There are about 29 million people in the world with type 2 diabetes and another 84 million with prediabetes. This lifelong disease keeps your body from using the food you eat for energy and can lead to other serious health problems.
To help combat these health issues, I have been trained as a Life Coach for the Centers for Disease Control’s Diabetes Prevention Program and will begin a year-long class to help county residents reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
This research-based program has been proven to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Participants who have lost 5 percent to 7 percent of their body weight and incorporated 150 minutes per week of exercise cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes up to 58 percent. Also, this program can help lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke, improve your health, help you feel more energetic and potentially reverse your prediabetes diagnosis.
Community members 18 years of age or older who have been diagnosed with prediabetes or previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes are eligible to participate. Classes will meet 16 times within the first six months, then once a month for the remaining six months. The one-hour classes will take place Wednesdays at 12 p.m.at Lincoln County Fair Grounds in Chandler.
The first emphasis in the class will focus on small weight losses.
As a Life Coach, I want to help participants become aware of eating behaviors by keeping food journals and learning ways to make small changes. I also want to help them increase their physical activity, with the goal of reaching 150 minutes per week. At each meeting, we’ll weigh in to track weight changes and learn multiple strategies for making dietary changes. We also may do some physical activities as a group. This is a lifestyle change program that includes group support from others who share your goals and struggles.
Part of the mission statement of OSU Cooperative Extension is to improve the quality of life of all Oklahomans. By training Extension educators who are then able to present this information to their constituents is just one way for Extension professionals to meet that goal.
I’m so excited to get this program up and running in Lincoln County. As an Extension educator, and now a Life Coach, I want the best for the citizens in my county. A year-long program may sound like a big commitment, but learning new habits, gaining new skills and building confidence takes time. I want to help class participants build a support group of community people with similar goals.