JUST over a year ago, I wrote that I had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and that it made me understand that I needed to change my ways.

I know anyone can get it at any age, and that it can affect people in different ways; but for me, my lifestyle was something I knew I needed to change in order to minimise the impact of the condition on my health and life expectancy.

Two weeks ago, after a diabetic review, I was informed I had put it into remission and they would like to take me off medication. I lost 30kg (4.7 stones) in six months and have managed to maintain that weight for the last six months, which I think has been the crucial factor.

I hope people will know I write about this not as a virtue signalling exercise but to share my experience.

I had many emails after my first piece, some from people who gave me helpful advice as they had lived with diabetes for many years, and others concerned because they too had a recent diagnosis.

Many have since kindly checked in with me to see how I’m doing and so I share my good news here, with some thoughts and reflections on what I’ve learnt.

I cannot deny it was, and still is, hard; diabetes is relentless. But although it has taken away many foods I loved, it has given me something in return: a new focus on self-care.

My oldest daughter’s response was: “I never thought you could do it dad, still can’t believe it.”

She had nagged me incessantly over the past years about my unhealthy diet, but my response had always been: “I couldn’t live without things like tatties, chocolate and bread”.

Much to my surprise, I discovered I could. I do have cravings and, very occasionally, treat myself moderately, but I have learnt to understand what my body needs, what it doesn’t need, listen to it and take care of it.

I know this isn’t anything new, as we are constantly given advice about healthy eating and lifestyle, but I for one took it with a large pinch of salt (literally) until the consequences came knocking at my door.

I didn’t go on a diet, I changed my diet, I think that is an important message to give yourself: it’s permanent.

I reduced carbs and sugars as much as possible (sad farewell to lots of pizza, pasta, chips, white bread, crisps, tatties, ice cream and chocolate).

But it opened a door to new discoveries which I will not bore you with, as many other people have wonderful diabetic-friendly recipes.

The strange thing is, despite the downsides of having diabetes (and I know it can affect some people more seriously than others), I honestly feel it has forced me to make changes I should have made long ago, and paradoxically given me a healthier lifestyle.

My stomach problems have gone, my knee pain as I walk has gone, cholesterol down, I feel fitter than I have for years.

Coming off medication makes me nervous but it will keep me focused on eating well and keeping active. I know nothing in life is certain, but I hope I have improved my odds to live to see all my kids grow up.

Even if I haven’t, in the short term it has improved my feeling of wellbeing and improved the quality of my days.

I can be more active as a dad and I fit into my old kilt I bought in 1987 (I recently put on my newer kilt for a storytelling session at a residential centre for older folk. I had bought it in 2008 and that too had become very tight. But this time it fell down to my ankles, fortunately before I left the house!).

And so with my new-found confidence, I recently took my family on a trip to Edinburgh to visit a row of concrete bollards – yes, I know how to treat my kids!

I explained that, when I was a teenager returning from school, I would skip across them at the end of each school day.

My knee pain had prevented me from doing this during their lifetime but now I felt ready to give it a go.

I have to say, with some false modesty, I was as fast as I think I was when 45 years younger!

None of this takes away from a recognition of the serious consequences and difficulties that diabetes can cause – it’s a major contributor of ill health, both physical and mental.

I know it will always be in the background for me and I need to maintain my new ways, and I will have times when I fall off the wagon.

It’s especially difficult at social occasions when people are enjoying food and drink and I feel unable to participate as I’d like.

I’m sure other people who have diabetes will recognise this. But I’m learning to live with it and enjoy new pleasures instead.

An old friend has suggested I should now think about running a marathon for my 60th birthday next year.

Last year, I couldn’t even run 10 feet for a bus and I’d all but given up the idea of hillwalking.

But maybe that’s all the more reason to go for the marathon – fancy joining me for company and encouragement?