Letter: Community Wellness Partners can help bring healthy start to 2018


By Casey Borgen, Community Wellness Partners, Nobles County Community Services, Worthington

Year after year, the top New Year’s resolutions in the U.S. involve losing weight and making healthier lifestyle choices. However, the data consistently shows that few of them actually stick. Research shows that about 80 percent of people who make resolutions on Jan. 1 abandon their good intentions by Valentine’s Day, according to Marti Hope Gonzales, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota.

Realizing the impact of this data, Community Wellness Partners would like to offer hope to those who really need healthy changes to preserve or improve their health. “We know that breaking down a larger goal into smaller, more attainable steps helps you feel like you are actually accomplishing something. Making progress in steps is a way to measure your success and reach long-term goals,” says Christine Bullerman, Health Educator and Community Wellness Partners Coordinator.

Luckily, we have a vital resource available in our community that helps people do just that. The I Can Prevent Diabetes program is designed for  individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes (those who are overweight, physically inactive, have high blood pressure, a history of gestational diabetes or a family history of diabetes). The class consists of 16 weekly sessions and eight monthly follow-up sessions that take place in a supportive environment and offers group encouragement led by a trained lifestyle coach. Participants become empowered to make lifestyle changes and discover their potential to take charge of their health.

The goal of the program, which is weight loss of just 5 percent to 7 percent of starting body weight (typically about 15 pounds), reduces one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Even after 10 years, those who participated in the I Can Prevent Diabetes lifestyle change program had a 34 percent lower rate of type 2 diabetes.

The tools offered in the I Can Prevent Diabetes classes will help participants reach their wellness potential not only through 2018 but throughout the rest of their lives. Be among the 20 percent of those that don’t give up on their New Year’s wellness resolution in 2018 by setting small, attainable goals and connecting with family, friends, and your community to get the support you need to accomplish your goals.       

People interested in learning more about or finding an I Can Prevent Diabetes program in Jackson County or Nobles County are encouraged to call the Diabetes Prevention Connection Line at 1-888-643-2584. They may also connect with your University of Minnesota Extension lifestyle coaches Beth Labenz (Jackson County) at (507) 375-1275 or bmlabenz@umn.edu or Leticia Rodriguez (Nobles County) at 295-5318 or rodri030@umn.edu