The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program (YDPP) is a year-long lifestyle change program, but for one group it has become so much more. An alumni group of four participants who started the YDPP back in February of 2019 have continued to meet monthly, with no exceptions, since the end of their program in 2020. The alumni group gathers over healthy foods and each participant takes turns leading the reviews of one of their previous YDPP sessions. Betsy Thompson, their Lifestyle Coach, will often join the group as well, but she is always more than happy to let the participants soar on their own.
One participant said that being a part of the group means unconditional support: “No one judges you, we’re all in this together.” Years later after the end of their program, the participants continue to motivate each other to eat healthy, stay active, and work towards their personal weight loss goals. When asked what the YDPP means to them, one participant stated that “It means more than you’ll ever know. It’s a healthy lifestyle that’s completely changed my life. I’m just sorry that I had to wait this long to get into it.”
The alumni group was able to celebrate their two-year anniversary of meeting monthly for sessions. The celebration was filled with tasty, healthy treats, hand-made decorations, and a game of YDPP themed bingo. This group demonstrates how the impact of the YDPP goes far beyond the year that participants are in the program. The support of other group members is invaluable in making healthy lifestyle changes. The participants in the alumni group encourage anyone who is thinking about joining the YDPP to “definitely do it!” If you would like to learn more about the program, please visit: https://muskegonymca.org/ydpp/
This project is being funded by the CDC 1705 Expansion Grant (NU58DP006365) through Trinity Health