SIDNEY – Getting ahead of an individual’s diabetic condition is the goal of the upcoming YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. The yearlong program provides education, support, and access to hands on methods of well-being regarding the disease.
A Sidney woman, who participated in last year’s program, shares how she has found the resources beneficial.
The next class begins Sept. 20 and will be held at the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA. The group-based program begins with 16 weekly sessions, then going to three sessions every other week, then monthly for the final six months. Classes will be approximately one hour long, according to Y Program Coordinator Jessica Suttles.
The program is being co-sponsored by the YMCA, Cargill and Wilson Health.
A current Y membership is not necessary to participate. For those completing the fifth session of the core program will receive a free three-month adult YMCA membership.
In order to qualify for the program, participants must be at least 18 years of age, overweight, have a body-mass index of greater than 25, and at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes indicated by a confirmatory blood value.
Suttles reports that as of a 2010 Center for Disease Control and Prevention, some 3,491 Shelby County individuals with diabetes, and another 10,800 with prediabetes aged 20 and older. She added that diabetes is a serious health condition that can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, high blood pressure and blindness.
“The good news is for those that have been diagnosed with prediabetes, with the right intervention and treatment the condition can potentially be reversed. Estimates indicate that 86 million people in the United States have prediabetes, but that only 11 percent of those people are aware of it.”
She added, “The program will help people learn about and adopt the healthy eating and physical activity habits that have been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They will receive support and encouragement from both a trained Lifestyle Coach and fellow classmates to develop a plan for improving and maintaining their overall well-being.”
Wanda Carter and her husband moved to Sidney from Nashville, Tenn., in May 2015 due a job transfer. After joining the Y, the Carters received info about the program. It got her thinking.
“My mother and several other immediate family members are diabetic, and I was gaining weight and have a family history. I had some of the risk factors, so I qualified to enroll. My Mother had attended a diabetic program in Nashville, and lost a lot of weight. I have arthritis in my knees, feet, hips, and other joints, so I needed to lose weight to get some pressure off of my joints.”
“I have had surgery on both knees, and one of my feet. I was told that I would need both knees replaced in the near future. I was also tired of feeling miserable with the extra weight and lack of energy so that was also another reason for participating.”
Carter said class material has been very helpful information. She noted a book titled the “Calorie King: Calorie, Fat & Carbohydrate Counter” is used to keep as a daily food tracker.
Speaking of her group support system, she said, “We all share ideas and things that we have found that have been helpful in reaching our goals. It’s very important to attend the classes, because all of the other participations are striving for the same thing and we all share our successes and failures and encourage each other.”
Carter said in order to be successful the ideas from the program are a constant lifestyle change. Quick fixes regarding diabetes are rare.
“After joining the program, my overall daily diet has improved. I am more aware of what I eat, and use what I have learned in choosing meals when eating out and grocery shopping.”
“My physical exercise goals were slow to reach, due to my arthritis, but as I starting losing weight and exercising more, I was reaching them,” she said in part.
For information regarding the cost of the program, and to register, contact Suttles at 937-492-9134 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found on their website at http://sidney-ymca.org.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.