PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- The diabetes prevention program at the YMCA of Southern Maine works to keep participants accountable with their eating and workout habits.
Whitney Letellier doesn't have to go it alone when she steps up on the weight scale at YMCA of Southern Maine's Portland branch. She signed up for the first diabetes prevention program in the spring, joining 11 others who are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
"Found out that my glucose levels were high and they had me follow up with my doctor and actually for the last five to six years I've been in the pre-diabetic category," said Letellier.
She started out attending weekly meetings with lifestyle coaches like Lisa Van Dyk. As the diabetes prevention program continued, she was able to lessen check-ins to every other week and then once a month. Each time Letellier visits the YMCA, she's asked to make one change to her diet and exercise routine. Those add up over time, turning into healthier results.
"I think a lot of time people would be surprised if they tracked what they ate, how much of their caloric intake is fat," said Van Dyk. "It's a big change that we're asking them to make."
Participant's goals are different, but they all want to get themselves out of the pre-diabetes category. Letellier has been able to do things she never thought she'd be able to since signing up, such as hiking.
"It's been huge, just clothes fitting better and meeting people and having the support that I have," said Letellier.
The YMCA of Southern Maine will be offering its next diabetes prevention class starting in late November at their Freeport location. For more information, contact Lisa Van Dyk at 207-874-1111 ext. 342, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.