“I wish I knew what clicked in my brain because then I could tell others how to change their mindset as well.”

Did you come across this video in your Facebook feed during the past month? In case you didn’t, this 5-minute video is the personal story of a man named Jared who lost 300 lbs in 15 months – just by altering his lifestyle.*

I was extremely moved by Jared’s story. The video begins with him reading a blog entry from June 3, 2014, where he describes having been overweight his whole life. He didn’t like being overweight, but he accepted it rather than face the difficulty of making the lifestyle changes necessary for being healthy.

As quoted above, Jared isn’t quite sure what flipped the switch, but he notes that these were contributing factors to upping his motivation:

  • Finding out he weighed more than 500 lbs
  • Turning 40
  • Realizing that he was too tired to sit at his desk and work for eight hours a day

Jared chose a yoga program to help him start. At first he could barely do any of the moves, but he didn’t give up. If you haven’t watched the video yet – watch it! You can’t help but feel happy for someone who beat the odds – or even motivated to change your own lifestyle.

The link between type 2 diabetes and obesity

Being overweight or obese is a contributing factor to many disease states, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more. According to Wikipedia, “obesity has been found to contribute to approximately 55 percent of cases of type 2 diabetes.”

Diabetes is a serious chronic condition that, unmanaged, can lead to blindness, foot amputation, stroke, and even death.

Obesity is the result of personal health behaviors, heredity, surrounding social environment, and more. It’s also difficult to discuss because of cultural attitudes toward body size and image. And, we know Jared is right: you can’t force the change in mindset that’s critical toward making a lasting change in how you live.

At MountainWise, our mission is to make the healthy choice the easy choice. So we focus on changing social environments to support healthy eating and good personal health behaviors.

The MountainConnections Diabetes Prevention Program

We’re sponsoring a Diabetes Prevention Program in Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, and Transylvania counties in Western North Carolina for people like Jared who are ready to make a positive change to their lifestyles.

Programs are starting in early January 2016, so there’s only a few more days to register. Check our Diabetes Prevention Program page to find the program near you and to register.

Participants will work in group classes and individually with lifestyle coaches who will teach you how to:

  • Maintain a healthy weight*
  • Prepare delicious healthy meals
  • Find time for physical activity no matter how busy your schedule

Obesity isn’t the only cause of type 2 diabetes

Even if you aren’t overweight or obese, you can be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes based on factors like:

  • Being over the age of 40
  • Having had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, or having a mother who had gestational diabetes
  • Having a family member who had diabetes
  • Being of African American, American Indian, or Latino descent

If a doctor hasn’t told you that you have pre-diabetes, or that you’re at risk, you can still be at risk! Take the quiz to discover your risk for diabetes.


*The MountainWise program is in no way connected with Jared’s story or yoga practice, and does not in any way promote or promise extreme weight loss. By sharing this video, MountainWise does not condone the DDP yoga program. Always talk to a health professional before undertaking any exercise or diet regimen.