The Northern Dauphin County YMCA provides help for individuals in the community who are at risk for diabetes with the National Diabetes Prevention Program. This program is designed to encourage participants to practice healthy eating and physical activity in their everyday lives. The following are letters from two participants who were greatly impacted by the program. Wendy says:
“The Harrisburg Area YMCA Pre-Diabetes class has taught me so much. I have learned not to expect big results overnight, but rather small changes over a lifetime us what keeps you healthy. I realized I needed to set small, reachable goals in order to change my lifestyle.
I have learned to understand portion control so much more. (You can eat a piece of cake in moderation!) In addition, I have learned that I must read food labels, which in turn makes grocery trips twice as long as before. I’ve met many wonderful ladies in this class who I enjoy talking to and listening to. We have share each others accomplishments and triumphs as well as exchanged recipes. We understand that we are all human and we fall off the wagon sometimes, but in those moments we need to STOP, think, and take back control.
I couldn’t be happier that I found this class and always look forward to our next meeting. I have not only learned so much through it, but know how to apply what I’ve learned in my day-to-day life. I would recommend this class to anyone who is at risk for diabetes because it teaches you how to make the healthy life changes in order to prevent the disease.
Not only has this class helped me personally, but it has helped my family too. I’m much more knowledgeable about how to make healthier food choices for my children. My kids didn’t even notice some of the healthy changes I’ve made for them – I switched to whole wheat pasta and they couldn’t even tell the difference! We are becoming a much more active family and enjoying more time outdoors, all thanks to this class at the YMCA.”
Thank you Wendy for being apart of our program and sharing your story. Next, is a letter from Cindy, who also had a positive experience at the Y! Cindy says:
“The Diabetes Prevention class at the YMCA was meant so much to me. I have found constant, consistent support, encouragement, and knowledge from the instructor, Amy Paul. When she didn’t know the answer to a question, she would make sure to find out and get back to us. I have never met a healthy eating/fitness facilitator that didn’t make me feel, at least a little, shame over a bad weight-in. Amy would be disappointed for me, but not in me. When bad weigh-ins occurred, she would be quick to point to something positive such as my healthy eating efforts and encourage me to keep moving forward. She held me accountable, yet was never condemning. In fact, she held herself to the same standards of healthy eating and activity goals as the class, and never believed that she ‘had it all together.’ She openly shared her successes and her ‘slip-ups’ and encouraged us to do the same.
With a history of negative self-talk and a lack of consistent support of those closest to me, my weight loss efforts had not been very successful for me over the years. Amy went above and beyond for us, giving us her cell number, social media connections and personal testimony of her efforts to be healthy. She was engaged, positive, motivating, and full of energy; that alone made the class enjoyable and profitable. When I began the class, I was using meal replacement shakes in my own personal efforts to lose weight. I have learned to eat real food and how to make diet changes that can last a lifetime. I also learned how to deal with negative self-talk and how to eat out and still make good choices. I have an appointment with my family doctor in two weeks and I am actually looking forward to documenting my accomplishments in my chart when I return!”
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Cindy! We’re so excited for your success. The YMCA is so glad to have the opportunity to impact both Wendy and Cindy’s lives in such a positive way. We seek to provide programs that not only encourage healthy lifestyle choices, but help our members to live it out every day!