It’s hard to believe when you meet Guillermo, with his friendly disposition and obvious zest for life, that he is almost 80 years old and battles chronic diabetes. “Before I started at the Y, I took two types of insulin and pills, and I’ve been fighting this diabetes for 25-30 years,” says Guillermo. “I’m retired, and I read a lot. I read that when you choose to exercise, your pancreas makes the most beautiful and excellent insulin. I believe this to be true, and I made the decision to exercise.”
At the time of this interview, Guillermo had been coming to the Y for seven weeks. “After five weeks, I feel a big change. My numbers are great. I have a permanent scanner, and my numbers had dropped 25-35 points, and I am taking much less medication. Insulin is very expensive,” shared Guillermo. “The key is to be consistent. Just like taking medication, if you are not disciplined and consistent, it doesn’t work. It is the same with exercise.” Guillermo says that when he comes to the Y, he takes his time. He comes three days a week for three hours at a time. Jacob Garvin, Wellness Director, showed him how to use a lot of the low impact equipment to start. Guillermo has now added other machines to his workout by observing others and asking questions.
“I think part of the solution is here at the Y, not in the pharmacy,” he advises. “Exercise for blood pressure, exercise for diabetes. I am convinced. If God gives me health, I am going to continue with this. I come to the Y because I want to improve my health, and I am happy.”