Name: Jeremy Quin
Age: 49 years (50 in June)
Hero status: lost over 5 stone and now doesn’t have to inject himself with insulin
2017 challenge: taking on Dulux Trade London Revolution
To celebrate World Health Day we are heroing some of our incredible participants taking part in this year’s Dulux Trade London Revolution. Read more about Jeremy’s story here.
I have been cycling as a leisure pursuit for about 30 years mostly using a mountain bike then a hybrid bike.
At the beginning of 2016 I was rushed to hospital by ambulance. I was diagnosed with diabetes and I developed a blood clot in my lung. I spent almost a week in hospital having my condition stabilised and being taught how to inject myself with insulin and taking blood thinners to disperse the blood clot.
I weighed 19 stone with a HbA1c (blood sugar level) of 124. A normal blood sugar level is below 42. The consultant who was looking after me in the high dependency unit asked me, “Did you think you were going to die?” It was a bit of a wake up call.
When I got out of hospital I changed my diet. No more chocolate, crisps, sweets or cakes. I reduced my portion sizes and stopped snacking. I now have porridge or brown toast for breakfast, brown bread sandwiches for lunch and a healthy evening meal. I didn’t want to be ill, so as well as eating healthily I started to cycle more. I was on all sorts of medication and wanted if possible to reduce this as much as I could. I wanted to be healthier and to lose some weight.
I mostly cycled on forest paths and trails, along old railway lines that had been developed for walking and cycling and along canal tow paths. I am lucky where I live, I can cycle along the Forth and Clyde canal to places like the Falkirk Wheel and the iconic Kelpies. It’s nice and flat and there are no cars, which makes it perfect for a casual cycle.
From about spring through to early summer 2016 I cycled like this. The best compliment I have received was from my consultant who, after several months of attending his clinic, said “you don’t look like a patient anymore”.
I then decided it was time to do a bit more and I bought a proper road bike to start doing some bigger cycles. When I am feeling more energetic I can cycle in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. I can cycle over the Campsie Fells (about 1,000ft high) towards Aberfoyle, up over the Dukes Pass round Loch Katrine, which is absolutely. I rode this last Friday (25th February) and there was quite a bit of snow on the road. That day I did 140km.
I have lost over 5 stone in weight, I am now 13 stone 10 pounds and my blood sugar is 35. I was a 38 inch waist in trousers and I am now a 32. I have never felt better and I no longer have to inject insulin.
I have cycled all through the winter in Scotland and most weeks will cycle over 100 miles. This year’s target is to cycle lots more, particularly now the better weather is coming in. I have entered several cycling sportives– all building up to my biggest two day ride to date – The Dulux Trade London Revolution.
I am not perfect and still love crisps, I just don’t eat 6 packets every day the way I used to. I might share a packet of crisps over lunch with my wife and as a treat I have a couple of squares of Green and Blacks 85% dark chocolate.
The thing I love most about cycling is the opportunity to clear my head of all the stresses and strains of work. I can just enjoy the countryside, the blue sky (sometimes), my peddling and my breathing. Sometimes I go fast and try and beat my personal bests of Strava and sometimes I just turn the pedals and look forward to the stop at a café for a coffee.