After landing in the hospital with dangerously high blood sugar, see how a chef committed himself to making a life change that went far beyond the numbers on the scale.
In September 2019, Paris-based chef Joffrey Lambert was 41, carried 352 pounds on his 6’3” frame, and was about to discover that he had type 2 diabetes. His wife, a nurse at the Red Cross, measured his blood sugar level one morning, and the verdict was clear when he got a reading of 3.7 g/L. Considering that normal blood sugar levels are between 0.7 and 1 g/L and that diabetes is considered to be above 1.26 g/L, Joffrey’s reading was dangerously high. Consequently he immediately went to his doctor, then to the emergency room, then to a week of hospitalization.
Like an electric shock
Joffrey soon realized the seriousness of his condition. “The doctor took a small glass of water. She put 5 sugars inside and made me stir the water with my finger. When I took it out, it was all sticky. She said, “You see, in your arteries, in your veins, it’s the same. Your blood is slowed down everywhere.”
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease with no cure that is characterized by hyperglycemia, a level of blood sugar that is too high compared to normal. The body resists insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels produced by the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight and can have very serious consequences if left untreated. Diabetes can affect almost every part of the body over the long term because the blood supplied to the organs is no longer of good enough quality to allow them to function properly.
Alone in his hospital room, Joffrey realized that he was on the path to an early death, and decided he had to regain control of his body: “My only solution was to lose a lot of weight. During my stay, I read a lot of articles and studies proving that by changing my lifestyle, I could also regulate my glycemia”.
Getting out of the hospital
Being released from the hospital was not a celebration. Joffrey was told that even after he left he still had to have 4 insulin injections a day. “I am lucky to be a chef and still know a lot about nutrient and calorie intake. But there is diabetes in my family, including my father who is also overweight.
During his stay in the hospital, Joffrey met several specialists including a psychologist and a nutritionist he worked with to learn how to make smarter choices. He quickly saw that he was actually quite good at it. “I was told that if I lost enough weight, I could stop taking insulin injections, and since I hate needles, I wanted to take the challenge!”
Full of motivation, Joffrey calculated what goals he needed to set in order to succeed. “I’m 6’3, so to have the correct BMI, I had to weigh 198 lbs, which meant I had 154 lbs to lose. It was a lot, but I decided to go for it.”
Changing his life
Joffrey changed everything. He began eating and sleeping better and also capitalized on his realization that he could start working out again. He weighs himself on his Body Cardio scale every day and finds it to be a real source of motivation. “I see my weight dropping regularly as a general trend, and that really encourages me. Today a lot has changed. My pulse wave velocity has dropped as well as my heart rate. I was at 55% body fat, and now I’m down to 25%. I still have 22 lbs to lose, but I know I’m going to make it.”
Joffrey is still monitored by his doctor and his diabetologist to control his diabetes and check that his weight loss is healthy. However, even he surprised these health veterans by losing so much weight that within two months he didn’t have to take any more insulin injections. “Now I only have to take one medicine in the morning and one in the evening.”
Reflecting on his progress, Joffrey thinks of his children. “Now, I have to somehow explain to my children that they have to be careful without necessarily pushing them too hard. But I want them to know how to make the right choices to eat well. I was killing my life with food, and today, I am trying to heal myself with food and exercise.”
Many thanks to Joffrey Lambert for his testimony and congratulations for his determination and weight loss.