed put it down to Dr Liu.
The plan was to lose more than I needed to so maintaining the weight was easier.
I lost 18 kilos in three months! For the first month, I only took herbs which reset my appetite. In total, I dropped to 64 kilos, stabilising at 69.
The weight loss made such an impact on my system that my endocrinologist didn’t only reduce my dosage of Metformin but took me off it altogether. I was also on cholesterol medication and she took me off that as well.
For the past two years I have been managing my diabetes with exercise, diet and adequate sleep. It’s been nine years since my initial diagnosis and I have changed my perception of eating altogether.
I’ll be honest the 101 Program IS tough and it’s not for everybody. There’s no magic you just have to be disciplined both mentally and physically.
Before commencing the program I researched it online and saw what it was and also that a lot of people had failed so went in with my eyes open.
Having type 2 diabetes I know what it’s like to not feel normal, so the feelings that go with starving your body and mind are not that foreign to me. Your body operates at about 70 per cent capacity when on the program, so it’s finding the right time to do it, ensure you get plenty of rest and don’t overdo it.
I guess understanding the philosophy behind cleansing your body made complete sense to me and was a great way of getting where I needed to be.
It’s interesting how food plays a huge role in being social. While I was on the program I would go to dinners and not eat anything. I would explain what I was doing and people just accepted it. I made it part of my lifestyle and didn’t let it run me.
Today, I carefully manage my diet, with the objective of not going back on diabetes medication, or at least prolonging it for as long as possible, to keep my diabetes under control.
Dr Liu can get you to the weight you want. It’s up to you to maintain it.”
Greg Medcraft, 59, Sydney
Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission