When Tom Swedenborg learned he had diabetes, he wanted to be proactive, not just for himself, but for his family.
The 62-year-old Michigan city man and his high school sweetheart recently celebrated 43 years of marriage and have two children.
When his doctor told him he needed to lose weight and eat healthy, Swedenborg, a registered nurse in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Franciscan Health Michigan City, decided to enroll in the Franciscan Health Diabetes Prevention Program for a year.
“I started losing weight but wanted to do better, so I thought, why not try this?” Swedenborg said.
Franciscan Health’s 12-month online Virtual Diabetes Prevention Program follows guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that have been shown to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States, affecting more than 37 million American adults. Few realize that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes, such as those implemented through the Franciscan Health Diabetes Prevention Program.
Throughout the program, participants work with a certified healthy lifestyle coach who guides them in practices to help build energy and confidence, lose weight naturally and reduce stress and anxiety.
The program is only open to participants with prediabetes, not those diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
When Swedenberg joined the programme, he started working with him Franciscan Health and Wellness Specialist/Health Coach Rosa HernandezNBC-HWC, CIC.
Hernandez He said the program helps provide an important starting point for those who want to make a change but aren’t sure where to start. Information such as which food groups to include in the diet, portion control, coping mechanisms, and understanding food labels are only part of the process.
“Not only does it provide the necessary educational information, but it also provides a safe haven where people can make these changes,” Hernandez said. “They are able to have someone to hold them accountable and a support group of other individuals who may be in the same boat as them.”
The Diabetes Prevention Program aims for participants to lose 5-7% of their body weight and to increase exercise to 150 minutes per week. Swedenborg has exceeded the goal by losing 13% of his body weight – 32 pounds – since the start of the plan.
He also now exercises at least two and a half hours a week and is “eating a better diet than I have ever eaten before.”
Swedenborg said he owes his success to the program’s structure and coach’s guidance.
“It’s clear that Rosa is doing what she was supposed to do,” Swedenborg said. “I wouldn’t have the same level of success that I did without her.”
The one-year online virtual Franciscan Health Diabetes Prevention Program runs for 16 weeks every Wednesday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. CET beginning on November 2, followed by monthly follow-up sessions with a trained lifestyle coach.
He will be holding an informational webinar on October 19 from 5:30 to 6 p.m. CST. More information and registration for the online briefing is available at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1976446243666718732.
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