Kaiser Permanente Southern California member Zetta likes to do things on her own terms, doesn’t like being told what to do, and prefers having options. So, after her son had a COVID-19 health scare and Zetta was told by her doctor that she would be diagnosed with diabetes if she continued the path she was on, she decided to take control of her health. She knew she did not want insulin injections, so she joined the Center for Healthy Living’s Healthy Balance program, a workshop that provides support for weight management and diabetes prevention.
Zetta had started her health journey with intermittent fasting. It was good for losing the first 4 pounds, but she found that she was always hungry. Healthy Balance changed that for her. Using tips from the workshops, Zetta cut back on drinks with sugar and learned that she didn’t have to deny herself any foods. “You can treat yourself to something sweet, but it can’t be the main course,” she said.
“Everything in moderation.”
Zetta explained that through the Healthy Balance workshop, she learned how to eat. Culturally, she was raised to eat whatever was put in front of her: fried chicken, fried fish, fried porkchops, mashed potatoes, potato salad. The workshop taught her that she could have three balanced meals and not starve. Zetta now knows that a healthy plate includes protein, vegetables, and whole grains/starch. She learned to measure portion sizes using the palm of her hand and was happy to know that she could eat as many greens as she wanted. This was a big turning point, and Zetta is proud to say that she now finishes a whole bag of salad. It doesn’t go bad in her refrigerator anymore!
As a result of her lifestyle changes, Zetta has lost 12 pounds. Before her weight loss, she would experience swelling and inflammation in her knee when she danced. These symptoms disappeared after the weight loss. Now Zetta dances, is intentional about walking, and opts to take the stairs instead of the elevator when she can.
Zetta says she just wants to be around a little longer, stating, “You can get so busy looking out for others that we don’t take care of ourselves.” She’s now celebrating her health and looking forward to going on a cruise.
Photos show models, not actual program participants.