How I lost 70+ pounds with the Diabetes Prevention Program

Tracey shares her journey to a healthier lifestyle after participating in the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program

Tracey started the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) at the Jennersville YMCA about six months ago and has lost more than 70 pounds! She now makes healthier choices when it comes to her diet and also makes a conscious effort to exercise more than she used to. Tracey feels great about her lifestyle change, but it hasn’t been easy.

In the last couple of months, she lost her dad, had a house fire that destroyed many of her possessions and her husband was in a serious work-related accident. Through all of this, Tracey was resilient, prioritizing her health and positive lifestyle changes. We had a chance to talk with her recently.

  • What was your motivation for joining the DPP class?
    My daughter wanted me to be healthy. My mother passed away in her 60s and she was diabetic. I just want to be here for my family and watch my grandkids grow up.
  • What does being healthy mean to you?
    Being healthy means having more energy. It means doing things that you haven’t done before. It is important to me because I want to be around for my family. I also wanted to be able to do the things my late mom missed out on. 
  • What are your current health and fitness goals?
    To continue with the weight loss. I want to keep exercising, maintain a healthy weight and never be on medications for diabetes or heart conditions.
  • What would you say has been your greatest achievement thus far?
    To be able to wear smaller and more comfortable clothes. It takes me half the time to get ready now. 
  • What have been your biggest obstacles in the past?
    I had always been a stress eater. As a result of the DPP class, I have learned to overcome obstacles and move forward in life, instead of stress eating. 
  • How did you overcome these obstacles?
    By exercising, learning to say no and reading labels.
  • What would you say have been the key factors to your successes?
    Learning the following from the DPP class: what to eat, how much to eat and planning meals ahead of time.
  • Knowing what you know now and having achieved the success you have, what advice would you have given yourself or what would you have done differently a year ago?
    I would have taken the class sooner!
  • Does feeling and looking your best contribute to your overall happiness, and if so, how?
    It does help. When I get compliments, it makes me want to move forward and continue with my journey to be healthy. Looking my best motivates me. 
  • What advice would you give to others who have similar goals to yours and are facing obstacles, struggles, and maybe little to no support from family or friends?
    Never give up! I have been through a lot in these past few months and if I can do it, so can you! 
  • Favorite Exercise?
    Dancing. Especially with my grandkids. I also love using the elliptical trainer.
  • Favorite Health Food?
  • Favorite Cheat Food?
    Anything with cheese.

About the Diabetes Prevention Program

The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is a yearlong program that utilizes a CDC-approved curriculum to help delay or prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. The program is led by a Certified Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach who helps participants work toward their goals by making gradual lifestyle changes over time.

In addition to helping participants focus on healthy eating and encouraging physical activity, the program covers topics like how to survive a night out at a restaurant, how to recover from a slip-up and how to live in a world where our social lives revolve around food. Those in the program have experienced incredible results—not only are they losing weight, they are also finding support in each other.

To learn more about the program, contact our Community Health Coordinator at or 610-431-9622 ext. 2162.