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Gerard Queally is president and CEO of Spectrum Generations.
More than 85,000 Mainers are aware they have prediabetes. In 2020, I was one of them. Thankfully, I was able to reverse the course I was on and avoid becoming diabetic.
Nationally, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 adults have prediabetes, but most aren’t even aware of it. Whether you are one of the Mainers who knows they have prediabetes or have diabetes, or simply want to improve your health, there are resources to help you.
As we approach a new year, many of us are thinking about turning over a new leaf with regards to our health. I thought this was a good time to share my story and let Mainers know about an available resource that can help people take better control of their health.
When I was diagnosed as prediabetic my doctor estimated I had four to five years before it became full-blown diabetes. I knew I had to actively do something to help me better manage my health. As the president and CEO of Spectrum Generations and a managing partner of Healthy Living for ME, I knew there were resources available through our organizations to help the more than 100,000 Mainers who have diabetes, as well as those who are pre-diabetic.
So, I decided to register for one of our free workshops, the National Diabetes Prevention Program. Doing so has helped me tremendously. The things I learned through the workshop not only helped me reverse my prediabetes diagnosis, but set me up to better manage my health and wellness for the long-term.
As a Navy veteran with 33 years of service, I always had to stay in shape and I knew the importance of exercise. What the National Diabetes Prevention workshop helped me better understand was the impact of my diet. I learned about my body type and how simple lifestyle changes like food swaps and portion control could lower my blood sugar and help me lose weight. Learning how to think about food choices and understanding how they affect my body was quite literally life-changing.
It helped me move into a positive cycle — eating more healthily made me feel better, which allowed me to exercise more often and more easily, and as I began to lose weight and feel better overall, I was more motivated to keep it up. Without the education and the support I received through the Healthy Living for ME workshop, I’m not sure I would have had the right tools to make these important changes to my eating habits and overall lifestyle.
My positive experience is one that I hope many other Mainers can have through Healthy Living for ME.
Healthy Living for ME is a statewide network of local organizations, health systems and volunteers that work together to empower individuals to take control of their health. Through tailored services, free and low-cost options are personalized to focus on the entire individual, rather than a single condition, to improve overall quality of life.
Healthy Living for ME offers in-person, online and even telephonic workshops. One of the network’s goals is to make these evidence-based workshops as accessible as possible to all Mainers, regardless of where you live in the state. Our numerous partnerships throughout the state, along with our remote workshop options, help us reach all regions.
Whether you have prediabetes or diabetes (or are dealing with another ongoing condition), Healthy Living for ME has workshops available to help you with prevention and management.
I encourage adults of any age who want to improve their health to look into the workshops that Healthy Living for ME offers. Our website, healthylivingforme.org, lists all of our workshops, and we have friendly staff who are always happy to talk to you about what resources we have that can help. Reach out to 1-800-630-6036 or [email protected] to talk to someone directly.