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Jocelyn Aguilar

Jocelyn Aguilar – November 2017 Wellness University Success Story

About 5 years ago, Jocelyn Aguilar, an ICU registered nurse, started to feel dizzy and decided to go her doctor. There she got the shocking news that her blood sugar levels were high and that she had Type 2 diabetes. “It was a big thing for me, because my mother had Type 2 diabetes and she passed away at young age from it,” said Jocelyn. Her mother was just 45 years old when she had a stroke. Seeing her mother suffer from the complications from diabetes drove Jocelyn to make changes to improve her own health and wellness. Her first step was to add exercise into her daily routine. She started with walking and then decided to join a gym to try other types of workouts. She fell in love with Zumba. “I love to dance and it’s a workout without really knowing it,” she said with a smile. For the past few years she has joined the Cardiology Department’s Heart Walk team. “It’s a great cause and a great way to get a workout,” she said. This year she branched out and formed an ICU Heart Walk team and served as the team captain. More than 20 people joined her. Although exercise helped to manage her blood sugar levels, it wasn’t until she made changes in her nutrition that she saw a significant difference in her cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as weight and overall wellness. “Since May I have been on a Ketogenic diet. A big part of this diet is trying not to eat anything that is over 5 grams of sugar per serving,” she said. She eats lots of vegetables, eggs, lean meats and good fats. Her favorite things to do are to add avocado to her salads and make pizza using almond flour instead of regular flour. “As a diabetic, I cut out rice out of my diet, which is really hard to do being Filipino,” said Jocelyn. ” I know if I have a little bit, I will end up eating more and more. It’s hard to do, but my health is so much better because of it.” And she’s not the only one to adopt new eating habits. A lot of the night-shift ICU staff have joined her and, since May, the group has lost an average of 20 pounds each. “When there is any down time, we would get together and talk about diets, how to deal with cravings, and take group walks,” she said. Jocelyn added that having the Wellness University tracker really helps to keep her in check. “Not only do you get credits for going to the gym, but doing other things like donating blood, getting a flu shot, volunteering. It’s great that you get credits for all that,” she said. Jocelyn acknowledges that her ongoing journey to better wellness takes time and requires one step at a time. Awareness of your health is the first step, then you can start changing your habits to improve your wellness. You might be surprised by all the added benefits. “Weight lost was just a bonus, but not my primary goal,” said Jocelyn. “My goal was to prevent having a stroke and being healthier.”
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