Just Keep Swimming: Member Loses 100 Pounds With Support From Diabetes Health Coach and Kaiser Permanente Research
When Debbie Levinson wound up in urgent care with a painful infected boil, she was told that it would not heal unless she got her blood sugar level under control. She was referred to a Kaiser Permanente health coach, Paula Winch, who called to check in with Debbie every week for six months. At first, Debbie wasn’t ready to make changes, so Paula worked closely with her to identify her motivations and overcome barriers.
One of those barriers: Debbie had diabetes but had not told anyone. “My husband had no idea what was going on with me. My friends didn’t. My colleagues, my co-workers in this room … they had no idea.” Debbie felt a big sense of relief after telling family and co-workers about her diagnosis, people who then provided her with a much-needed support system.
With Paula and her support people behind her, Debbie began to make small changes to her diet, taking her medications regularly, and exercising — eventually working her way up to exercising 5 days a week.
“I’m doing water aerobics, just moving. There’s nothing glamorous about it [but] it’s made a big difference.” In just six months, she’s lost over 100 pounds, has brought her blood sugar levels down into the target range for people with diabetes, and decreased her risk for another health crisis. As you’ll see in this video, Debbie’s new habits are supported by research.