Mike P., a Diabetes STAR Patient

Mike is the sort of person where seeing is believing. When he was diagnosed 20 years ago with type 1 diabetes, he needed to know that he truly could have an impact on the disease. So he signed up with a weight-loss program. “I needed to confirm the physiology of the disease,” he explains. As his weight dropped and his blood sugar numbers improved, Mike was convinced. From then on, he was all about finding solutions that worked for him and fit his life.

Finding Focus with a Smart-Phone App

Mike was motivated. “I wanted to live a long life with my wife and children,” he says. But he also was stymied—“How do I do this?!” He had attended PacMed diabetes support groups and nutrition classes, but what pulled it all together for him was an app on his smart phone.

“I realized technology could help me make a change in the foods that I ate and the exercise that I wasn’t doing,” he says. The app focused him where he didn’t have a focus before. Shopping became routine, convenient and even fun. He could plug foods into the app and quickly know what he could buy.

Enlisting Confidants

At 260 pounds, Mike knew from his days as a Navy Pilot that his ideal weight was 207 pounds. “I’d had assertiveness training in the Navy, and it was time to be assertive with myself,” he says.

Mike knew he needed to change his diet—“no more chips or chocolates!” And he knew he needed his wife and daughter’s support if this was really going to work. “My family became my confidants,” he says. “They participated in food exclusions and supported my goals and attitudes.”

Strong Tools, Strong Results

Mike went from a 44 waist to a 38 in six months. He’s lowered his A1c levels from 8.2% to 6.1%. He’s cut most of his medications in half. “It’s important to get your tools together,” Mike advises. “An app, a meter you can and will use everywhere, food labels—and your brain, the best tool in the tool pouch!”

“The rewards come in all sizes,” Mike says. “They may be better test results, a smiling spouse, a pleased doctor or comments from coworkers.” Once a week Mike and his family treat themselves. They go to their favorite restaurant and enjoy an 800-calorie meal—steak, potatoes, mushrooms. They really enjoy their weekly ritual.

PacMed can help you find an approach that suits you. Talk to your provider and learn more at www.PacMed.org/diabetes.