ST. ALBANS — In four months, the 10 community members participating in YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program lost a collective 127.4 pounds, according to Debbie Robertson, a certified wellness coach.

Facilitated through Northwestern Medical Center’s (NMC) Lifestyle Medicine clinic, the program is designed to help those at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing enough weight to reduce their chances of developing the disease.

The current class at NMC began at the end of March, with weekly one-hour sessions focusing on teaching participants about healthier eating and other behavior changes. The goals of the program are for participants to reduce their body weight by seven percent and increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week.

The last session was Wednesday, where participants were weighed to determine total weight loss over the four-month period. But the class doesn’t stop there. The participants still have eight monthly sessions to attend, the sessions designed to provide support while participants work to maintain their progress.

Wednesday, participants discussed their journeys thus far and the success they’ve seen with this program, in comparison to others tried.

“I just lost my husband a year and a half ago, so the stress…” Lise Dexter, 65, of Highgate Springs trailed off. “I wasn’t really taking care of myself like I should have.”

The effects of this came to light during a doctor’s visit in January. There, Dexter weighed in at 171 pounds, had high blood pressure and was diagnosed pre-diabetic.

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