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Tracey Hawkins

"My Be Well UC Story"
Tracey Hawkins, Professor of Accounting at Clermont College

It’s all about the money. That is what I was thinking in November of 2015 when I participated in the Be Well UC initiative in order to get a free $25 Amazon gift card. When the volunteer handed me the results of my mini physical at the UC Clermont health fair, I was a little stunned. My blood sugar was 294 and I knew it was supposed to be 100 or less. Yes, I was overweight and I wasn’t exercising, but I felt good! I made an appointment with my doctor and got the official diagnosis…diabetes.

I knew that I had a strong family history of diabetes…my dad, his mom, his sisters, my sister…but me? I was not experiencing any symptoms. I thought I felt well. But yes, me. My A1C was 8.9. My doctor put me on Metformin and told me that I needed to lose weight and start exercising. She asked if I was willing to do diabetes education and I said yes, of course. You don’t have to convince me of the importance of education!

I went to classes and learned about diabetes and what unchecked diabetes can do to your body. Not pretty! But the good news…with diet and exercise, diabetes can be managed. I learned how many carbs I should be eating at each meal. I learned the benefits of exercise. I learned how to check my blood sugar. Most importantly - I learned that I could do this!

Tracey and daughter hiking in Grand Canyon
Tracey after mini heart marathon
Tracey after flying pig marathon

Long story short, ten months after my diagnosis, I had lost 45 pounds and my A1C was 5.4…in the normal range! My doctor took my off my medicine and told me to keep up the good work. Six months later, I was still in the normal range and feeling great! My blood pressure, while always good, is now awesome. My cholesterol numbers are in the normal range.

Since my diagnosis in November of 2015 I have completed nine half marathons as a walker. In July of 2016, my daughter and I hiked the Grand Canyon from the North Rim to the South Rim. Did I mention that it was July? The temperature at the bottom of the canyon was 120 degrees. I was in shape and felt great and we had no trouble whatsoever.

What have I learned? It’s not about the money; it’s about something so much more valuable than money. It’s about good health. Thank you UC for this program. It just might have saved my life!

What's your plan?

Make time for wellness - as every little bit counts.  As Tracey demonstrated, taking the time out to check in with your health can make a bit impact on your life.  Take advantage of the resources available to you with Be Well UC to make progress toward whatever goals you may have.

Tracey after mountain marathon
Tracey and daughter after a race
Tracey after completing a TOPO race

 

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