Diabetes runs all through Yvonne Tejada’s family. When she found out she had the disease, she got to work. First Yvonne tried exercise DVDs, but soon graduated to daily 5 a.m. boot camp, including running, weights and cardio. She eats a healthy diet that’s centered on portion control. So far, she’s lost 60 pounds, is diabetes free and feels better than ever. Although she’s not a morning person, her results – and the promise of a whole new wardrobe – keep her going.
What did it take for you to decide to get healthier?
When I had my annual physical, my blood work showed I was diabetic. Diabetes is really bad on my dad’s side of the family and one of my aunts even lost her sight because of it. It scared me, and I said, ‘No thanks! That’s not for me!’
What did you do first?
I started not eating as much. For four months, I had no soft drinks, only water. And I started doing the Beach Body DVD program. But then I got bored, so I started boot camp.
That’s pretty intense!
I’ve been doing it for about a year. It’s an hour class at a local park. I go every morning, sometimes twice a day if I missed earlier in the week.
What do you like about it?
The trainers help motivate us, but they’re not pushy. I also like the people I’ve met there because they help me stay on track. When I get sore, I know the exercises are really working.
Are you a morning person?
No! But since the class is at 5 a.m., I get up about 4:15. I have two kids and my husband and I take turns dropping them off at school. It takes a lot of willpower to get up that early, but the results keep me going.
Do you follow a special diet?
It’s mainly portion control. Before, I didn’t eat breakfast. Now, I make a protein smoothie or eat a little Ezekiel bread with peanut butter.
How do you resist temptation?
My biggest weaknesses are cookies, especially Oreos, and I love potato chips. To fight that, I eat almonds or fruit instead. I also love doughnuts, so I make a vanilla shake with almond milk that has a similar taste.
Do you ever cheat?
I’ve read that if you deprive yourself of something you want, you want it even more. So I usually allow myself one cheat day a week.
What’s your motivation?
I admit, I like it when people notice the changes I’ve made and I enjoy being able to buy clothes. Exercising is also a big stress reliever.
What results have you seen?
I’ve lost 60 pounds and I’m no longer diabetic. My entire family has changed, too. We spend more time playing outside instead of lying on the couch.
What are your goals?
I still have work to do and want to lose 40 more pounds. I want to continue to eat right and get even stronger with exercise.
Have you surprised yourself?
I never was a runner, but now I can and even ran 2 miles. I didn’t think I could, but I did it. It made me see I’m getting stronger.
Do you have any words of wisdom?
Start off slow and take it day by day. The hardest part is getting your foot out the door. You’re not going to see results right away, but don’t get discouraged. Keep going.