Interview with Canary Coaches Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Participant JR

By Neal Kaufman


One of the real pleasures I take in my role at Canary Coaches is the opportunity to speak with participants. This past week, JR, a 35-year old happily married mother of three granted me her time and told me a part of her story. I so appreciate her willingness to share.


“I worry about my dad and two siblings with type 2 diabetes and their need to be very careful with what they eat and how much exercise they get.  It is much better to never get diabetes by getting into the habit of a healthy lifestyle,” JR said when describing her motivation. She had recently enrolled in Canary Coaches digital Diabetes Prevention program after receiving an email announcement from her healthcare provider.


She had tried various approaches, but had not been able to sustain the gains she made. She was hoping this approach would be more successful.


I ask her what is the issue more impacting her life. It’s hard as a mom to maintain a healthy diet.  This is especially true since the whole family should do what is needed to maintain health, but,” and she pauses and then continues “but, my husband and kids don’t have a weight problem.”


I am curious about how that impacts her but even before asking my follow up question she adds, “I’ve been able to get them all to follow my lead with the support of my husband.” She says it in a way letting me know she knows that in that she is lucky.


“Making small steps really matters.  Try to increase physical activity gradually.  Keep a journal and reflect on what you have learned.  Take one day at a time.  If you feel too tired to get up, just get out of your chair for even a few minutes.  The tired feeling may just be because you’re sitting too long.”  She replies to my question about what advice she’d give others. And this question has resonated with JR and the words flow smoothly, as he says, “I feel great supporting someone who is struggling, even more than I do when someone supports me. Though having someone to cheer me on is of course nice too.”


I ask my last question, “What would increase your confidence that you can succeed?”


After a pause during which I can almost hear her reflecting on her response, she says, “Succeeding at something…anything… even if small. Feeling better about myself as I accomplish what I set out to do. I don’t need others to think I look better, just people noticing I am putting in a lot of hard work.”


JR has a goal to lose 14 pounds and keep it off.


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