My name is Gloria Ponce…

Hello!  My name is Gloria Ponce and I want to share my story with you!

At age 38 (a long time ago), I got a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Attempts to get this illness under control progressed from trying to do it with diet and exercise, to oral medications to eventually becoming insulin dependent, approximately 19 years ago.

I am well aware of the devastating health impacts of being a diabetic.  Since my diagnosis, I had been scared of the possibilities of losing a limb, becoming blind or needing dialysis treatment, among many other possible health risks.  So I tried, I really tried.

Living with diabetes had been a rollercoaster for me. I tried the famous no-carb diets, diabetic diets, even fasting, at times.  It is sad to confess but there were also long periods of becoming oblivious to the fact that I was a diabetic:  no medicine, no shots, and no exercise.  I was not even testing to see what my sugar levels were, I got my mind on denial and my body suffered the consequences.

The amount of insulin I was taking lately was so high, it was very difficult for me to lose weight, and the more weight I gained, the more insulin I needed until I became insulin resistant. I was trapped, totally trapped, in a vicious cycle and my health continued to decline.

I was frustrated and scared. Then, everything changed!

On June 20, 2018, I met with a diabetic educator who suggested I try a plant-based diet.  I was very skeptical of a diet that would include fruits because they are so high in sugar and they were to be avoided by diabetics, but she told me it would be ok.

On my way home that afternoon, I stopped by the store and got all kinds of vegetables and fruits.  I was deprived of having fruits for so long; my mouth was watering while shopping for all these previously forbidden foods.

Now, this is how my life changed dramatically!

Before starting my plant-based diet, my glucose readings were averaging 314, with the highest reading reaching a dangerous fasting reading of 490.  My sugar readings at this time average 107!

Not only has my glucose level dropped to almost that of a non-diabetic but my insulin intake decreased from 151 units per day to a mere 40.  And it continues to decrease as I lose more weight.  Oh, yes, I forgot to mention, I lost 13 pounds in three weeks, my energy level is incredibly high, and I feel great. I have not felt this amazing in a very long, long time.

I get emotional just thinking about how this new found control of my diabetes has given me renewed hope that I can do something to improve the quality of my life.  I may even be able to enjoy my grandchildren (all 7 of them) and my great-grandchild a bit longer.

 

*Please visit with your physician before making any significant dietary changes.*

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Lifestyle changes that make an impact

During 2017, scores of Yakima physicians referred patients to Virginia Mason Memorial’s Diabetes Prevention program, and 398 of you enrolled.  Generous gifts to The Memorial Foundation and grant funding help support this life-changing program.

Developed by the Centers for Disease Control, the goal is for those at risk to learn a lifestyle of healthier choices to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.  Fifty percent of participants achieved a 5-7 percent weight loss during the first 16 weeks, adding up to a combined weight loss of 4,224 pounds.

The Diabetes Prevention Program is subsidized wholly through community donations to The Memorial Foundation and grants received.  Thank you for doing your part to make Yakima a healthier place to live!

For information about the class, visit yakimamemorial.org/diabetes

You do not need a physician’s referral to take the class. “All you need to do is give this program a try!”

“When a friend mentioned this lifestyle change program to me, it piqued my interest. I had wanted to change my eating and exercise habits for some time, and I jumped at the opportunity to get started. I enjoy hearing different ideas and perspectives from others in the program and am motivated by the enthusiasm I see each week. Now, I am working on a daily routine that involves healthy eating and exercising.” ––a program participant

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