MEET GAYLA

 My Struggle

I grew up in a family where we really socialize with food. There were no limits around food. I used to eat a lot of fattening and fried foods and eat whatever I wanted. Diabetes runs in my family. I thought I was too young and that it couldn’t happen to me, but I was feeling sluggish and tired all the time. I decided to put college on hold because my health needed to come first. If I wasn’t going to be here any longer, then school or anything else didn’t matter. I went to the doctor and I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes.

My Change

Diabetes has had a profound effect on me and me changing my lifestyle. I decided I didn’t want to live in fear and it was up to me to change the trajectory of my life. I changed my bad eating habits and started exercising regularly. I went cold turkey: I gave up sugar, salt, fried foods, and bread. I changed from eating Doritos and donuts and drinking soda to eating fruits, vegetables and drinking water. I also go to the gym five times a week now. I don’t fear diabetes and feel I have it under control. I don’t want to go backwards to the things that were bad for me. I still have a long ways to go to maintain it, and it’s still a struggle some days. But I have made a lot of progress.

 My Advice

I heard someone say years ago you can’t outrun your fork. It’s up to you. It’s mind over matter. You can do this. I am a living example. You’re going to have days where you really want that cookie, but you can overcome it. You don’t have to totally give up everything. You can still have that one scoop of ice cream or piece of cake, but then you got to get back on track. This is life and death. Do you want to live?

Written by Jordan Kerzee