A visit to my doctor in December 2015 for a blood pressure check and lab work ended with the nurse informing me that my A1C came back at 6.2. “You are in pre-diabetic range,” she said. I thanked her and said to myself, “I know what to do, I just have to do it.” When I went back in June 2016, my A1C was 6.1. I was already having the tingling, numbness and shooting pains in my feet and a lot of trouble sleeping. It was at this point I got worried because I do not want to be diabetic and I knew that I needed something to help myself be healthier as I age.
I have been overweight my entire life. From being the chubby girl in elementary school, to having a BMI in the morbidly obese category as an adult. During my annual checkup last November, my doctor told me that the results from my blood work showed that my A1C levels were high (6.3). Anything over 6.0 was considered pre-diabetic, and ideally, the value should be less than 5.7. I wish I could say I was surprised, but honestly, I knew my poor eating habits were bound to catch up with me at some point, and it was apparent that now was that time. My doctor knew me well enough to know exactly what heartstrings to pull to make this real for me. She told me that as a single mother, I owed it to my daughter to get this under control before it was too late.
In June of 2015, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to join the Diabetes Prevention Program through the YMCA. You might wonder why I would use the word “lucky” since my blood sugar had to test at a high enough level to fall in the “pre-diabetic” range. However, I do feel lucky my employer (Sedgwick County) paid the cost of the program so I could learn how to avoid developing diabetes, and for that I feel very lucky. With a family history of diabetes and previously having gestational diabetes, I’m at a higher risk for developing diabetes than most people. I was grateful for the opportunity to learn what changes I needed to make in order to prevent this disease for as long as possible or prevent it all together.
Over the past 18 years I have encountered various medical setbacks and injuries that resulted in over 60 pounds of weight gain. I tried dieting by eating better. Additionally, I had always been a very active person by working out at the YMCA and playing volleyball at the park. Unfortunately, a knee injury resulted in not being able to continue playing volleyball. The reduced exercise, my sedentary job, and going through menopause kept me from losing weight.