Virginia Beach, Va. - Virginia Beach resident Daniel Hazelwood was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 20 years ago, but at the time, he didn't realize that his eating habits and lifestyle were largely responsible for his disease and his weight problem.
“I could go to Golden Corral and eat a lot of food, but I could tear up their rolls and their sweets,"
In 2011, the retired railroad worker's weight had ballooned to over 300 pounds.
He was clinically obese, on four diabetes medications and feeling terrible. A friend told him about the Strelitz Diabetes Clinic at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
He met with an endocrinologist and the news scared him.
"She said if you keep going the way you’re going, I wouldn't be surprised if eventually you'll lose a leg,” says Hazelwood.
The doctor enrolled him in a 4-week nutrition class with registered dietician Phyllis Woodson and he got his marching orders.
"Lower calorie eating since he has diabetes awareness of his carbohydrates blood sugar the right portions not to drink sugary beverages and avoid fried foods," says Woodson.
He followed her instructions and lost about 40 pounds.
"Then when I started walking it just started coming off," says Hazelwood.
130 pounds came off in 18 months, walking 9-12 miles a day every day. Two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon.
Hazelwood comes back to nutrition class at EVMS weekly to share his story with other diabetes patients hoping to inspire them to follow his lead.
Mr. Hazelwood is also off all his diabetes medications and his wife also lost 80 pounds by adopting the healthy eating plan and walking routine.