My journey with Jumpstart began about 18 months ago. I read an article in the Waikato Times about the programme offered through YMCA Hamilton. I thought it might be a good idea to see what was entailed in the programme and made a call.

I found out when the next class was starting and decided to ask my work colleague (who is a Type 2 diabetic) if she would like to go with me. I have a family history of diabetes, and was a little concerned when my doctor told me I was pre-diabetic. I didn’t really know what that meant at the time, but knew I needed to do something. My friend and I travelled an hour after work and attended the classes each week. After the 10-week course I had lost 4 kilograms over the 10 weeks by making a few changes and felt I was on my way, but somehow “life” got in the way and I slipped back into old habits.

I decided that I needed more information and support if I was going to be successful on this journey. I called the program to see if I could return next class and was told “absolutely”. I made a commitment to myself that I would attend all the information sessions and also go to work out sessions with the other Jumpstart participants. It was the best thing I ever did for myself! I attended the info sessions, learnt important information to help me make better choices and decisions and made some wonderful friends who are also on a journey to better health.

To date, not only have I lost a total of 23 kilograms (and kept them off), I have changed my outlook and found things that I like to do to help me live a healthier life. I joined the YMCA gym and actually enjoy working out. My HBA1C went from 49 to 35 - well within a normal range, and I am no longer pre-diabetic.

The Jumpstart programme was exactly what I needed to get started. The support, encouragement and care from the other students (and especially instructor Emily Morris) has been invaluable. I still have 20 kilograms before I get to my target weight, but I have no doubt I will continue to make progress towards my goals.

A quote I like to sum up my journey is “the teacher will appear when the student is ready”. Until I made the commitment to myself, no amount of information stayed with me. I’m glad the Jumpstart program and YMCA trainer Emily Morris were there when I was ready to listen.

Katy Windsor