I joined the Diabetes Prevention Program at Central Bucks Family YMCA class after getting a wake-up call from my doctor. I have always struggled with my weight since I was young but I was very active in my teens and 20's. When I was pregnant with my daughter, Chloe, at what they call "advanced maternal age" (40), I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. At that time I saw a dietician who explained the facts about diabetes and I was put on a meal plan. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to concentrate on lifestyle change. Two weeks later I was in the hospital in pre-term labor and a week later my daughter was born at 31 weeks (2 months) premature--3lbs 1 oz. It was scary! She spent four weeks in the hospital NICU. Thankfully, she was healthy with the exception of being tiny.
I knew through the education I received that I was at a higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes due to the Gestation Diabetes, but I really didn't think it could happen to me. Life stresses ensued and the day-to-day busy schedule left little time to focus on my own well-being. I gained weight, struggled with insomnia and the state of my own mental health. Now with a child, keeping up in my 40's was not easy. Each trip to the doctor or OBGYN brought the reminder of "hey sister, watch out" but all I could say is "who has time?"
Well, the wake-up call came from my doctor when I got a phone call after a routine physical. I was borderline diabetic and she was concerned. My doctor had faith that I could turn it around if I really committed to it. I never thought I would have to worry about diabetes but here I was---it was time to take control not only for my daughter's sake but for my own---no more excuses. I start my re-education on Type 2 diabetes at Doylestown Hospital with a 5-week program and it jump started my weight loss. I worried about how I would keep the progress going. I heard about diabetes program at Central Bucks Family YMCA from Dr. Fitzgerald and she suggested I look into it.
I was already a member of the Y when I started the program, trying to use fitness as a way to relieve stress but mainly because my daughter was very active in the Y programs. She takes gymnastics, swimming, karate, and dance and attends Y summer camp as well. I am blessed that she is a very active child and hope she is learning at an early age the benefits of exercise and good health. At age 8, my daughter is a big part of my Y experience. We come to the Y together and she supports my efforts, reminding me why I am doing this. At home we take walks, exercise or play Just Dance on the Wii. Now I feel more involved, confident and motivated.
Through the Y Diabetes Program, my classmates and I learn a great deal about lifestyle change and how to gradually change how you eat and stay physically fit. Each week we try to commit to one change for the better. I try not to think of it as dieting (as I have all my life) which denotes depriving oneself. This is about choices. One particular week our challenge was to increase activity, so I started with the fitness center and cardio machines and then added Pound Class and Body Combat eventually starting to train with a Personal Trainer. Recently, our Diabetes Prevention class signed up together for the Y 5K Run...but we are going to walk! It's all about baby steps.
The thing I value the most from the Y Diabetes Prevention program is the overwhelming support system. Alex and Lisa are incredibly open-minded and supportive. They listen and try to implement ideas that we suggest. We’ve formed friendships and try to motivate each other. We take fitness classes together, talk about our everyday challenges and accomplishments, trade new recipes, suggest where to shop and share our love of food! This program was what I needed to keep my motivation going and along the way I have found joy in supporting others in turn...a connection of mind, body and spirit.