Another January! Many people welcome the opportunity to push an annual reset button at the beginning of the New Year. They make resolutions and set goals for personal change and improvement. It takes real commitment to keep them for 12 months.
YMCA member, Debi, set a 2017 wellness goal at the end of 2016 after an unsettling doctor’s appointment. Her physician informed her that her A1C climbed to 11.5. Despite taking 2 oral meds to control her diabetes, the new high level now required insulin shots be added. Debi knew diet and weight played significant roles in the state of her health. She considered gastric bypass surgery. After factoring the serious risks immediately following the procedure, the tendency in time to regain all the weight lost (and often even more) and the life-long restriction from the aspirin/ibuprofen she needed for her arthritic pain, she left that option as a last resort. Though she failed many times in the past, she set a goal to lose 90 pounds in 2017.
Debi knew she could not accomplish this alone. She prayed for guidance and said the Lord helped her step by step. First, she enlisted the help of her doctor. He offered his support and sent her to a dietician. She worked closely with her and lost 25-30 pounds in the first three months through healthier eating. She used portion control and added fruits and vegetables. Then, she followed the suggestion of a friend and added exercise as the next step. They joined the YMCA of Broome Rusty Hinges water fitness class. Debi progressed and tried more advanced classes. She eventually settled into a routine that included the 6:30 a.m. Monday and Wednesday Aqua Interval class at the Binghamton facility and 8 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday Aqua Zumba at the West Family YMCA. She also appreciated the additional support and help she received from the YMCA Wellness Staff.
By May, Debi lost 50 pounds. Her doctor took her off one of her two blood pressure meds. Her A1C returned to a consistent level of 5.4-5.6, definitely in the good range. Her sugar levels continued to drop; she was weaned entirely off insulin. She got down to just one oral diabetes medication.
Debi’s quality of life also improved. Before her commitment to wellness, she was forced to give up her rigorous retail job and faced permanent disability. By sticking to her 2017 wellness goal, Debi gained confidence, new direction and stamina. She found a rewarding part-time job as a home-health aide. The increased energy also allowed her to better serve her community; she volunteered at the Y Trunk or Treat event and helps weekly at her church’s free Community Breakfast on Sundays. She noticed other changes…steps, sliding in a booth at a restaurant and behind the car steering wheel became so much easier!
Debi earned a celebration for reaching her 2017 goal; She lost 90 pounds! She gained 7 pounds through the holidays, but pushed reset for 2018. She will not allow her age (she turned 60 this past year) or setbacks deter her. Debi is aiming to weigh in at under 200 pounds (a weight she hasn’t seen in almost 35 years) and weaning off more prescriptions. She looks forward to adding to her workout routine…maybe an early morning classes in the Binghamton Branch’s Cycling Studio. She would love to regain the agility needed for working with the Children’s Ministry of her church. No matter what, 2018 is sure to be full of more health and wellness!
Please, read Part 2 of Debi’s Success Story. She will offer some encouragement and helpful hints discovered last year. Age and lack of finances are not reasons for not trying! She found resources and morale support every step in her journey!