“I wish I could spread the word about this program to everyone I know. We are a different family after it with a different way of life. I can’t explain how important Healthy Choices was to my family and me. If you have the chance to participate, take it. I promise you, it will open your eyes and change you and your family forever.”
When I came to Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers my life was very different. I had diabetes. I lost my eyesight. And I had gotten to a weight I knew wasn’t healthy. My day to day made it easy for me to be unhealthy – to just eat tacos, or large tortas – street food. I decided then I was going to take hold of any opportunity that presented itself to be healthier. So, when my doctor told me about Healthy Choices, and I knew I had to try. I was willing to do anything.
In the very first meeting, I started to realize that my way of life may have been the issue. That possibly, I had been making mistakes. That my diet had something to do with my health. Healthy Choices, everything about it, was so unknown to me. It was so different. I learned so much and it helped me change my life. I decided to leave behind me all the things I was doing that were destroying my body. The program taught me how to eat healthy. Now I eat less meat and mostly live on vegetables. I love vegetables. Cactus is my new steak – I eat it every day. I was determined to lose weight. And I did. So now I’m fighting to keep it off. And I am.
The last time I saw my doctor he was shocked at how low my A1Cs were – 80! I stopped taking insulin. After all these changes; losing weight, maintaining my blood sugar and going to therapy – I was able to regain my eye sight. I improved so dramatically that I didn’t even need glasses. I couldn’t believe I could see again. Healthy Choices was the help I needed to get to where I am today.
And it doesn’t stop there. Not only did Healthy Choices change my life. It changed my family’s lives. The program is for everyone – men, women, children – the whole family benefits. We all need it. We all need to be healthy. Even if we don’t understand something or if things are new – we need to try. The people that lead and attend Healthy Choices are not there to judge. We are all there to teach and learn and grow to improve our health. A family needs to set a good example for the children. Healthy Choices teaches you how to do that. They teach you how to teach your children.
As adults, we have open minds and can recognize and change our ways. But the one thing you don’t want, is for your children to repeat your mistakes right before your eyes. To pass through the same challenges you did. I was looking for the most accessible and successful way for my children to learn to grow in a healthy way. Healthy Choices was that way for my children also.
My youngest child was always very heavy. At such a young age the doctors told us he had a predisposition to diabetes. He went to Healthy Choices with us. Like me, the program taught him to eat well, but most of all, it taught him how be active and to like being active. He got excited about biking, playing basketball and other sports. Despite being the youngest, he was the most dedicated to his change. He decided he was not going to let diabetes beat him. He was going to fight it. We recently saw people from the program and they couldn’t recognize him because he’d lost so much weight. His confidence is higher, and he’s even improved in school.
I wish I could spread the word about this program to everyone I know. We are a different family after it with a different way of life. I can’t explain how important Healthy Choices was to my family and me. If you have the chance to participate, take it. I promise you, it will open your eyes and change you and your family forever.