From pre-diabetes to healthier than ever
I felt like I was suffocating,” recalls Cynthia Wysocki. “I was waking up at night struggling to breathe. This was my body telling me it was time to lose weight.”
In April 2018, the 53-year-old from Danville weighed 210 pounds. “I wasn’t exercising at all because my body hurt too much.”
Cynthia received an email about the Preventing Diabetes program at Geisinger. “Geisinger emailed me because I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. My father had diabetes and my husband’s dad had diabetes too, so we decided to learn more and see if this would help us.”
Preventing Diabetes aims to prevent the common disease among high-risk patients who have been identified to have pre-diabetes. As part of the program, Cynthia talked weekly to dietitian Allison Naylor. “Ali watched me closely. We’d talk about the foods I had eaten during the week and she’d offer me advice to do better. She gave me ideas—lots of great ideas for foods and exercise, too.”
Cynthia works as a unit clerk in pediatrics at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. She admits that, before starting her weight-loss journey, she often skipped breakfast. “I had to teach myself to eat in the morning. Now, I start my day on the treadmill and then have a protein shake before I go to work.”
Metabolism and weight loss
Cynthia learned that your metabolism is what converts food into energy. Generally, the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism is; the more fat you have, the slower it is. Eating frequently can help work with your metabolism—no matter your fat/muscle ratio—in a way to support it positively. Small, frequent meals help you to control hunger. The less time you wait between meals, the less hungry you may find that you feel.
“I’ve lost 40 pounds!” says Cynthia. “This program made me responsible for my health. Ali was wonderful. She encouraged me. She taught me about kickstarting my body, eating less food and eating more often. It revved my metabolism! And if I was in an exercise rut, she’d recommend something else for me to try. Most importantly, Ali told me not to give up. That’s been a huge help. Every day isn’t easy, but it’s important to make small changes daily.”
Changing the way she ate, Cynthia saw amazing results. “My husband and I ate meat and mashed potatoes all the time. I’d eat until I was full. It took a while, but we learned to eat smaller portions more frequently and drink a lot of water. Now, we eat the healthy stuff versus the fat stuff. We’ve gotten away from the sweets and focus on vegetables.”
Cynthia adds, “I can move better, my bones feel better, I’m sleeping. I actually have a waist now. I’m so thankful for this program, and I’m so glad I did it.”
And Cynthia’s husband feels better too! Together, they work to choose healthier options, such as carrots and celery, and healthier meals when dining out. After working for 12 hours, her husband often prepares a healthy dinner for them to enjoy together at home.
Preventing Diabetes at Geisinger
Our Preventing Diabetes program helps primary care doctors (the main doctor you see throughout the year) identify gaps in patients’ care. Patients work with their physician to set goals to meet their needs and understand expected outcomes, resulting in a healthier lifestyle and better quality of life.
If you’re interested in this program, start the conversation with your Geisinger family doctor today! Need a family doctor? Find a primary care physician with Geisinger here.