Tell us about yourself?
My name's Perry Yule. I'm 65, turned 65 in July. I used to live in Los Angeles for 30 years and returned home to care for my mother with severe diabetes and pseudobulbar effect.
Tell us about your health?
I wasn't really taking care of my health, certainly better than my mom was but it was really when my mom started getting worse that I started thinking about it. I learned a lot through her doctor visits and hospital tests. This led me to start focusing on my health. I got free therapy as a caregiver dealing with my mom, and in those therapy sessions I got a lot of help.
I went every Saturday, and it was really time for me to focus on myself. When I started I wasn't seeing a doctor. It was around the time of COVID and when I went to get a test I liked the doctor and she became my doctor. She showed me how to get the insurance here in Maryland, she got me looking at my weight, what I was eating and the fact that I wasn't exercising.
How did you start improving your health?
With the help of a doctor and a therapist, I began focusing on my health, eating healthier, and exercising. I lost 20 pounds since March, joined a gym, and improved my A1c and blood pressure. After my mother passed, I realized the urgency to take care of my health. It was a wake-up call to focus on myself again.
How did you change your diet and exercise routine?
I stopped drinking soda and eating sweets, which helped me lose weight. I went from 280 to 260 pounds. My diet got cleaner, and I began strength training and cardio exercises.
What are your health goals?
I aim to lose 50 more pounds and get to 210. I'm focusing on a cleaner diet and more exercise. Now that I have been hitting off the smaller things on my list I am aiming for the big things!
What advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed with diabetes?
Join a gym, focusing on strength training and cardio, a high protein, low-calorie, sugar-free diet is helping for me! Start with changing your diet and exercise habits little bit by little bit.
Did the program surprise you or was it different to what you thought?
Yes, definitely. I thought it was just about filming myself taking medication. The messages and calls were supportive and motivational, and the way the care team prompted me to think about what I needed to do for my health worked well for me.
How did the Scene program help you with your overall health?
It was great they helped me with my health goals. The accountability was helpful. The care team would check in on my progress, encouraging me to take baby steps towards my health goals.The team got me to write a list and they would even call me asking, ‘Have you signed up to the gym?’ ‘Have you gone to the eye doctor?’. It was everything health related, before I knew it the entire list was finished. I did everything.
What's your take on diet and nutrition?
I follow the Mediterranean diet now, avoid desserts, sugary drinks, white flour, and focus on whole foods. It's important to be aware of what you're eating and read labels.
How do you manage stress and maintain your health routine?
I don't beat myself up, I'm not perfect. When stressed, I focus on not overeating, getting enough rest, and using the HALT approach (Am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?) to think through what I am feeling.