Living Well: A Women's Lifestyle Program for Mastering Type 2 Diabetes & Prediabetes

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Most physicians realize many of their patients are ill-equipped to put together a reasonable program of lifestyle change for better managing their diabetes, their health. Now, a joint program between Green Mountain at Fox Run, Vermont's healthy lifestyle and non-diet weight loss retreat for women, and faculty from the world-renowned Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, has developed a lifestyle program to finally help patients put good advice into action.

"Eat Less....Exercise More...Lose Weight"
If you've heard this a thousand times and still don't know how to do it, you're not alone.

Most physicians realize many of their patients are ill-equipped to put together a reasonable program of lifestyle change for better managing their diabetes, their health.

After five years of working with the renowned Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, and other diabetes experts, Green Mountain at Fox Run can help you do just that.

Encouraged by the response to proto-type programs offered in 2003, 2004, and 2005, brothers Alan Wayler, PhD, executive director of Green Mountain at Fox Run, and Barry Wayler, MD, an endocrinologist practicing in the field of clinical diabetes, are offering three week-long programs: September 14 - 20, 2008; November 9 - 16, 2008 and February 15 - 21, 2009 to introduce women to a 'take-home' integrated lifestyle approach for mastering Type 2 diabetes.

The experience has been named "Living Well." Here at last, the art of living well meets the science of diabetes self-care.The Living Well program (open just to women), will include: workshops on how to eat mindfully, manage emotional eating, and beating diabetes burnout; mindfulness-based stress reduction for managing blood sugars and yourself; building a balanced take-home fitness program that fits into busy lives; planning for success at home; assertiveness, and relationships; nutrition and cooking classes; guided imagery, meditation, and yoga.

To Green Mountain participant Gina Roperti, a 39-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes, the teaming up makes perfect sense. When Gina was first diagnosed with diabetes, she was prescribed medication, had her feet checked, saw a nutritionist, and was told to exercise. "But when your knees hurt, exercise doesn't come easy," she says. She knew she needed a radical change in lifestyle, "but not a radical approach. It had to be something I really would do," says Gina, who lives in Plymouth, MI. She signed up for a stay at Green Mountain at Fox Run, the 36-year-old professionally- directed center that pioneered the non-diet approach to achieving a healthy weight. Here, like-minded women eat, sleep, talk, get active together, and change bad habits for good. Take a residential experience like this, add the expertise of Joslin diabetes educators, and diabetes care just moved a major step forward.

"For the first time, diabetes experts are joining healthy weight/ lifestyle experts to help empower women to take charge of their health and improve their quality of life, not just teach them how to manage their illness," says John Zrebiec, MSW, CDE, associate director of the behavioral and mental health unit at Joslin. "To someone with diabetes, controlling your blood sugar isn't enough unless you also gain a sense of well-being. Emotional balance, improved self-esteem, joy in moving your body--those are tangible and encouraging benefits," says Zrebiec.

"Changes can't be made in isolation. Food and emotions are linked--that's a reality," adds Ann Goebel-Fabbri, PhD, psychologist and director of Joslin's eating disorders program. "Women with type 2 diabetes usually have a long history of dieting and struggling with their weight. Doctors can't expect people to just snap out of it and get their lives together because now they have diabetes. If they could have sorted it out on their own before, they would have," says Dr. Goebel-Fabbri.

The Living Well program was the brainchild of Dr. Barry Wayler, who , as a physician, recognized that although comprehensive diabetes education has come a long way in recent years, patients need more than just "eat less, exercise more, lose weight" advice.

"A key element of this program is that women will be immersed together in a non-clinical, real living setting for an entire week of 'life situation learning'," says Dr. Barry Wayler. "Such an effective setting for lifestyle change is what practitioners and patients have been looking for years."

Dr. Alan Wayler agrees. "Green Mountain allows a woman to take the most critical step in creating successful change... living the experience, actively working on all aspects of lifestyle change at the same time, as she would at home," he says.

Today, Gina Roperti says that, with her doctor and Green Mountain at Fox Run's support, taking charge of her diabetes--and her happiness--is no longer the, well, insurmountable mountain she once saw it as. Referring to the Joslin--Green Mountain initiative, she says, "Now I can get the best of both worlds in one place. I'm still climbing, but I'm here. I'm doing it. Life has never been better."

To register for the Living Well workshop, interested women may call Green Mountain at Fox Run at (800) 448-8106 (outside the U.S., call (802) 228-8885) or visit or

For interviews, please contact Alan H. Wayler, PhD at (802) 228-8885.

About Green Mountain at Fox Run
Green Mountain at Fox Run healthy lifestyle center, in Ludlow, VT, has helped thousands of women to get fit, healthy and permanently achieve healthy weights without dieting by developing real, lasting solutions. The year 2008 marks its 36th year helping women achieve health weights and lifestyles. For more information, call (800) 448-8106 or visit

About Joslin Diabetes Center
Established in 1898, Joslin Diabetes Center is an internationally recognized diabetes and endocrine treatment, research, and patient and professional education institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School and headquartered in Boston, MA. Joslin is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes and improving the lives of people with diabetes. For more information, call (800) JOSLIN-1.


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