I am Susana Mazon. I have been married for 24 years and my husband and I have three beautiful children.
A while ago, my doctor diagnosed me with prediabetes during my annual physical. I was scared because I knew that having type 2 diabetes would complicate my life. My mom has diabetes and needs to inject herself with insulin every day. I also have an aunt that lost her eyesight due to diabetes. I thought that with type 2 diabetes life always becomes more difficult. I knew that diabetes can make you very sick and can damage your feet, heart, kidney or your eyes — because that’s what happened to my aunt.
I knew I did not have type 2 yet but being prediabetic was scary enough. So, I started to make drastic changes in my diet. And that made me unhappy because it was difficult to try to change everything all at once. I talked with friends who had type 2 diabetes or who had relatives living with diabetes. And that scared me even more because there was too much information, and sometimes it was contradictory or confusing.
Then I went to a meeting at my son’s school and felt much better. Community Health Innovations was there, talking about their Diabetes Prevention Program (or DPP) and I decided to join the program.
Class by class, I learned how to improve my lifestyle by modifying and reducing foods instead of eliminating them. One of my biggest problems had been eating less pan dulce, the sweet bread that had been a traditional part of our family meals every day—we eat it for breakfast, lunch and snacks.
I learned that small steps like that make a big difference in making it easy to change your habits. I started losing weight and, after six months of being in the DPP, I lost 19 pounds — without crazy diets or pills or beverages that cost a lot. My health coach provides me with support and resources to help me prevent diabetes. And participating in the program cost me almost nothing.
And so, my life started changing. I knew I was making progress because I started behaving differently. I became more curious and learned more. For example, I started reviewing nutrition labels when shopping for food to be sure I was buying the right kinds of food.
I am very grateful for this program because it changed my life and it transformed my family. DPP reinforces the importance of involving your friends and family for support as you change your habits. Now our family spends more time together, cooking healthy meals and going for hikes around Monterey County. We enjoy our weekends and free time together more than ever, and we’re all getting healthier.