This year’s Gala is Saturday, May 4, 2013 at Treasure Island Resort & Casino. At the Gala, the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program is being honored with the Act Award for their efforts and work with people who have prediabetes or are at risk for diabetes. Below is a story of Susan Bradt, a participant in the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.
I am the mother of 3 children and 8 lively grandchildren and I have struggled with my weight ever since I was a little girl. Every time I gathered the willpower to try the newest diet I would lose weight, but then regain even more. I turned to bariatric surgeries, and had my first surgery in the 80’s and the second in the 90’s. The surgeries would work for a time, but then I would slowly start packing on the pounds. Because I was so heavy I always felt out of breath and had terrible knee and feet pain. I was depressed and felt myself withdrawing from life. I lost interest in one of my passions. I was a Master Gardener, and had my garden featured in a tour, but I could no longer keep up with it. I wouldn’t step on the scale because I was afraid to see the number. The pain in my knee got so bad, I made an appointment with my rheumatologist and he said to me, “If you would just lose a little weight”. I felt angry, and thought, “Hadn’t I done everything to try and lose weight?”
It was at that time I picked up the newspaper and read about the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. I was reminded of a good friend who had diabetes and had struggled with her weight. She adopted a beautiful baby girl because a pregnancy with her diabetes was too risky. Just months later she died because of a diabetes related issue. I lost a good friend and her little girl had lost another mother. Thinking of my friend renewed my determination and I enrolled in the program. I knew I needed support. I became very conscious of what I put in my mouth and what I bought at the store and I started reading labels. Before the program we ate out a lot and after looking up the fat grams I was astounded at what I was consuming. It didn’t look excessive, but in fact it was. When I eat out now I feel like I can make better choices. I overcame my resistance to exercise by working out at the Y. Initially I could only do 5 minutes, but now I can do 35 minutes and feel stronger and better after exercising. I also overcame my resistance to go to the meetings even when it was below zero. I overcame my fear of stepping on the scale. I now know I will be able to reach my desired weight, because I have tools.
After 5 months in the program I lost over 15% of my body weight. I learned a lot from the group members about what is available to us in our community. They also struggled, and there was camaraderie that we had together. I had a coach who was always positive and encouraging. The combination of nutrition information, building awareness, and the well-being from exercise really worked for me. I have learned the secret to success, and it’s not “willpower”. It’s learning to make healthy lifestyle choices. It would be wonderful if other people could have the opportunity to learn the tools, to find hope, and find success. This program’s teachings have saved my life.
Help us honor the YMCA, Susan and all the other participants in the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program by becoming involved in this year’s Gala.
Act on Diabetes Now Gala
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Treasure Island Resort & Casino
To learn more about the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program: http://www.ymcatwincities.org/health__fitness/wellness_programs/diabetes_prevention/