You may have met my smiling face on the front page of this site, or maybe you saw one of my videos.
My name is Theresa…kinda like it says at the top of this page. I am a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator with over 30 years of experience at my fingertips.
My professional experience and understanding put me in a unique position to conceive of the Sweet People Club a few years ago.
You see, in my career, I’ve helped design so many effective prediabetes and diabetes management programs for several hospital systems (UCSF and University of the Pacific as Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Diabetes Management Certificate Programs in my attempt to get medical professionals up to speed about diabetes). And also, the largest in the industry medical firms. You know the ones that serve mostly corporate clients and offer the year-long diabetes prevention program through your employer or their Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) provider?
Well, I realized pretty early on that a lot of people were being left out of that equation. Couldn’t access the education. So I wanted to help remove those barriers for people who just don’t have an accessible program.
Like people who didn’t live near a diabetes prevention or management program. People who don’t have a corporate-sponsored health plan or EAP. People who are retired or unable to work. Employees of small businesses, stay at home parents, family members and loved ones of those diagnosed with prediabetes and type 2, and many, many others.
Or, if they do have access to those larger plans through an employer, maybe they’re uncomfortable taking advantage of them BECAUSE they’re sponsored by their employer!
Understanding that there was a need out there that was not being met, well that got me thinking. I learned less than 2.5% of the 1 in 3 adults with prediabetes in the U.S. attend a program that can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. And only about 7% with type 2 ever attend a diabetes education program. That is wrong!
And the Sweet People Club was the result of all that thinking.
But if I’m being truly honest, the initial catalyst that really got it going wasn’t my professional motivation – it was getting diagnosed with prediabetes myself, and then not finding a private online community for support that was rooted in science.
Yup. Kinda ironic isn’t it?
It was a dark and stormy night in 2015 when I got the call from my doctor’s office. My doctor wanted to let me know that my recent bloodwork (the A1C or three-month blood sugar or blood glucose average) was a bit in the forbidden zone. It crossed the line.
Apparently, my pancreas couldn’t keep up during the most stressful time in my life. I was busy caring for my mom who had cancer and l let my self-care go out the window which resulted in my blood sugars creeping upwards.
And guess what? Your girl – the former national certified diabetes educator of the year – suddenly found herself diagnosed with prediabetes.
What the fudge?!
Well fudge wasn’t exactly the problem. It was more like the soothing effects of daily ice cream. And frozen KitKat bars. And the 20-pound weight gain that followed. My poor pancreas.
Sound familiar? Perhaps. For the majority of people, it’s related to weight gain, but for others, it’s genetics and other factors.
It was my metaphorical fork in the road. And from a health standpoint, it was one of the best things to happen to me. I decided to start making small, thoughtful changes. And over time those changes resulted in weight loss, better sleep, more energy, more emotional resilience, and normal A1Cs.
That’s right. I reversed my prediabetes.
And with the help of everything available to you here at the Sweet People Club I hope that last part of my story will one day sound familiar to you too!
But if you already have type 2, rest assured that I am crazy passionate about getting you the information to keep you safe so you can steer clear of what can happen with high blood sugars over time – you know, all the possible complications. Yep. POSSIBLE. IN fact, by participating in a diabetes education program, most will lower their A1C by 1% point and that does a world of good in preventing complications.
So I also built the Sweet People Club for all of you who don’t have a program in your area, or it’s too expensive, or has insanely inconvenient hours. I build this to be affordable and all online (well before COVID hit!) because often people drop out of prevention or management programs (as in 50%!) because it’s not convenient, not relevant or not fun. I’m changing that with the Sweet People Club. My hope is that it will help you as well on your health journey. See what others are saying.
April 2022 update: Sweet People Club (SPC) is accessible to current members only through 8/15/22. SPC is really the best diabetes prevention program available but was hit hard due to the pandemic (like so many other businesses). We’re hoping for a larger company to help us morph into something else. Current members have access to me for a lifetime! #GivingBackToTheCommunity #ThankfulForAllTheInspiration