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The Healthy Living Magazine

Weight-Loss Stories: Joseph S. Gilleran

By Gina Roberts-Grey , , ,


Age: 45
Occupation: Financial consultant
Began losing weight: May 2014
Current weight: 210 pounds
Weight lost: 83 pounds

After a screening of his cardiovascular health, Joseph S. Gilleran says he was told he had a “pretty minimal chance of having a heart attack,” but he was stunned to learn he had type 2 diabetes. Months later, he had a heart attack. 

“That heart attack forced me to pay attention to my scale,” says Gilleran. “I was almost 100 pounds overweight, weighing 293 in the hospital. My A1C was 13.3 [percent].”

After a five-day hospital stay, Gilleran was prescribed cardiac rehab—which consists of light exercise, stress relief, and education about a heart-healthy lifestyle—along with metformin and insulin for blood glucose management and medicines to control his blood pressure and cholesterol. “The first day home, I was terrified for my life. My daughters were [age] 2, and I nearly left them fatherless,” he says.

Gilleran relied on his faith to help him chart a course to a healthier life. “I started … thinking that my body is a temple, which helped me to make the dietary and lifestyle changes needed to be healthier,” he says. “So I exercise every day and eat healthy, never eating fried or fast foods or drinking pop. I pretty much only drink water.”

Four months after adopting his new lifestyle, Gilleran was able to stop taking all of his diabetes medications. “Now, my A1C is 5.6 and I feel great, and happy to be alive,” he says.

Check with your doctor before making changes to your eating or exercise plan.

Read more in our Active Lifestyle Guide.