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When I was initially diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, I was in denial. I didn't want to accept the diagnosis so I continued my same lifestyle habits. I was denying the existence of this disease but being in denial did not make the disease go away.

I finally realized that I needed to change my lifestyle in order to achieve different results. I joined a diabetes group and was introduced to various methods of food preparation, exercise and other lifestyle changes that I needed to make. Of course I didn't want to change because I enjoyed the foods I was eating and the lifestyle I was living, or at least I thought I did.

However, I am so thankful that I finally started to make a change in my life. Small steps that increased over a period of time. I changed the way I prepare my meals, I stopped frying foods and started to grill, bake and broil. I started eating more fruits and vegetables; I've tried to minimize my sugar and fat intake (which is still a struggle). However I have made exercise a part of my life. Initially I struggled to start, but I am thankful that I have stayed with it so far. I have lost 50 lbs, my A1C has improved dramatically going from 11.5 to generally around 6.8 - 7.0. I have more energy and feel better physically. I encourage others to make that first step toward a healthier lifestyle.

Brenda Smith
Memphis, TN

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