''I Beat Diabetes with SparkPeople!''

When Ann (AGILLASPIE60) was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in July, 2010, she knew she had to change her lifestyle and get her health under control. A few months later, she was struggling with motivation when she found SparkPeople.com. Since then, Ann has lost 40 pounds and is now in control of her diabetes! We asked Ann to share her inspirational story to show others what can happen when you work hard to make healthy changes in your life.

Ann today

As a person with diabetes, were there any specific challenges you faced when trying to lose weight? If so, how did you overcome them?
"I work 10-hour days at a childcare center. I use large amounts of energy caring for small children and by the time I get home, I am exhausted. I have to MAKE myself find time for exercise. I walk my dog most nights but also decided I could exercise with the kids during my workday. They play in the gym every day, so I started running laps with them. We get creative during our laps by hopping like bunnies, crawling like turtles, etc. I even hula hooped with them one day!"

What SparkPeople tools and features have helped you the most?
"I love the Nutrition and Fitness Trackers. I really enjoy reading all the articles on nutrition, fitness and motivation. The support from other SparkPeople members has really been great as well!"

Did you take medication to help control your diabetes?
"I take Metformin for my diabetes, but my doctor recently told me I can stop taking it at any time! I have been taking it every other day for the past few weeks and will stop taking it altogether as soon as my current bottle of pills runs out."

Do you have any go-to meals, snacks or recipes that are diabetes friendly?
"For lunch I usually have a Lean Cuisine meal. I read the labels carefully to make sure I don't have too many carbs and that there is fiber in them. I include plenty of fresh fruit in my diet and try to get a few servings of veggies every day as well. I am happy that peanut butter is a super food! I have about a 1/2 serving of it most days. For breakfast, I almost always have a bowl of Quaker High Fiber Oatmeal with blueberries."

Has exercise played a role in your weight loss and/or diabetes management?
"I usually exercise 5-6 times a week. At times I have taken my blood sugar two hours after a meal and had high readings. So I go for a brisk 30-minute walk with my dog and I'm able to lower that number by as much as 80 points. That is phenomenal! So YES, exercise is key to keeping my glucose levels down, and I have NEVER felt so fit in my entire life!"

Now that you've reached your weight loss goal, what are some future goals you've set for yourself?
"Of course, I want to maintain my weight and continue the healthy lifestyle I have adopted. I want to run a 5K race this summer. I am looking into hosting a diabetic seminar at my church to help all those people who have asked what I did to lose the weight and control my diabetes."

What advice do you have for other people with diabetes who are trying to manage their condition and their weight?
"Build a support system. Tell people about your condition. I was surprised at how many other people have diabetes. My doctor told my about a local support group, and I recommend those. Take a diabetes education class at your local hospital if you can! Use SparkPeople to get TONS of information and support from people just like you! You CAN manage—even beat—this disease! Be vigilant and take charge! I made diabetes my enemy and I was determined to not let it get the best of me. When you feel yourself getting down, look to SparkPeople for support and ideas to stay strong. YOU CAN DO IT!"

Congratulations, Ann! If you are diabetic and looking for information and support to help you reach your goals, check out SparkPeople's Diabetes Condition Center and Spark*D program, which provides free diabetic meal plans, newsletters, and SparkTeams that offer support!
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Member Comments

Good for you! Thx for sharing! Report
Thanks trying not to get it Report
Thank you for the information. Report
Great article. Report
Thanks for a great article! :) Report
I have been managing Type II for 7 years now. Today your words motivate me to tell more people about my battle that I am winning. Thank you for your very nice blog!
593 Report
I am Pre-D and have been searching for helpful info . . . . but there is so much conflicting/contr
adictory info out there that I am in a spin . . . . totally confused Report
I also have type 2 diabetes. I have have lost 20 lbs. in a little more then 1 month. I have dropped my amount of insulin 22 units per day. My blood sugar are perfect. I no longer have bs over 140. hopefully I can stick with this and lower some medication in Dec when I go back to the doctor Report
I also have type 2 diabetes. I have have lost 20 lbs. in a little more then 1 month. I have dropped my amount of insulin 22 units per day. My blood sugar are perfect. I no longer have bs over 140. hopefully I can stick with this and lower some medication in Dec when I go back to the doctor Report
Well done! Excellent work! Report
Sounds like an exhausting schedule, but not if you don't think so. Glenn Report
Hi Ann, my name is Linda, about two years ago, I became a controlled-diabet
ic. I was taking a diabetic pill, and every time I took it my blood sugar would drop to 30 by lunch. After about a week of that, I called my Doc. He said quit taking it. My sugar has been
awesome ever since. Never over 100 before breakfast and never over 100 before dinner.
My A1C is usually 5.0 - 5.2. I loved your article. I hope I can do as well as you some day!
Have a Thankful & Blessed Thursday! Report
These last three posts are very interesting because my doctor told me very directly that with weight loss, Type II diabetes could be cured. I think it no longer has to be a progressive disease and it is possible to cure it if there are still beta cells that function. If that is not true, then how could people who have those weight loss surgeries be declared "cured"? It is a disease of insulin resistance. Eliminate the resistance and we eliminate the disease. It is great that we have more knowledge about diabetes II and the role weight loss, carb elimination and fiber play in reversing it. Report
I was diagnosed with Type 2 in March of 2013. I got it under control with diet and exercise and in 6 months, my Doctor said if I had come in his office for the first time, he would not have diagnosed me.
Unfortunately we do not maintain that fact if we return to eating poorly. It can spike, weight returns, I lost 46 lbs at that time, 20 came back.
So I am on the road to recovery again, losing the weight I gained back plus the amount needed to reach my goal. I was 8 lbs away, when I started stuffing the carbs again. And I feel that if we should look at making it a lifetime, not a "Ok it's gone" attitude, then we keep the beast from rearing it's ugly head.
I never took meds. I have done this solely by diet and exercise (low carb/raw) And it can be done. The medications for diabetes have side effects. The most prescribed one Metformin can eventually cause memory loss (impair cognitive recognition) Medication to me is a way for the pharmaceuticals to make money. As they did on my parents (shoebox) full of it. One for this, one for that, one to help the other one work, etc. Makes no sense to me. Too many people think that medication solves it, and the most of us know this is not true, solving is changing, not masking. I have friends with diabetes 2 that keep making poor choices in food and limited or no exercise, one was already in the hospital with the possibility of a losing a limb. He still takes meds and insulin, and figures he can eat whatever he wants. He hasn't learned a thing. I guess when it becomes life threatening and a burden to loved ones, then maybe. Report
I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes several years ago. I am able to keep it under control with medication. Spark People is encouraging healthy meals (I have cut down fast foods until they are almost nonexistent)...st
ill working on the exercise part. I am having back problems which makes it difficult to follow any kind of regular exercise program. I do more walking than anything and am trying to build up to the 6000 steps a day challenge. I am making from 2,000 to 3,000 now so will keep working until I reach the goal. In other words, I am going to be proactive from now on and conquer this weight problem. Report


About The Author

Jen Mueller
Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid marathon runner, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, medical exercise specialist, behavior change specialist and functional training specialist. She is also a RRCA-certified running coach. See all of Jen's articles.
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