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Be Your Family’s Health Leader – Know Your Risk of Diabetes

By Justine Simmons
 
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Be Your Family’s Health Leader – Know Your Risk of Diabetes 0 5
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Photo Courtesy of Justine Simmons

I am one busy mom! Our house is always bustling with kids, relatives, and friends, and I love every minute of it. But the truth is, whether we’re celebrating, playing, or just spending time together, it takes a lot of energy to keep up. That’s why my health is so important to me. I know that to be there for my family and enjoy life to the fullest, I have to take care of myself.

Not long ago, my husband, Rev Run, and I started a journey toward better health. As a part of our journey, we decided to take a diabetes risk factor assessment. Since type 2 diabetes runs on both sides of our families, we were not surprised to find that we both had several risk factors: our ages (over 45) and the fact that we’re African American. And we aren’t alone—today more than 1 in 3 American adults are at risk of diabetes.

I’ll be honest with you—it scared me. But I learned it’s possible to reduce our risk of diabetes by eating better and exercising. I knew it was time to work together as a family to make health a higher priority.

Together, we’ve made simple lifestyle changes and learned we don’t have to deprive ourselves to be healthy. Instead of snacking on junk food, we now stock the fridge with better options like fruits and vegetables. Just recently, I discovered Brussels sprouts. It never even occurred to me how tasty they could be, but now I eat them all the time! I also never thought about incorporating seafood into our family barbeques, but it turns out it is delicious and healthy. I flavor shrimp with pepper and a little olive oil before putting them on the grill. I would have never guessed my husband and kids would reach for shrimp instead of my twice baked potatoes, but they do!

Encouraging families like yours to adopt healthy lifestyles and learn about the risk of diabetes are things my husband and I are passionate about. We teamed up with Novo Nordisk on the Ask.Screen.Know. campaign, which urges Americans aged 45 or older to learn about type 2 diabetes risk factors and raises awareness of the need for early screening.

Knowing we have many of the risk factors, I make sure my husband and I are screened for type 2 diabetes by our doctor each year.

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

That's a great story! It's amazing how much the risk of diabetes can be mitigated by a few simple lifestyle changes. You should do a follow up post with some of the recipes you've introduced to your family!

There seems to be too many parents nowadays that are less concerned with their families eating habits and more about how convenient it is.

July 9, 2014 - 1:25pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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