In 2015, Maria Andrade Olmos was mourning the death of her father. He had lost two legs to type 2 diabetes and passed away soon after. Then her doctor told her she also had type 2 diabetes.
For years after, Maria struggled with the Beast. “I was always tired and would get a lot of headaches.” Then, in 2019, she joined a nutrition class at the Salinas Valley Diabetes & Endocrine Center where she learned more about managing her medications and improving her diet. “Before I would eat a lot of tortillas. Now I eat a lot of wheat bread and more vegetables. And I drink 1% milk and a lot of water now. And no soda at all.”
As Maria started to feel better, she began taking daily walks. And the more she walked, the better she felt. “Walking gives me energy. I don’t feel as tired as before.” About a month after she started walking, Maria noticed that her clothes were fitting a little looser. “I was like, ‘Wow! This works.’ So that kept me going.”
Now, every day, Maria heads to Toro Park or Lovers Point to walk for an hour, covering three to four miles. “Before I would come home from work and feel very, very tired. Now, I come home from work and I go walking. It gives me energy.” The exercise of walking helps Maria lose weight – and helps her eat healthier. “It’s kind of weird. I come home and I’m like, ‘I can’t eat that because then all the walking I did would be for nothing.’”
Since her first visit to the Diabetes & Endocrine Center, Maria has lowered her blood sugar level from 200 to 120 — well with the range of normal. And she’s dropped from 182 pounds to 161. “I feel good now.”
Maria’s daily walk is helping her family get healthier, too. Her husband walks with her, enjoying the exercise and the time together. “He helps me a lot.” And her 20-year-old son has taken up jogging. “He’s seen the way I’m doing better, and he’s started running three miles a day. He’s lost 15 pounds!”
A daily walk in the park. It’s a simple change that has made all the difference in Maria’s health. A change that helps her want to eat better and that lowers her stress level along with her blood sugar. Maria’s walk is even helping her family get healthier, too. “Go walking,” Maria advises others facing type 2 diabetes. “You will have more energy. Go for your own health.”