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Type 2 diabetes changes everything.

From the day you receive a diagnosis, it is a life-altering experience. But if you take a proactive approach now, that day may not come.

That’s the goal of our Pre-Diabetes Education Program, a weekly class led by our Health & Wellness Director Dr. Sonie Jones. This is a nationally recognized pre-diabetes program, and it follows a guided, step-by-step curriculum approved by the C enters for Diseases Control.

The free classes are held each Thursday from 6pm-7pm. Participants can attend virtually or in person at the Robert J. Fuller House at 3470 Rockefeller Court in Waldorf. In-person attendees are treated to a free dinner, and all attendees receive a $10 gift card each week as an incentive for participating in the program. For more info or to register, contact Dr. Sonie Jones at 301-609-9900 ext. 202 or info@lifestylesofmd.org.

“We will give you $10 to come to the class,” Dr. Jones said. “So bring a friend, tell your family members, tell the people in your church, invite us over to your church to talk to you. We’ll do that, too. It’s important to understand the risk and do something about it.”

Dr. Jones stresses the importance of prioritizing your health — and not just for yourself, but also for the ones you love. Too often, people ignore troubling signs with their own health because they are too busy taking care of others. It’s important, she says, to recognize that you have to take care of yourself first so you can ensure that you’ll always be there for the ones you love.

Whether through lifestyle or family history or ethnicity, certain people are more susceptible to becoming diabetic. So if you are overweight, have borderline diabetes, have gestational diabetes or have a family history of diabetes, the time is now to realize your risk and address it.

Just because you’re at risk of developing diabetes or you’ve shown signs of pre-diabetes, it does not mean you will ultimately get diabetes. In many cases, you can control the outcome of your own health.

During the course, Dr. Jones uses the CDC-approved curriculum and stresses the necessity of having open and honest conversations with your physician about your risk. If you’re experiencing pain, tell your doctor. If you’re struggling with your diet, there are resources to assist you develop healthy habits that you can sustain.