Participant Spotlight: Edna
Omada enrolls thousands of people every month, and each of those enrollees represent a relatable, interesting, and sometimes heartbreaking story. Every Sunday with new enrollees means we are now responsible for shepherding even more people (and their families) through a life-changing journey at a critical juncture for their health.
The stories behind those numbers are the most important part of the work we do. So, this year, we’ll be featuring at least one participant story every month. The hope is that bringing successful participant journeys to the forefront will inspire others, either to join Omada, or push through their struggles in the program.
Our next participant spotlight brings us to the vibrant city of Indianapolis, IN to meet an inspiring grandma. Sixty year old Edna has not only achieved impressive results in Omada, but has also guided others to begin their journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
Edna got an email from Omada in connection with her employer and insurer, Humana, in November 2016. It said she might have prediabetes. “I know a lot about diabetes and the complications that go along with it,” she said. “Just before I began the Omada program, I started getting some tingling sensations in my fingers and toes when I would eat certain foods. I never experienced that before. I do home visits with the elderly through my work with Humana, and symptoms like numbness and tingling sometimes point to bigger medical issues. That really scared me straight.” In addition to the peculiar sensations, Edna had a history of knee problems. She officially began Omada in December 2016.
“I embraced it all,” she said. “I liked the setup. It’s so structured and easy. We were showed what types of foods we should eat and what not to eat, giving us an understanding to cut back on carbs, fried foods, etc. I appreciated the feedback from my coach. She would give some recipes, and she made a lot of good suggestions. As a result, it’s rare for me to eat as many carbs now. I’m more aware of what I eat, and what will cause me to bloat, like spaghetti, pasta, etc. I used to be big on soda. It’s rare for me to drink one now. I might drink one every couple of months, but I don’t enjoy it like I used to. I basically just drink water, tea, and coffee.”
Starting Omada during the frigid cold Indianapolis winter didn’t seem to phase Edna one bit. She stayed active throughout the program. “I have a step bench in my home, aerobic tapes, and more,” she said. “Initially, it was hard for me because my knees were bothering me really bad. I didn’t realize how much my weight impacted my knees, but when I started losing the weight, they began to feel better. I could do more and go longer. What I do now is I get up early in the morning and I go to the gym. I work on the elliptical, treadmill, and I do strength training a couple times a week.”
In addition to less knee pain, Edna has also noticed major improvements with her sleep, and she’s wearing clothes from her closet that she hasn’t worn in years. “I never even thought about getting back into my old clothes before,” she said. “I can also do Zumba again, which I love. Even walking up the stairs carrying the laundry basket is easier. It’s like you’re discovering all these things.”
Edna has passed on her enthusiasm for health to others as well. She walks around nearby college campuses with her friends, she has more energy to play with her grandchildren, and she encouraged her husband to ride the stationary bike at home. “He has diabetes and is on different medications, but as a result of me getting things under control on the program, he decided to eat healthier and exercise more too. In our home, the food is pretty much all fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish, chicken, and things like that.”
Even Edna’s Humana coworkers have heard her story and been inspired by her story, and are making habit changes. “My supervisor asked me to share how I lost the weight with our team. I told them it was through Omada.”
In a little more than a year, Edna has lost a significant amount of her weight and kept it off. “I’m focused on being healthy,” she said. “I plan to be eating this way for the rest of my life. As you get older, you think your metabolism is too slow to lose weight. I didn’t think there was any way I was going to be able to do it. But this program proved me wrong, and I am so thankful, truly. I’m not exaggerating. I’m just so thankful for this program.”
We’re thankful for you too, Edna. Keep up the wonderful work!