Livonia resident Claudia Grace thought her health was good and that she was avoiding type 2 diabetes. “It’s in both sides of my family. I thought I was doing pretty good until I realized I wasn’t,” she laughs. Her doctor referred her to the Diabetes Prevention Program because her A1C, the blood test for prediabetes, was creeping up a little each year. Not wanting to progress to diabetes, she spent the COVID pandemic year improving her health.
“It was actually a very good thing for me while being stuck in the house,” she states. Claudia, who is in her early 70s, finished the DPP in June 2021. She lost a total of 20 lbs. and reduced her A1C from 6.0 to 5.6. She is no longer considered prediabetic.
“I’m not saying this was easy,” continues Claudia. “I made up my mind that I was going to really work hard at this because I didn’t want to go into diabetes.”
Describing her starting the virtual DPP a year ago, Claudia says, “It was a real eye-opener. Writing down our food and seeing how much fat and calories was in things really helped me with my eating habits.” She shared that she and her husband ate out “all the time” and she rarely cooked at home. Now she finds herself cooking more.
Claudia found that the DPP was actually a very good thing for her while she was stuck in her house during the lockdown. With Zoom, she saw people at least once a week. “If I hadn’t been in this program,” she explains. “I would’ve been sitting on the couch, eating, anything to make me emotionally feel better. DPP gave me something to accomplish during the pandemic.”
Claudia, who describes herself as shy and was apprehensive about joining, says that her lifestyle coach Kathy always made her feel comfortable. She became energized by the group. “Doing the program over Zoom, we all share. We lift each other up; we’re happy when others do well and reach certain goals. We have a lot of laughs and we help each other when things don’t go well,” shares Claudia. “I’m not saying this was easy – it was hard to change. I had my days but then I tried to get back and work at it again.
“I walk every day. I’ve done yard work, gardening and cleaned out the garage. Even when I don’t want to get up and move, I do. I’m even seeing some definition in my arms and legs from all the activity.”
Speaking about her past attempts to lose weight, Claudia said she had tried different ways of eating, but “the DPP seemed to be the one that has taken hold and that I’ll hopefully be able to stick to.” Claudia hopes that sharing her story will help others. “It’s a wonderful program.”
For more information on the DPP, go to ReadySetPrevent.org.