A Reversing Diabetes Seminar, sponsored by the Chattanooga First SDA Church was held on September. Participants in the recent Reversing Diabetes Seminar lost weight, saw their blood pressure drop, and experienced a lower BMI – all within six weeks, officials said.
A total of 45 people registered for the seminar, which ended Sept. 20 and was offered in two Chattanooga locations. Twenty-four participants with perfect attendance at all six sessions lost a total of 150 pounds, with one person losing 18 pounds.
Survey responses indicated attendees learned that lifestyle factors can reverse many of their ailments, including diabetes and those conditions which can lead to developing diabetes.
Presenters Stephen Wickham, MPA, RN and Karen Wickham, RN, who together have more than 70 years of healthcare experience, showed how exercise, food choices and other lifestyle interventions can improve health.
Each session began with a weigh-in and blood pressure test. The results were recorded on attendees’ registration cards to track their progress over the course of six weeks. Participants also received a healthful snack prepared on site to introduce plant-based alternatives that would help them reach and maintain the goals each had set at the beginning of the program.
Each class involved a lecture with PowerPoint, which was interspersed with a burst exercise session.
"The five minutes of vigorous activity demonstrated how exercise can be fun, easy and convenient," officials said. "An exciting part of each session was the participants’ report of their successes during the preceding week regarding weight loss, improved blood pressure and reduced reliance on medication, as determined by each person’s personal physician."
Qualified volunteers talked with participants, listened to their problems, helped them to internalize what they had learned and encouraged them to apply the strategies presented at that class. Some attendees said the improvements they were experiencing in their health, the tasty food samples and the camaraderie motivated them to change their habits.
"Weight loss was a focal point because excess weight negatively affects diabetes. This was explained in the handbook each participant received at registration, detailing the disease and guidelines for overcoming it in an easy-to-understand way. They also received a hard-cover cookbook full of delicious plant-based recipes to help them make changes in their eating habits that would reduce their dependence on insulin and help them to experience a greater measure of health," officials said.
The volunteer team has planned follow-up support to help the participants reach their long-term goals, with a four-session cooking school in October, a Whole Foods Thanksgiving Feast in November and a No-Guilt Holiday Food Feast in December.