My family history makes my doctor cringe. Diabetes and heart disease affect many of my family members. My mother died before age 70 and my father passed before age 60. I want to be alive to see my grandchildren grow up and have children of their own. They deserve to have a fun-loving, energetic “Mema” to play with.

For years, I faced ongoing challenges with my A1c levels, weight, stress, and self-worth. I didn’t want to need help but I became increasingly aware of my not-so-healthy habits. I knew I needed to change but didn’t know where to start. I no longer wanted to be labeled a “diabetic.” Finally, I went to the Chesapeake Public Schools Health Center at Washington Shoppes to see Angela Mcfadden, FNP.

Angela intently listened to my desires and wanted to help me fulfill them. She recommended foods to eat and ways to stay active, and taught me how to portion my meals. I began walking and biking, cut out excess sugars, and increased my vegetable, fruit, and protein intake. I didn’t diet – I changed my lifestyle!

I am proud to say I’ve lost 20 pounds and eight inches from my waist, and feel less stressed! I am a wonderfully determined blonde-haired, blue-eyed, Irish-Italian “mema” who will turn 50 soon and is excited for what the next 50 years will bring. You need someone in your corner to help you through the difficult times, but above all else, you need to fight for yourself. You are the only one who can.