Making Health a Priority with Laura Kolodjeski
Last month I mentioned I was working on my 2013 S.T.A.N.D. (Start Taking Action Now for Diabetes) pledge, as my part in the effort to encourage people to take action and spread awareness about diabetes. I wanted to take a moment to provide some context to my updated pledge for this year.
When I joined Sanofi US in January 2009, and learned I would be working closely with the Diabetes Team, I immersed myself in learning as much as I could about the condition. I educated myself with a variety of resources, both internal and external, such as those on the American Diabetes Association website. At the time, my daughter had just turned two, and I was still carrying around some extra “baby weight,” so I grew concerned when the Association’s Diabetes Risk Test identified my BMI as a potential risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. That was a real wake-up call for me given my lack of awareness, at the time, with regard to diabetes.
Motivated by this new found awareness, I immediately joined our Weight Watchers™ at Work program and relatively soon thereafter, lost thirty-five pounds. I kept the weight off successfully for about two and a half years.
But the reality is that I find it a challenge to maintain any weight loss. It’s not like I haven’t been here before. Eventually I stopped going to my Weight Watchers meetings and, over time, my weight has crept up. As the number on the scale rose, in the back of my mind was the concern about the type 2 risk factor. Though I carried that worry with me, I was also in denial. I didn’t want to admit to myself what lifestyle changes I would need to make if I one day learned I was living with diabetes.
Then Sanofi US offered A1C tests to employees this past November in support of Diabetes Awareness Month, and I decided that it was in my best interest to take control of my concerns and my health. I felt compelled to have the test.
Waiting for the results felt like the longest five minutes of my life, as I went through all the mental “what if’s.” I decided that no matter what the result, I was no longer comfortable with my current state of health. I decided to turn this feeling into a catalyst for change in 2013.
While my A1C test result revealed a low risk for developing type 2 diabetes, I knew I needed to commit to making healthier choices.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been struggling to add exercise into my schedule. With my two-hour daily commute, I often feel like I must either sacrifice time with my family or my own health. And my family typically wins that internal battle. But I may have found a workaround for that – being physically active while spending time with my family. Since my husband and daughter both got bikes for Christmas, I’m going to get one too, so we can all go on family bike rides together.
I’m also going to be more mindful of what I’m consuming, and really do my best to make healthier choices overall. I want to serve as a healthy example to my daughter, demonstrating the behaviors I want her to have as she grows up.
So all that brings me to my 2013 S.T.A.N.D. pledge. I’m recommitting to the first two pledges from my 2012 pledge, and updating my commitment to my own health.
What about you? Have you taken the S.T.A.N.D. pledge in 2013 yet? Do you struggle with conflicting priorities regarding your health as well? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Disclosure: The Start Taking Action Now for Diabetes (S.T.A.N.D.) program is made possible with support from Sanofi US.
WEIGHT WATCHERS is a registered trademark of Weight Watchers International, Inc.