Karyn chose to battle her increased A1C head on - and is winning

The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program helped Karyn. She says, “a disappointing MD appointment in March prompted me to join the YMCA. What prompted me was the fact that I had, once again, gained weight. In addition, my doctor scolded me on my Hgb A1C, as well as, my weight gain. My A1C was 7.9. I weighed in at 183 pounds. I had received 2 steroid injections and 2 rounds of oral steroids for a hip injury since my last MD appointment. My last A1C was 5.5 a year prior, my weight about 170 pounds. I blamed it on the steroids; my doctor blamed me. She wanted to put me on diabetic medication right away. I told her “NO WAY!” I asked her to allow me to prove to her that I did not need diabetic medication and that I would bring both weight and A1C down to better numbers. She reluctantly agreed and scheduled a next appointment for 3 month later.

Hip injury leads to personal training

When I joined the YMCA, I did not really know what I was doing, but I was determined to follow through with my plan to lower my numbers. I had injured my hip while painting my apartment because I was out of shape. I noticed a personal trainer one day as I was on a treadmill. I decided to hire a personal trainer, mostly because I did not want to re-injure my hip and needed motivation to get into a healthy regimen of exercise. Terry Zoubul became my trainer and introduced me to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Terry introduced me to Cody Martin and signed me up for the program.

Terry had already helped motivate me and I had started to notice some weight loss. The prevention program started to motivate me even more. As a home health nurse and director, I teach patients and staff diabetes prevention and management strategies, dietary guidance, and medication management. Honestly, I needed to become more of a role model for my patients instead of a hypocrite. I needed to learn more!

Learned from others

I am delighted with my progress. I really thank Cody and my fellow program attenders for sharing ideas and stories that motivated me even more. I looked forward to meeting every week for more team motivation. We all shared ups and downs and tended to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. I believe it was week 14 when I reach my 7% weight loss goal. Again, another motivator to keep this up. I was learning things from others that made this journey much more bearable and, believe it or not, fun!

My MD appointment in June showed my doctor a loss of 13 pounds and A1C 6.7 (out of the danger zone). My doctor still was not pleased and tried to force me to take a diabetes class offered by their medical group. I told my doctor about the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and she stated it was not the same. I begged to differ and stated it is working for me and that I intended on continuing it. The medical group program was going to be costly, not free. My insurance does not cover their program. At this point, I still had a lot to prove to her. My next appointment was scheduled for 3 more months.

Quit smoking and lost weight

I have enjoyed these classes very much. When people notice the change and ask what I am doing, I tell them about the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. The program has also motivated me to quit smoking! I have established a routine of exercise and activity, as well as, adherence to watching caloric and fat consumption. Thus far, I have been able to maintain my weight loss even as I have quit smoking. My plan is to lose a little more weight and maintain it for life. No more yoyo weight or elevated A1C! No more injuries! I enjoy my exercise and continue to try new activities to keep me motivated.

Slow and steady

To date, I have lost a total of 18 pounds and have been able to maintain the loss since starting the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (24 pounds lost since I joined the YMCA). Even as I have quit smoking, I have not seen any weight gain! Slow and steady has been the key for me. Knowing I can manage this healthy life style change keeps me motivated to continue, especially when the program ends. I have made new relationships with some group members and am hopeful that I have helped motivate them to continue, also. Kudos to Cody for facilitating YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program in such a positive, supportive, and motivating way!

Thank you, YMCA, for creating and sustaining such a great program.”


Karyn Solhan