Tired mum’s late night Macca’s ’mistake’
Nicole Addamo had her life turned upside when she was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes at 32.
The Melbourne mum was at a Katy Perry concert with a friend when she suddenly felt faint, had extreme thirst, pale skin and sweet smelling breathe.
Her friend, who is a nurse, encouraged Ms Addamo of Pakenham, to get tested.
And to her shock, four days later the results came back positive.
"I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, high cholesterol and my under active thyroid had worsened," Ms Addamo told news.com.au
"I felt like my life was spinning out of control and I couldn't cope."
The health scare prompted the now 34-year-old to embark on a lifestyle change that not only had her lose more than 22kg, but would reverse her blood test results to "normal".
She said the combination of a 1200 calorie meal plan and regular exercise is what helped put her health back on track.
"After six months on Lite n' Easy, I took a blood sugar test and it came back normal. I was told I no longer have type-2 diabetes, and to continue doing whatever it was that I was doing to lose (and maintain) my weight," Ms Addamo said.
"Being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes really shocked me - your whole world shuts down. I decided to take matters into my own hands as I want to see my kids grow up."
And that she did. The mother-of-two signed up to the weight loss meal service's 1200 calorie program and joined her local Beaconsfield Fitness Centre.
"This was my moment, taking back my health and controlling what I did with my body to correct the mistakes," Ms Addamo told news.com.au
She made a promise to stop eating her favourite takeaways such as cheeseburgers and fish and chips.
"Many a night we (husband and I) would order take away as we were both very tired from working full time jobs. It was also very convenient and fast to your plate."
"I ate a lot of vegetables and salads but my dinner plate would have 3/4 chips and meat."
Ms Addamo said the plates were so full, it was like a "pyramid of food".
After dinner came dessert, which she said included ice cream, potato chips, lollies, popcorn and chocolate.
"Then if we were up very late, we would get a full Mcdonald's meal deal which would be chips, triple cheeseburger and coke."
After the birth of her second child in 2015, Ms Addamo said her body changed and not just from pregnancy weight gain.
"My thyroid decided to pack it in and I gained 20kgs in less than three months," she explained.
"I would hide my weight by buying bigger clothes and flowing caftans."
When looking in the mirror, Ms Addamo would often ask herself, "How can you have let yourself go", "why does my husband stick around", "how can he even look at me".
"I was ashamed of what I could see and it worsened when I was given the news in 2018 that I was type 2 diabetic with all these issues.
"I knew previously I had gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy and just thought it was normal. However, after speaking to many specialists gestational is a warning sign of type 2 to come."
Growing up, Ms Addamo was a confident and active promotional model but her unhealthy habits made her depressed after turning into an "overweight stressed teacher".
She said her calorie controlled meals together with gym workouts changed her life.
"I enjoy going for bush walks with my family, going on rides at carnivals and overall, just being confident in myself again.
"I love wearing my old size 8/10 clothing again (was size 18) and being able to walk into a shop and knowing the clothes will fit."
However, she said the biggest achievement is knowing she is healthy and proving "so many wrong that I could defeat type 2 diabetes with healthy eating and exercise".
TRAINING AND 1200 MEAL PLAN
Ms Addamo trains at the gym three times a week with a tailored program that includes weights and cardio.
"To start my day, I would warm up on the bike or cross trainer, my exercises have two sets of 12-15 reps, followed by ending the session with stretching," she said.
As for her 1200 calorie a day diet, Ms Addamo describes it as "delicious food" that's "different every week".
For breakfast she will have a jam toast and cereal, or eggs on rye bread with spinach.
Morning snack she alternates between fruit or yoghurt, with lunch either a hot meal or cold salad with fruit.
She said afternoon tea can vary between a healthy cake, fruit or dried nuts.
"Dinner is my favourite - butter chicken and rice, or roast beef with vegetables. I also drink three litres of water per day."
But like any change, Ms Addamo faced her own struggles, mainly the "sheer shock of reality that my body was sick".
"The most terrifying was the finger prick. I had to check before and after meals how my sugars were going and the thought of pricking my skin was scary. It down right hurt and sometimes it would take me a several minutes to overcome the fear and let the trigger go on the needle," Ms Addamo said.
"This got easier as my results started to go back to normal."
Ms Addamo said she now feels like herself again - confident, sexy and "most importantly, alive".
This weekend marks the start of National Diabetes Week (July 12-18), visit Diabetes Australia website for more information about the "Heads Up" campaign, an initiative highlighting the mental and emotional health impact of living with diabetes.
If you've got a transformation story you'd like to share, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published as Tired mum's late night Macca's 'mistake'