Today, we are honored to share a very special story written by one of our Y program participants. We congratulate Cary Mosher on her amazing success and thank her for allowing us to be a part of her journey!
"In January of 2016, I found myself the heaviest I'd ever been. I started to do a lot of walking and changed my eating habits, and by the beginning of the summer I'd lost about 45 pounds. I seemed to get stuck there and needed something extra to help get me back on track. I've been working for the County for 22 years, and they sent out an email describing a pilot program at the YMCA for Diabetes Prevention. This hit close to home, as my sister has Type 1 diabetes and has endured two transplants, an amputation, and a host of other health issues that have arisen from this. I knew that I was at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes myself, and I was very interested in participating in the group.
I met with Healthy Living Director Elizabeth Downs, the new group's facilitator, and thought that this sounded exactly like what I needed: a supportive group setting, an emphasis on becoming more active, clear guidelines as to the changes I needed to make in my diet, and a sense of accountability, both to myself and to the group. The meetings are full of positive reinforcement, not negative shaming, and Elizabeth and the other group members have lots of great advice about how to stay on track and cope with the challenges and temptations that come up when you're making lifestyle changes.
I've become much more active since joining the group. I work out at the YMCA often, using the weight machines, the treadmill and the elliptical machines. I also do Aqua Zumba - the instructors (Tara and Sara) are great, the music's loud, the class is so much fun that it doesn't feel like you're exercising, and it's absolutely judgment-free. I recently took part in my second YMCA 5K, with the first one being last year, when the only people I was faster than was a family that included a 70-year-old participant. My goal for this year was to beat ALL 70-year-olds, even if I had to trip them! Not only did I better my time this year, but I actually got the joy of hearing my Diabetes Group's facilitator calling my name as having won my age group. That was a proud moment for sure! And I didn't even have to trip anybody!
I'm so glad that I joined the Diabetes Prevention Group at the YMCA. Since I started my weight loss journey fifteen months ago, I've lost over 76 pounds, and I feel so much better. I can feel the composition of my body changing almost weekly. My BMI has dropped ten points, my body fat percentage has decreased by 12 %, and I'm getting to the point where I like what I see in the mirror again. I can't recommend this program highly enough. Thank you, YMCA and Elizabeth, for giving me my quality of life back!"