CK’s parents both lived with diabetes, and he witnessed firsthand how the disease can impact life. As he grew older, he assumed it was only a matter of time before it became part of his life. “It was just a matter of when. It always lingered on my mind,” CK says. He was content working out vigorously and staying in shape as a way to keep diabetes away. “I was doing all of these great workouts, like half marathons and long hikes, but my numbers were not under control,” recalls CK. His A1C levels were consistently in the pre-diabetic range. That is, until one day after finishing a major hike when a friend told him about the new STOP-D program at the South Asian Heart Center.
The STOP-D program was created to help people like CK – those who want to stop diabetes before the disease even begins. At his friend’s urging, CK signed up and became a participant. It didn’t take long to make him a believer. “It’s a very hands-on approach. The monthly sessions with the coaches are a great way to get feedback and to be held accountable to your goals as well,” he says.
Specifically, CK became focused on finding a balance of MEDS: Meditation, Exercise, Diet and Sleep. As an avid runner, CK had a good handle on exercise. And by working closely with the STOP-D program’s dietitian, he is getting a better feel for the diet that works best for him. CK finds his challenge is in getting more meditation and sleep into his life. “My wife meditates on a regular basis, so her practice has influenced me and helped me. Plus when I run, I am focused on my thoughts and breathing, so that too is a very mindful experience,” CK comments. He also makes it a point to get seven hours of sleep, whereas he previously was satisfied with five or six hours. Putting the entire picture together has helped CK a great deal: “When you start adding all these pieces together, clearly it’s the reason why I’m on a better path.”
Diabetes is a complex health-related issue for people from India and South Asia. In CK’s eyes, the STOP-D program plays a critical role for South Asians in Silicon Valley. “The most valuable aspect of the program is the coaching and recommendations specifically for you. It’s a phenomenal team,” he says.
With the achievement of several half marathons and now a full marathon under his belt, CK has turned his attention to a more daunting challenge: a 50-kilometer race. He thinks it has all been possible thanks in large part to the South Asian Heart Center. In his own words, “This program has just been a phenomenal experience for me.”