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December 14, 2001

Gender: Male Ethnicity: Caucasion Height: 5ft 4in to 5ft 6in Weight: above 170 lbs Onset Age: 31-40 Age Now: 31-40 Family Diabetes: Both parents Treatment: Diet only Medication: None Meter: Bayer Tests: 1-2 times/day Exercise: 5+ times/week Diet: Zone (30/30/40) Supplements: vitamins C & E, calcium, magnesium, fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids), soy

Four years ago my father, a Type 2 Diabetic, died suddenly and unexpectedly, two days after a "successful" quadruple coronary artery bypass operation. The doctors believe that his death was due to his diabetes. My mother also suffers from Type 2 Diabetes, and is completely insulin-dependent now. My mother suffers from the following diabetic complications: blindness, heart failure, poor circulation, and kidney disease. Already diagnosed with diabetes, she had her first heart attack in her early fourties. I take care of her the best I can, and must live with her in order to keep her from being institutionalized. My mother's younger sister also has a very serious case of Type 2 Diabetes.

I was diagnosed with a severe and uncontrolled case of Type 2 Diabetes at the age of 36. Exacerbated by morbid obesity, diabetes has nearly taken my life on several occasions, even as recently as last year. Having been undiagnosed for about 15 years, the disease literally robbed me of my youth (most of my 20s and all of my 30s). For the past year, I have been healthy. Since my diagnosis, especially during the past year, I've been travelling on a very rocky road; there have been many setbacks related to the disease, including the loss of a good job (which in retrospect was actually a good thing).

Despite the occassional turmoil, I am succeeding. I think the best moment of my life was 14 months ago when for the first time in literally years, I found myself feeling healthy enough, happy enough, and comfortable enough with my appearance, to awkwardly ask a woman out on a date (she said yes). Since that day, I have felt alive again!

I control both my obesity (still a headache) and diabetes using the Zone Diet and rigorous exercise. My exercise consists primarily of weight training. I have been lifting for only 14 months, but have been putting in up to 25 hours per week, using very heavy weights, many repetitions, and multiple sets. The results have been truly stunning. Over the past six months, my percentage of body fat has dropped from 26% to 7%! Sixteen months ago it was 36%! Without using steroids, I am currently squatting close to 600 pounds (free-weights) and incline-bench pressing 375 pounds (using a machine). Although I just turned 40, I am healthier and stronger than I was at 20, and I feel fabulous.