Joining YMCA’s across the country, the Highland County YMCA in Hillsboro is offering a program to help participants lower their A1C number. This is a marker in your blood that reveals your risk of developing diabetes.
In a classroom setting, a trained lifestyle coach helps a small group learn about healthier eating. They will learn how to increase physical activity and how to lose a modest amount of weight, all with the goal of reducing the chance of developing diabetes, a serious disease with many unpleasant consequences.
Changing lifelong habits can be challenging. Carrie Martin, the program coordinator located in Cincinnati, says the yearlong program the Y offers is based on research studies and approved by the Center for Disease Control. Science has revealed for every 2.2 pounds lost, the risk of diabetes goes down 13 percent.
Participants qualify for “Take Control” by being over 18 years old, being overweight, and having a borderline A1C number or a history of gestational diabetes during pregnancy. An A1C blood test involves a prick of the finger and can be ordered through your doctor or done at any local health fair which offers it. An A1C number of 5.7 or above is considered the borderline of prediabetes.
Classes meet once a week for 16 weeks, biweekly for another two months, and then once a month for the remaining six months. Everyone receives a binder containing lessons and support material, as well as being given weekly food diaries. These diaries are kept to reveal eating patterns. Each class is an hour of instruction and interactive discussion. Participants support and encourage each other, guided by the lifestyle coach.
This past fall Pam Rudisill, a familiar face to Hillsboro Y members, taught the inaugural class of Take Control to four members. Anyone who has taken an exercise class with Rudisill knows she is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and positive person. All four class members have stayed in the program, and all have experienced encouraging results. They feel strongly they have learned useful information while having many misconceptions cleared up. Most importantly, they have received the support they needed to make real changes. All four recommend the class to anyone concerned about the direction of his or her health.
Trisha Giesting says this is the longest period of time she has been able to stay focused on a goal. Bruce Lamb says he has learned how to be self-motivated. Rudisill stresses it takes time to change lifelong habits. You must learn how to overcome the inevitable relapses and how to combat negative thinking.
If you are interested in enrolling, call program coordinator Carrie Martin at 513-362-9622 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org . Or you can stop by the Hillsboro Y to speak directly to Rudisill.
Submitted by Vicki Munn.