Sherri Shepherd of 'The View' says diabetes saved her life

Sherri Shepherd, comedian and co-host of "The View," says that having type 2 diabetes was indeed a blessing in disguise.

The once 197-pound woman now weighs 157 pounds, eats healthier and exercises on a regular basis - and she's even off the medications her doctor originally prescribed for her disease. Shepherd has chronicled her experiences in a new book, "Plan D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes (Even if You Don't Have It)," which was written with Billie Fitzpatrick.

From disaster to denial

In 2007, Shepherd received the formal diagnosis, and it was a year when she experienced low energy, numbness in her feet, blurry vision and frequent thirst - all hallmark signs of the disease. Her doctor candidly explained that if she didn't take measures to get healthier, she would probably face dire consequences.

"She said, 'Sherri, you love wearing those shoes, don't you?'" Shepherd recalled. "I said, 'Yes, I do'. She said, 'You won't be wearing them with your foot cut off, because if you keep eating the way you are eating, that's where you're headed.'"

But even after the diagnosis, Shepherd says she went on a junk food binge, eating pancakes and pasta while in a state of sheer denial.

"I figured if I didn't talk about it, it was going to go away," she said.

Turning point

The wake-up call happened when Shepherd realized she needed to change her life if she wanted to be around to raise her son. Changing her relationship with food, she turned around bad eating habits by getting rid of "white" foods and cutting out sugar. Simple lifestyle tweaks like reading labels, eating more vegetables and attending boot camp classes has helped the TV host become more energized and healthy.

"I have learned to turn my house into a gym. I do lunges when going to the laundry with my basket. When cooking, I do push-ups against the kitchen counter. I do toilet squats. My behind has not touched a toilet seat in years. I am an Olympic squatter."

And while Shepherd says she does use a trainer to help her get in shape, she does most of the work on her own.

"I feel really healthy," she said. "I have so much energy. I want to live, and I'm going to beat this thing. I feel so blessed."

Source: USA Today

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