Mother of four Mariana Smith. Picture: Supplied
Mother of four Mariana Smith. Picture: Supplied

Centurion mom proves living with diabetes can be managed with a healthy lifestyle

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published Nov 15, 2020

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For a Centurion mother of four, balancing work and mom life with a special needs son comes with its own set of challenges. Mariana Smith is a type one diabetic and has been struggling with insulin resistance for 42 years.

Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t use glucose from your blood for energy. To make up for it, your pancreas makes more insulin. Over time, your blood sugar levels go up and this results in weight gain, blood pressure and cholesterol issues.

When looking at their 2019 Christmas family photos, Smith felt a strong urge to get rid of the excess weight and make her health a priority. The winner of the reality television programme Afskaal, Jandri Swart, inspired her to make an appointment and enquire about Slender Wonder.

“I wanted to feel healthy and look good for myself. I also took up trail running. The extra weight just drove me crazy. Being a type one diabetic plays a crucial role in losing weight and maintaining a healthy diet. My goal was to treat my chronic condition with a new healthy lifestyle, by eating the right foods that would improve my blood glucose levels and ensure that I have enough energy to start participating in a daily exercise regime.”

Smith started her Slender Wonder journey with Dr Annelize Geldenhuys on January 16 2020 and lost 24kg in 16 weeks. The weight loss was a great achievement, but what it did to Mariana’s health is even more incredible.

“During last year, my diabetic HbA1c reading on average was 7.5mmol. Whereas, during my Slender Wonder journey, my overall blood glucose improved to 5.7mmol.

These results show that I have better control over my blood glucose levels and that my health has improved overall. The cherry on top was my clothes getting looser and looser as I went on,” she says.

Slender Wonder changed how she manages her diabetes and Mariana’s daily insulin dosages have decreased by 60%.

When Smith was asked how she feels mentally, she exclaimed: “I feel good every day! Receiving compliments and shopping for clothes has become a lot easier than the past. I have more energy. I feel alive, happy, and active! Emotionally I feel that I am in full control.”

Smith highly recommends a weight loss programme. Losing weight as a diabetic can be tough and she is a walking testimony of the programme’s suitability for people with this condition. “Fly high and go conquer the world. You can do anything if your mindset is focused,” she added.

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