“All of my doctors said I was overweight, but when I requested my medical records it said, “obese.

MaryKathleen Carpenter did not like going to the doctor. A lot. “All of my life I’ve hated going. My back and my knee go out occasionally, and I have a bad hip. But no matter what problem I had – my knee, whatever – the doctor would say it was because of my weight. They wouldn’t even consider anything else.”

MaryKathleen felt dismissed. And judged. But her health problems persisted, and her family convinced her to try again. “They said, if you don’t go to the doctor you won’t ever find out.”

So, reluctantly, she went. And, boy, was it an eye-opener. “All of my doctors said I was overweight, but when I requested my medical records it said, “obese.

“It said ‘obese.’ “

And that was it for MaryKathleen, 5-feet-11-inches tall and 278 pounds. One of her doctors had recommended Virginia Mason Memorial’s Diabetes Prevention Program, and she went.

“Everybody always said, ‘You’re big.’ That’s just how it was,” she says. “I was 5-11 in fourth grade.

“I’ve tried diets all my life. When I started the program I thought, ‘I don’t know if I can do this the rest of my life. Now I can’t see me not doing it. I promised myself when I started that I wasn’t going to make any changes to my eating habits that I did not want to.”

There’s a bag of broccoli on her desk and a phone in her hand; it’s open to the MyFitnessPal app. “Now I focus on looking at the nutrients I need: potassium, proteins, fiber, calcium and iron. That broccoli, it’s full of potassium and fiber.

“In the program, you need to increase activity by 50 minutes a week, and you’ve got to track fat and calories. I absolutely adore tracking: I did it for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day. I gives me the control I need.”

Also on New Year’s Eve, MaryKathleen, age 46, and her husband went out to welcome in 2018. MaryKathleen, 90 pounds lighter, wore her freshman high school homecoming dress, a form-fitting creamy white number with sequins.

MaryKathleen, however, does not adore physical fitness. That part she’s doing her way. “I don’t care how much you yell at me, I don’t care how much you tell me, I’m not joining a gym. What I do is walk during my breaks and at lunch. And I park in the farthest spot away in parking lots.”

As MaryKathleen closes out her year-long journey through Virginia Mason Memorial’s Diabetes Prevention Program she feels empowered and in charge. “The program gave me direction. It’s given me a method. And I’m not the only one. It gives you other people to share with.

“There aren’t a lot of things I take time away from my family to do for myself. This taught me that if I want to do something, I can do it. I now have the knowledge and power to make a knowing decision.”

 

 

 

Diabetes prevention classes at Memorial

Diabetes Prevention Classes at Memorial

Prediabetes is a condition where the blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Memorial’s prevention program helps people lower their risk of type 2 diabetes. Participants meet in groups with a trained lifestyle coach for 16 weekly, one-hour sessions and seven monthly follow up sessions.

If you would like to register for a class or inquire about class dates, call 249-5317.

Please note:
*No referral needed to attend the prevention classes
*Classes are available in Spanish

If you would like to learn more about this program, you can attend an orientation on the last Monday of each month from 4-4:30 p.m. at Memorial’s Community Education Center at 2506 W. Nob Hill Blvd. No registration is necessary for the orientation.

How do I know this program is for me?
•Are you an overweight adult?
•Do you have family members with diabetes?
•Have you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy or did any of your babies weigh 9 lbs or more at birth?
•Have you ever been told you have high blood sugar, prediabetes, or borderline diabetes?

If you answered yes to any of these, you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes Screening Widget

 

Memorial’s Diabetes Prevention Program – Changing Lives

We just completed week 4 of the Diabetes Prevention Program when a participant in the class started talking about a goal that she had set for herself. Her goal was to walk up four flights of stairs as she would normally take the elevator to avoid the stairs. She told us that she had finally accomplished that goal. Everyone started applauding her and congratulating her for reaching this goal. The amount of support I felt coming from the class participants was amazing. I hope others in the class realize that no matter how big or small of a goal you have, if you just stick with it you can accomplish it! This moment in class reaffirmed why I am happy that I became a lifestyle coach. I am honored that these women have allowed me to help them lead healthier lives by giving them the tools they need to succeed in this program.

By Catherine Shepler

Diabetes Prevention Program
Prediabetes is a condition where the blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Memorial’s prevention program helps people lower their risk of type 2 diabetes. Participants meet in groups with a trained lifestyle coach for 16 weekly, one-hour sessions and seven monthly follow up sessions. If you would like to learn more about this program, you can attend an orientation on the last Monday of each month from 4-4:30 p.m. at Memorial’s Community Education Center at 2506 W. Nob Hill Blvd. No registration is necessary for the orientation.

How do I know this program is for me?
• Are you an overweight adult?
• Do you have family members with diabetes?
• Have you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy or did any of your babies weigh 9 lbs or more at birth?
• Have you ever been told you have high blood sugar, prediabetes, or borderline diabetes?

If you answered yes to any of these, you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes.
For more information about this program, please call Lori Gibbons at 509-248-7322.

Portion warning: Dish it up and you’re likely to gobble it down

Aug. 10, 2014—If you put food on your plate, there’s a good chance you’re going to eat it—nearly every last bite of it, in fact.

That’s the finding of a study in the International Journal of Obesity. And in a nation where more than 1 in 3 people is obese, it’s likely to capture the attention of health experts.

Since consuming more calories than you burn off is a habit that can lead to weight gain, the findings suggest that helping people be more mindful of portion sizes might improve weight control.

About the study

The study involved 1,179 people in seven different countries—the United States, Canada, France, Taiwan, Korea, Finland and the Netherlands. Researchers gauged the percentage of food people ate when they served themselves and also noted whether certain situations led them to eat more or less.

They found that, on average, adults ate about 92 percent of the food they placed on their plates. And those findings were consistent in all of the countries studied.

However, the 326 participants who were younger than 18 ate just 59 percent of the food they served themselves. Researchers said that might be because children are less certain than adults about whether they’ll like a particular food. They might dish the food up and then decide to leave the food behind when they dislike the few bites they take.

Additionally, researchers found:

  • When people were distracted, they ate less—about 89 percent of what was served, compared to about 97 percent of the food they ate when they were not distracted.
  • People ate more of what they served themselves for meals—92.8 percent—than for snacks—76.1 percent.

You can read an abstract of the study here.

The take-home message
What you put on your plate is likely to end up in your stomach—and quite possibly on your bathroom scale. Simply knowing that, and limiting what you serve yourself, may help your weight-control efforts.

When it comes to limiting what you eat, these tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics may be helpful:

  • Use smaller plates and dishes—since they hold less food, you may eat fewer calories. And do use plates and dishes, rather than eating from a box or bag. It’s easier to keep portions in check.
  • Eat meals slowly—over 20 to 30 minutes. That may enable you to recognize when you’re full and then stop eating.
  • Remember, it’s OK to leave food behind—even if you’re a longtime member of the clean-plate club.

For more information about the subtle mistakes you might be making that could lead to an ever-expanding waistline, click here.