Interview with Canary Coaches Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Participant JV
By Neal Kaufman
This past month, I caught up with JV who has been a participant in our digital DPP program for nearly 1 year. I love hearing the stories and feedback of participants at all different points in their journey, and in this case it was great to hear the story of a longtime participant. JV has had some success losing weight but it has been hard for him to keep it off, especially because of the restrictions of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the closing of his gym.
JV is a 57-year old man who has a number of chronic diseases which partly result his being overweight for the past 23 years.
What caught your interest in our DPP program?
JV: “I had a medical event which convinced me I needed to make a change in my lifestyle. When my insurance offered the program for free, I thought I would give it a try. And I am glad I did. I may not have realized it at the time, but I wasn’t getting any support from my family or friends and thought the program might give me some tips.”
How was the need to change your lifestyle impacting your life?
JV: “I was not happy with how I was feeling and knew I needed to eat better and be more active. However, from past experience, I was concerned that the program would require me to completely cut out the foods I love and instead eat nothing but veggies and foods with low fat. There is no point in living if you’ve got to eat that crap. There was no way I was going to meet any daily fat gram goal. That’s just not who I am. But this program was different. My coach helped me to choose my own approach.”
Has your family and/or friends been helpful or are they mostly not supportive?
JV: “They aren’t supportive at all. My wife doesn’t try to lose weight, buys mostly high carb foods and pushes unhealthy snacks all the time. My mother is even worse. Mom makes me feel like I am 8 years old again and just says I need to eat better and be more active. It doesn’t bother me since I don’t like to air my dirty laundry in public.”
How is the support your DPP coach is providing?
JV: “Dawn is terrific and since she isn’t part of my family or friends it is easier take support and praise from her. She also has lots of experience which helps.”
If a close friend or family member was concerned about their weight and wanted your advice, what might you say to them?
JV: “I would ask them: Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired enough to make a change? Then go for it.”
What would increase your confidence that you can succeed?
JV: “Setting small and attainable goals and then have some quick wins. For example, a reasonable calorie or fat goal that is healthier than I eat now, but not so hard that I can never succeed.”