Jan Ward says winning a six-month gym membership at the Diabetes
Queensland EXPOsing Diabetes event on the Gold Coast has changed
her and her husband's lives.
"I haven't been the best patient," says Jan, 60, who was
diagnosed with type 2 when she was 42. She also had high blood
pressure and cholesterol.
"My mum, aunt, grandmother and cousins on Mum's side all had
type 2 diabetes so it wasn't a big surprise when I was
Jan loves to cook and entertain, and following a healthy diet
was often a bridge too far.
Standing 160cm, Jan weighed 74kg at her heaviest. When she
started at the Milon Premium Health Club at Main Beach in December,
she weighed about 65kg. About four months later, she now weighs
62kg but says she has completely changed shape.
"I only have to go to the gym two or three times a week to get
results," says Jan.
"I was losing my core strength before I started exercising and
the increase in my physical strength is really noticeable to
"I've always had thin arms and legs, but the padding went on
around my stomach.
"Now at this weight and with this level of fitness, I'm much
better proportioned and a completely different dress size."
Jan and her husband Phil are just back from a couple of weeks in
Japan and plan to tour Europe later this year.
"I'm an early childhood teacher and that's my passion," Jan
says. "I want to continue teaching 4-year-olds for as long as I
possibly can, and to do that I have to be able to keep up with
them. It's physical work sometimes.
"But I also love to travel. To lift suitcases off and on trains
and conveyor belts, you have to be strong.
"Everything is better because I'm stronger."
Jan says she has done the wrong thing with exercise in the past
and "started at 99 miles per hour, then burned out.
"I've also had experiences with young women trainers in their
20s who were all about the body beautiful and tight leotards," she
"The trainer I'm with now, Matt Wrattan, who is the exercise
physiologist who presented at the EXPOsing Diabetes event, is
delightful. He's so kind and gentle and has inspired my
"I knew from the beginning that I could trust him.
"I'm so pleased I've found him. Good diet and exercise are
important for everyone but especially for people with
Jan said the day she and Phil spent at Diabetes EXPOsing was
"It was a positive and upbeat day, and it gave me the support I
needed to think outside the square.
"I've often had holidays from my diabetes, where I'll think
about it tomorrow.
"My doctors are shocked at the way I've turned things
"I'm actually looking forward to doing more. I see people in
their 70s and 80s walking into the gym and it inspires me. They're
doing such a great job.
"The whole experience just makes me feel good."