Small Changes Can Add Up to Big Wins
Here is Matt’s Story:
Little changes can add up to big improvements in managing your diabetes & feel better.
Everyone in my family has diabetes. I try to not eat a lot of sweets. I try to be active and walk when I can. I thought I was doing enough to keep from getting diabetes, but I needed to do a little more. Last year, my doctor said I had pre-diabetes. He said I was on the road to becoming a diabetic if I didn’t make some steady changes.
My doctor explained that pre-diabetes, or insulin resistance, is when your body’s insulin can’t get rid of sugar. Insulin is a hormone. It does not work as well in people who have diabetes and pre-diabetes. I took a blood test called hemoglobin A1c. My doctor said my level was higher than normal, but lower than the level for diabetes. He said I was overweight. My BMI (Body Mass Index) number was too high. This number measures body fat based on height and weight.
My doctor said I should be proud of all the small changes I had already made to avoid diabetes. He said since I already had lots of healthy habits, all I needed to do was increase what I was already doing. If I got serious, I should be able to avoid getting diabetes, he said. “I met with the nutritionist in my doctor’s office every six weeks to stay on track with my diet and exercise goals.”
She told me I needed to slowly lose weight, to exercise more and to eat healthier. She gave me easy-to-follow handouts on how to eat better and the best exercises to lose weight. She said I should do a little more every day. Walk more. Eat more fiber-rich foods. Eat a few less calories. Day by day, stick to the small changes and my weight and A1c would follow.
On my first three-month check-up, I had lost 5 pounds. I had a lot more energy. I was walking 20 minutes every day; eating more low-calorie proteins, like fish and chicken. I was surprised when my doctor said my A1c had already dropped. At my six-month check-up, I had lost even more weight. I was walking 30-minutes every day. My BMI had dropped and my A1c had not gone up. At my nine-month check-up, I was running every day for 20 minutes. My weight was at my goal. The best news was that my A1c was back to normal. Now, I see the doctor every year to check that my A1c stays normal. And now I can tell my kids that not everyone in our family has diabetes.
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