Monday, November 25, 2019

At 77 years young, Pat Marrone is living a lot of “firsts” on her journey to a healthier life. In October, she joined a gym for the first time and she’s also recently tried new healthy foods, like hummus and avocado. As she’s experienced these healthy firsts over the last year, Pat has lost 35 pounds – an accomplishment that’s much more than weight loss; her healthier lifestyle has helped her fight Type 2 diabetes.

Pat was diagnosed in the fall of 2018 with prediabetes, a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered Type 2 diabetes. It’s estimated that 84 million American adults have prediabetes and 90% of them don’t know they have it.

“I did my research and learned 30% of people with prediabetes end up having diabetes within five years,” recalled Marrone.  “I did not want to be part of that statistic.  When faced with a prediabetes diagnoses, I knew it was an opportunity to take action… but how?”

She found WellSpan Summit Health’s PreventT2 program. PreventT2 is a an evidence-based program created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes in high-risk patients.

“The very first thing we did in class was set two goals,” recalled Marrone. “I wanted to first lose seven percent of my body weight and second, get 150 minutes of exercise each week.  I hate exercise, so this was tough for me.”

“In this class we focus on learning how to live a healthier life, beyond eating fruits and vegetables,” explained Program Coordinator Nickie Fickel of WellSpan Summit Health. “We teach people how to manage stress, get better sleep, read nutrition labels, use better ingredients for cooking and really understand how all these things come together for a lifestyle change. All these little steps add up.”

Participants of the Prevent T2 program are held accountable through the year-long class.  They’re encouraged to log their food and calorie intake.  Participants are required to track physical activity and weigh in each class.

“I was never a fan of exercise and never found time for it.  I did the minimum of what I had to, 150 minutes each week,” said Marrone. “At the end of the class, you will never believe what happened, I joined Results Fitness.”

Through her hard work over the last year, Pat is no longer considered prediabetic. She’s lost 19% of her body weight, but she’s not done.

“I will stick with the program,” said Marrone.  “I continue to watch what I eat, I go to Results three times a week and stay for about 70 minutes each day.” 

New Prevent T2 Classes are enrolling now, the next session starts February 24th.  If you’re interested in signing up, click here.