When Theresa Klocker overheard someone talking about a diabetes self-management workshop, she wanted more information.
In 2012, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and had to start making significant changes to her lifestyle. At first, it wasn’t that hard.
“I have a family history with diabetes, so I knew a lot about it,” she says. “I was actually pretty good at managing everything for a while, but it’s like anything. You get into patterns, life gets in the way and things slip.”
Getting back on track
Theresa, 57, works as a driver delivering meals for the Mid-East Area on Aging, located in the Ferguson Senior Center. She was excited to learn that Oasis offered Better Choices, Better Health-Diabetes at the Lewis and Clark branch of the St. Louis County Library.
The six-week, interactive workshop is proven to improve outcomes related to diabetes. The goal of the program is to improve self-management skills that lead to better health through education designed for adult learners. It is a good option for those recently diagnosed with diabetes as well people like Theresa, who have been navigating its challenges for longer.
She considers it six weeks well-spent.
Theresa lost 17 pounds and her A1C went from 7.2 to 6.0, thanks to the good strategies she learned to keep herself on track. Better Choices, Better Health-Diabetes covers a lot of ground, including how to consistently monitor and manage blood sugar, get regular exercise and plan meals.
“Learning about planning meals has made a difference,” says Theresa. “And it was really helpful to set daily goals for myself. I am much more mindful about what I eat and I’ve started writing everything down. It’s amazing how much you really CAN eat when you’re making better choices. After you’ve started eating right, you no longer have cravings for those unhealthy things.”
Staying active is just as important.
Theresa had the exercise component covered before the workshop. She takes yoga, works with a personal trainer and tries to walk at least five times a week. The activity combined with all that she has learned, has increased her energy and refreshed her perspective on living with diabetes.
“This is a lifelong thing, but I don’t feel sick or deprived,” she says. “It doesn’t prevent me from doing anything. You just have to know how to be healthy.”
For more information about Better Choices, Better Health-Diabetes and other health programs offered by Oasis, visit www3.oasisnet.org/National-Programs/Health-Programs.