I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 41 and for years did not have the condition under control. I was overweight as a result of poor eating habits and had major stressors in my life. In time, it got so bad that it affected my kidneys and eyes and I began losing my hair. I was devastated.

Eventually, I decided to go see Elizabeth Timpe, NP, at the Charlotte County Public Schools Employee Wellness Center. Her constant encouragement to put my health first was empowering. She gave me the tools to motivate myself for success and in July 2018, I began a ketogenic diet. I have lost over 35 pounds and, for the first time in my life, feel like I have total control over my eating habits. Instead of living to eat, I now eat to live.

My health is the best it has ever been. I no longer have to take 65 units of insulin a day and my kidney function has improved. I have increased energy and self-esteem and my hair has started to grow back! My outlook on life is much more positive.

I have struggled with these issues for a very long time, but if I can do it, anyone can. Now, I feel like I need to pay it forward. I am currently helping five friends start on the ketogenic diet. I am helping them discover, as I did, that it is not really about dieting but about embracing a new way of life.