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Wellness Inspiration - A Living Well Success Story

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Wellness Wise

Rhonda R

UTHealth (Houston)

What health behavior did you change?

Several years ago I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

How did you accomplish your success?

I participated in every UTHealth diabetic research study I heard about. Equipped with the knowledge I felt I needed to gain control of my diabetes, I started eating healthier and exercising. We all know however that doing the right thing is very hard. Needless to say I deviated from my healthy eating and exercising many times. As a result, as my weight increased so did my A1C.

I continued on this roller-coaster until it dawned on me that with each loss of a family member, their deaths were a result of diabetes or its complications! That scared me. In addition to these deaths several other family members were either going blind, on dialysis, or just playing Russian roulette with their lives by not taking their medications as prescribed.

How did the UT System Living Well program or your Institutions resources and tools help you?

The University of Texas System Living Well provided me with all types of insight including but not limited to healthy recipes, annual fitness challenges, and most of all tips on becoming active.

What goals and obstacles did you have?

I used to set goals all the time and daily living became my obstacle. If I ate wrong or if I did not exercise, I would say, "why am I killing myself, no one cares." Then my motivation was shaken. After many times of stopping and started, I realized, I CARED!! So my desire to continue doing what I'm doing until I can't do it any longer became my life long goal.

Who supported you during this experience?

I cannot say my support comes from 1 or 100 people. While I have gained the support of my family and friends, co-workers, and even strangers, I must admit that I am my main supporter. It took me making that first step to encourage others to look inward in an attempt to become their #1 supporter.

What advice do you have for others who want to make this change?

When I think about taking a break from exercising or healthy eating, I think about my family and friends and how I can hopefully become a role model for them to take control of their health. A dear friend once told me during this journey to "run my own race." This is the best advice I could share. When I realized that I wanted to better my health, I stopped waiting for others to do it with me. So don't wait for others, run your race and you will soon realize that you are motivating others.