When Melanie Imhoff submitted her entry to the New Year, New You Diabetes Makeover Contest held here in January, she described herself as a "52-year-old type 2 diabetic that has been overweight for many years." She was on an insulin pump, but wanted to reduce her required doses, and be healthier overall. As a grandmother, she wanted to be able to "get on the floor" and play sports with her grandchildren, without "huffing and puffing and aching." We chose Melanie based on her obvious commitment and desire to make the necessary changes and her enthusiastic, "Why not give me a try?!"
Melanie joined the Insulite Diabetes Advanced Management System in March, which is described as a method "to help reverse insulin resistance and optimize your body's ability to utilize insulin." The system prescribes a combination of exercise, a healthy diet, motivation and nutraceuticals, which are "vitamins, herbs and minerals that are specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of people with diabetes." Nutraceuticals were optional for our makeover winners. We were as curious as you all whether a system like this could really make a lasting difference in a PWD's life.
Well, today Melanie reports back on her progress, and hopefully you'll be as delighted for her as we are: Melanie says that so far she's lost 28 lbs. and seen nearly a full percent reduction in her A1C, from 7.0 to 6.3! Congratulations Melanie! Proof that the Insulite system is very effective for people type 2 diabetes (it can be used to help those with type 1 also, but is clearly geared more towards type 2 and pre-diabetes).
"The Insulite team recommended daily exercise, taking the nutraceuticals and lowering my carbs. I feel that lowering my carbs and exercising have been the most helpful for me," Melanie says, adding that she now restricts her intake to no more than 60 carbs per day (check out Hope Warshaw's guest post for more on this.) As with many people, Melanie struggles with the cost of whole foods, so she is working within her budget as much as possible. With the cost of food going up and paychecks going down, we're seeing a lot of people suffering the same problems keeping a healthy diet.
To wit: the notion of more exercise and fewer carbs is no magic. We all know we ought to be going that path. So how did Insulite help Melanie follow through? One of the main components of the Insulite system is actually a motivation and guidance campaign, through weekly emails and materials. Melanie shared a few bits of motivational advice that she has received:
- Make a decision to be kind to yourself no matter what you do, or don't do.
- Falling off the course:
This happens to everyone, and if your time comes, simply recognize this as an opportunity to make a tack into the wind (change course) and take off where you left off.
- Each time you fall off the program, as you "change course," see if you can set the goal to recommit to a longer period of time
"I get from it that stumbling is OK, but that it is what you do after that," Melanie says. "You can either stay down in the pits, which is why weight-loss plans fail — because we tend to beat ourselves up — or you can pick yourself up and carry on."
"I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in getting their diabetes in good control," she says. "There is a lot of helpful information which I can keep and refer to often." Her one criticism is that she would have liked to have more personal communication with the team, perhaps regular phone calls instead of just weekly emails. Fair enough.
Nevertheless, she's done incredibly well on the program. Apparently there was just enough "hand-holding" to keep her going even through the rough spots. Congratulations again, Melanie!
If you're interested in trying out the Insulite system, visit their website for more information (just be aware of the automatically playing video that pops up when you land there).