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Kripalu Guest Stores: Carl B.

Digging Out

On a crash course with diabetes, a grandfather reverses direction.

Carl S.

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When I found out I was pre-diabetic, it came out of the blue. Before I retired, I worked a rotating shift at a chemical factory. My schedule was always changing, and I would use that as an excuse not to exercise or eat right—I was tired, I just couldn’t handle it.

My doctor, Lisa B. Nelson, is affiliated with Kripalu, and she recommended that I attend the Preventing and Reversing Diabetes Healthy Living program. It’s something I would never have done otherwise—I would have figured I could handle this myself. I didn’t have a clue what to expect—I was like a deer in headlights. After being at Kripalu for a day or so, meeting the faculty and staff and the people in my group, that totally changed. This is one of the better experiences I’ve ever had. The best part for me was learning how to eat healthy, and finding out that it was easier to take care of myself than I’d thought. The staff was incredibly supportive, and there was a real sense of camaraderie among the participants as well. Ten of us from the group stay in close touch, and we try to get together once a month.

During one of the program sessions, we talked about how, when you find yourself digging a deeper and deeper hole, you’ve got to learn when to stop digging and dig yourself out. That really stuck with me.

Now I buy healthy food, and I use the recipes they gave us in the program. I used to cook—meaning I would throw a burger on the grill—but now my wife is really enjoying my healthy cooking. I go to the gym three times a week. I’ve dropped a good amount of weight and, when I went back to Dr. Nelson for a follow-up, my blood work came out clear. I no longer have pre-diabetes. She told me she’d never seen anyone reverse it so fast. I can’t stress enough how important it is for me to have a caring doctor, and support from friends and family. Now I’ve got all kinds of energy, and I feel great. My wife and I take walks together, play with the grandchildren. And when the grandkids want to race down the trail, I can race with them.

I never thought I’d be doing that.
—Carl B., Lanesborough, Massachusetts