Health Hero: Susan Hayne

Susan Hayne, 49, currently lives in Cordova, Tennessee with her husband. She is the mother of two and is considering a career change to match her new passion for health and fitness. 

Susan Hayne

Before my diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure, my ability to enjoy and live life had become very limited.  I did little more than stop for fast food before during and after work and climb into bed when I got home because I was tired and had no energy.

My husband insisted that I see my doctor because he could see the debilitating effects that my lifestyle was having on my family and me. Fortunately, he went with me to my appointment because I was wheeled over to the hospital from the doctor's office and immediately admitted. When I saw a sign welcoming me to the congestive heart failure unit, I thought all the other hospital rooms must have been full and that was why I was there. My loved ones were glad I was finally getting treatment that would improve my health and outlook on life. They have been nothing but supportive.

My doctor told me to follow the American Diabetes Association's recommendation for daily carbohydrate consumption and to limit my sodium to less than 2,000 mg.  He also put me on oral medications for my conditions. Other than that, I was on my own.  I started reading food labels and quickly realized I needed to develop a system to keep up with calories and fat grams in addition to the carbohydrates and sodium I consumed.  I started keeping a daily food journal (that I still maintain today) to record the values of the food I ate. 

I'm now 18 months past diagnosis and feel better than I have all my adult life. It didn't take long to start feeling better once I adopted a healthy lifestyle, and the benefits of feeling fabulous just get better every day!  My family is happier than ever and we now enjoy doing things together,and my husband and I behave like we did while dating in high school (with added benefits!)

Through all I've been through, I've learned that I have the power to change my unhealthy habits as long as I want to do it badly enough. I was always making excuses for smoking, eating mostly unhealthy processed and fast foods, and not exercising. But I look at myself now and I'm so proud of myself. I quit a 30-year smoking habit and lost more than 150 pounds at the same time. I only wish I had done it much earlier in my life so I could enjoy more years with the energy, focus, and zest for life that I now possess. For those going through a similar situation to mine, I hope they approach their future with an opportunistic outlook instead of focusing on the changes they've been forced to make in their diet and lifestyle. I see it as an adventure, and I'm loving every minute of it!


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