Impact of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program
Maria Pena’s Y experience started because she received some troubling news about her health. “My doctor sent me to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. He told me last November that he was giving me diabetes medication because my levels were a little high.” Maria found her motivation to start the program from her family. She explained that her daughters came home the following month and said they were worried about her because she looked tired. Maria also had a tough time getting around because of the pain in her legs.
The program lasted five months and despite a little apprehension, Maria’s journey through the program yielded terrific results. “I can’t say enough, I was very surprised with my results. While I know it’s not easy to commit to a program, people should know the class is available. It was a great influence on me.” Her coach Marta Guerrero also reported that Maria lost 12.4% of her weight while her original goal was 7%. Marta said that Maria’s A1C even went back to normal levels, which means her chances for having diabetes dropped exponentially.
According to doctors, one of the most undervalued causes for diabetes is the way we eat our food. Maria offered a few tips she learned from YDPP, “I cooked quite a bit already, but I wasn’t looking at my portion size. I cook with spray instead of oil now, and I pretty much threw flour tortillas out the window. I ate many fruits and vegetables during the program, and to be honest, I wasn’t exercising at all before.”
Many can determine if they are a diabetes candidate by their family history. Maria explained why she was originally worried about becoming a diabetic. “My mom and stepfather are both diabetics, and I have to take my mom to the doctor and make sure she has the right medication.”
She is happy to report that, “I can walk now and am not in any kind of pain! My husband says that I look like I did when we were first married. The pain was unbearable. Now I feel energized, and we hike together.”