By Rachel Blattner, YWCA Preventive Health Fitness Trainer
Dan Mason began his health journey in 2005. He has met many goals, including competing in 5k distance run/walks. He is now an advocate of physical activities including; walking/jogging, strength training and hiking. Over the past year, Dan has come a long way to finishing the ultimate competition; managing his Diabetes. As the race continues, Dan’s enthusiasm for improvement far outweighs the challenges of Diabetes.
Dan has adopted a healthy lifestyle of regular exercise and eating foods rich in vitamins and nutrients. One milestone in his life recently has been cutting down to one diet soda a week. In moderation, sugar is necessary but an influx of sugar into the bloodstream can upset the body’s blood-sugar balance. “Don’t be mistaken,” Dan adds, “with ‘the Sugar’ (slang for diabetes), come the cravings for more.” Diet soda, like most soda pops and sweetened beverages, contains high amounts of sugar or sugar additives. Sugar triggers the release of insulin into the blood stream, which the body uses to regulate blood-sugar levels, creating a false appetite, and tend to make you feel hungry. The hormone insulin also promotes the storage of fat, so when you eat or drink high amounts of sugar, you’re making way for weight gain. The problem is not the diet soda itself, it’s the amount consumed. Most people don’t drink just one 12 oz can a week; they consume several throughout the course of a week, even a day. I suggest placing one in the refrigerator, and keep the others out of sight. Store them away in the basement, that way, when you want one the thought of taking the trip down to the basement makes you less likely to do so.
Dan wants to inspire more people to enter 5k races. “There have to be more people like myself; people who at first don’t think it’s possible, but who can discover that it is possible,” he says.
Today, Dan is off his diabetes medications altogether, and has lowered his blood pressure, cholesterol, and A1C. He is consistent with his training days in the gym, and never misses a support group meeting. Dan is a conqueror at overcoming barriers. He continues to fight Diabetes and is determined to win!
About the Diabetes Wellness Program
The goals of the Diabetes Wellness Program are to empower those with diabetes to develop the habit of exercise to manage their illness, to reduce the incidence of diabetes by increasing exercise frequency and reducing weight, and to promote healthy lifestyle changes for the entire family. If you would like more info contact Alphie Rodriguez, program director, at 254-7206 ext. 212
*Sources: 2007 Healing Daily/detoxification.sugar.com WebMD