“It’s given me a whole new wardrobe!”
Jessica Hall was petite, at 5-foot-1 and 120 pounds. Then a thyroid issue sent her scale rapidly upward — toward the 200 mark in less than a year. The weight gain resulted in painful joints, a loss of energy and low self esteem.
Other alarm bells began sounding when Jessica’s blood sugar levels crept up.
“I was struggling with being prediabetic,” says the Harpeth Valley Elementary third-grade teacher. “I was really worried.”
Last spring, at the height of her concern, she started seeing posters and getting emails about Omada®, a free program for eligible certificated employees. The 16-week program pairs technology with real human support to help participants build lasting healthy lifestyle changes. More specifically, it’s aimed at people at risk for type 2 diabetes and heart problems.
Jessica, 33, submitted her application and met the criteria to participate. Once she started, she was surprised at how much she didn’t know.
“It was nice to have the education, to have a lesson every week,” she says.
She also liked the technology and tools that come with participation.
“They give you a nice scale and ask you to weigh every day,” Jessica says. The free scale is equipped with a wireless transmitter to track participants’ results. She also got a free pedometer to log her steps each day. She could access the lessons and results online or through a free app.
“I started really working on losing weight and getting my sugar down,” she says.
She got help at the MNPS Health Care Center in Bellevue and the Berry Hill Employee Wellness Center, and from her online Omada coach, who kept in close contact. Her coach even sent instant messages of encouragement to Jessica as she progressed or stalled.
The program places participants in small, online groups where members can see each others’ individual progress (anonymously if they prefer). Jessica admits seeing others’ results sometimes prompted her to work harder.
Since starting the program, she’s dropped 50 pounds, and her blood sugar has come down, as well.
“I feel better overall,” she says. Her joint pain has subsided and, as she makes better food choices, her entire family is eating healthier meals.
There’s a more fun side to her better health, too. “It’s given me a whole new wardrobe,” Jessica adds gleefully.
Third grade teacher
Harpeth Valley Elementary
Could you be at risk for diabetes?
Omada®, a digital lifestyle change program, can help you develop long-term healthy habits and avoid developing diabetes — at no cost to you. If accepted into the program, you’ll get a wireless smart scale to monitor your progress, weekly online lessons and a professional Omada health coach to guide your progress.
“When I read the email that our insurance company was offering Omada for free, I was skeptical it would be a ‘one size fits all’ type...It actually is just the opposite. I have a coach (who is not a robot!). The app is awesome to keep track of my food and activity each day. I love to weigh in on my scale each morning. This is a program I would love to stay on even after I lose the weight. And I KNOW I'll lose the weight!”
— Bridget, another Omada participant