Defeating Denial: David's Inspirational Journey from Prediabetic to Health Coach

This article was written exclusively for Information About Diabetes by David Hernandez, who eventually turned his life around after being diagnosed with prediabetes and high cholesterol.

I've been overweight my entire life. For every step and every age group of my life, I was always overweight. Stop me if this sounds familiar: I would overeat, drink way too much pop and Kool-Aid, eat way too much candy, hide food, sneak food. If there was an outline on how to bring on diabetes and heart problems, I was nailing it.

Around 2000, I was spreading fear into every scale at 386 pounds and only 5-foot-7. I was considered pre-diabetic. I was crushed. I was not ready to change – or I thought I was, but I really wasn't.

Failed Attempts to Get Healthy

I did everything: the classic "I just need to eat better," get a gym membership, Low-Carb, Atkins, on which I had minimal success. By 2005 – yes, over 5 years later – I was able to get down near 300 pounds, which at that point was probably pure accident because I sure was not committed to anything except food and denial.

By 2008, according to my medical record, I'd gone back up to 362 pounds! Not only was I heavier again, but I could tell that my body was really starting to get old. A combination of excuses was driving me toward bad health. Yep, I said excuses. You know, like work, stress, sleeplessness, feeling sorry for myself, not wanting to stop eating out, not wanting to go to the gym, feeling sorry for myself, feeling frustration, feeling lost, feeling sorry for myself ... oh, and feeling sorry for myself.

That's a cycle that I never wanted to go through again. But I did. Only for the next 5 years! Swearing that I would eat better, knowing that I needed to, blah blah blah! What? You've heard that before?

Still Not Ready to Change

In 2013, my wife met someone at church, and she started this program. I thought it was great that she wanted to do this and get healthy. I also thought it wasn't for me. Since I thought it wasn't for me, I did not support her the way I should have because probably deep down inside I knew that meant I'd have to do something with myself. Well, unsupported by me, she stopped.

In January of 2014, the same person from church invited us to an event here in Portland. My wife was ready once again, but I was skeptical at best. I needed to see what it was about. I needed to know that there was substance to it. So we went. I was trying hard to find something I didn't like. I found it. I found a whole lot of people, just like me! But they were doing something about their health!

Before we get into that, though, December of 2013 brought a visit to the doctor ONLY because they threatened to stop filling my diabetes medicine if I did not go get a check-up so they could do my lab work. Did I mention denial? Yeah, I stopped doing my labs and check-ups because, well, I was in this period of complete irresponsibility, selfishness and foolishness. So I reluctantly went to the doctor.

Reality Check

My lab work came back. My A1c (a crucial number for diabetics) came back at 12.9. My cholesterol was off the charts, and my tryglicerides were at a hefty 673! To say I was in danger would be an understatement. Oh, did I mention that I was only 36 years old?

I was in a completely unfounded state of disbelief. After all, nothing or no one had gotten me there, except me. Time for change? Um, yeah, how about it?

Making Lasting Changes

I made small changes at first – eating more salad, cutting out sugar – and this time, I felt different, like this was my last chance. I managed to lose a little bit of weight over the next month, but it wasn't enough. My wife and I started talking about the program she'd been on the previous year – probably the only thing I hadn't tried up to that point!

So back to (or, technically, fast-forward to) January of 2014. I couldn't believe what I was seeing at this event. Every single excuse and reason I had not to get healthy escaped me and completely abandoned me there. I felt an excitement about health I'd never felt before. Watching the testimonies there and the speakers instilled a belief in me that this was possible. Health was a real, attainable goal. I left there with zero doubt that I would be getting healthy soon!

Now, one year later, I've dropped 72 pounds, my cholesterol is normal and my A1c is at an undiagnosable 5.3! I dropped Glipizide, and in three months I'll likely drop Metformin. It took a real life change. Not a diet, not a fad, a real change.

I'm a health coach now with the program that saved/changed my life, and my goal is to help others do the same thing!

Click here to visit David's Facebook page!

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