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Testimonials from Program Providers

Lifestyle change program coordinators and lifestyle coaches have plenty of positive things to say about CDC-recognized diabetes prevention lifestyle change programs.

picture of Nadin Benry

Nadin Benry, Lifestyle Coach
The American public is at high risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Your health issues increase if you have diabetes. One of my missions in life is to help people not suffer the consequences of type 2 diabetes and to help people live a healthier life.

This program is successful because it’s a gradual process. Participants make small changes each week without even realizing. It’s not a shock program. Lifestyle change programs make small changes and slowly the participants realize that they’ve changed their habits. That’s how we make long-lasting changes.

The participants like the variety of options we give them when we talk about nutrition and exercise. They always leave class with an action plan and goals to reach. They like to share their experiences and they use each other to stay motivated. It’s truly incredible.

As soon as they start exercising, they notice results. They feel happier. They’re healthier on the inside. They have more energy and their mood improves. We start by talking about 30 minutes of exercise each day. But we give them ideas and options, and they end up doing more than 30 minutes because they are seeing results.

The participants love to work in groups. My group became a support group for each other. They swapped phone numbers and found each other on Facebook. They made a Facebook group to chat and meet up to exercise together. The support that they get from each other is invaluable.

picture of Lynnes Estrada

Lynnes Estrada, Lifestyle Coach
We give those who don’t know how to prevent type 2 diabetes the information they need. For those who already know how to prevent type 2 diabetes, we teach them how to apply that knowledge. We start with small changes, like not drinking sodas, and little by little we start making healthy changes that help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Change is a process, and you have to enjoy the process. If this program felt like a second job after a full day of work, it would never be successful. That’s why we try to make the program fun and help our participants learn tricks for healthy eating and exercise even though they don’t think they have time for it.

I have a mom and her two daughters in my class. The mother already has diabetes, but she stayed in the class to listen to the information we provide. Her daughters participate because they are overweight, and one of them had gestational diabetes during a pregnancy. The mother lost almost 50 pounds, one daughter lost 30 pounds, and the other lost 25. It’s amazing to see how their habits have changed. Now they exercise together to help the daughters prevent type 2 diabetes and the mother manage her diabetes.

picture of Isabel Fernandez

Isabel Fernandez, Lifestyle Coach

Our participants have seen the consequences of type 2 diabetes in their families, and they want to prevent them. The majority of our participants don’t have access to a doctor, which makes these classes even more important because lifestyle change helps with other health issues beyond type 2 diabetes.

My best tip is to take it step by step. You aren’t going to see changes immediately. Start with 10 to 15 minutes of exercise and keep increasing, and soon you’ll notice the changes that you’ve made. You’ll be able to do things you couldn’t do before.

Laura participant Laura Aden, Program Coordinator, Kearney Family YMCA

I truly believe we are helping in a small way to change people’s lives. We get to see how they are continuing to make changes in the way they’re eating and moving… Our program team is very collaborative; our group of lifestyle coaches meets before class and we talk about what’s working, what challenges have come up; we share best practices and ideas.

Beth Hudspeth testimonial Dr. Brooke Hudspeth, Program Coordinator, Kroger’s Diabetes Self-Management Education Program and the Diabetes Prevention Program

One participant came in for her scheduled session and reported she had gone to see her doctor for a follow-up earlier in the week. After taking her weight, A1C and other labs, he came back into the room with a big smile on his face. He told her that he had fully intended to start her on medication at that visit to manage her blood sugar; however, after seeing her positive results, he no longer needed to do so! This patient had a primary goal at the beginning of our program to be able to stay off medication and avoid diabetes. To say she was happy about this result would be an understatement.

cynthia-oredugba-testimonial Cynthia Oredugba, Lifestyle Coach

I have seen enthusiasm and hope from program participants, and each week as little steps are taken, I see more buy-in. I like the lifestyle change program because of the group participation; emphasis on making small steps to build people’s confidence; and nonjudgmental, supportive environment.

Ricky Sewell participant Rickey Sewell, Lifestyle Coach

I love my work as a lifestyle coach and the teachable moments the lifestyle change program offers to participants. I’m also a huge fan of its evidence-based approach. It’s the gold-standard for lifestyle change to prevent type 2 diabetes, and it’s great to be a part of that. It’s wonderful to see how the program inspires people to live a healthier life!


Sara Mortensen, Lifestyle Coach

[Participants] come to each class… just to see their progression to meet their goals, that’s really exciting to me.

To hear what participants say about CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs, go to Testimonials from Participants.

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