Wendy H.

Mel Korum Family YMCA

Wendy always struggled with her weight. She knew diabetes was in her family; her grandfather died of the disease and she was determined not to. Wendy signed up for the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, where she learned how to reduce her risk through healthy eating and physical activity. After the program ended, she felt confident, but soon, she fell back into old habits. She started gaining weight and in August 2018, she was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes.

Wendy was devastated and afraid, but she was determined to do something about it. So, she found her Diabetes Prevention Program materials in a coat closet and dusted them off.

“I had to change my life and take responsibility for what I did to my body or I would die young, like my grandpa,” Wendy says.

Using the materials from the program as a guide, Wendy started making better decisions about what she ate and how much she consumed during each meal. Change was slow, but she began to lose weight and feel better about herself.

“I failed,” she says. “But I didn’t give up. You can’t beat diabetes, but when you trip, you have to stand up again and keep moving.”

By focusing on her diet, Wendy was able to lose 65 pounds in a year and get her A1C number down to a level where she was able to get off the medication she was using to manage her diabetes. Gradually, she added in more exercise and participated in two 5Ks this year.

Wendy keeps photos on her phone of how she used to look. She uses them as motivation to stick with her new healthy eating habits. Now, she wants to get a nutrition degree, so she can help others — especially kids — avoid her mistakes and commit to a healthy lifestyle.

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