Treva Alston, Patient Partner on our Path to Health: Diabetes study!

We first introduced Patient Partner Treva a few years ago in our Winter/Spring 2017 newsletter issue, where she shared some effective strategies she has learned over the years to help keep her weight in check. Though she has a sweet tooth, she realizes it can get her in trouble if she’s not careful. Given her genetic predisposition to developing diabetes, increased incidence among African Americans, and her personal weight struggles, Treva is well aware that a diabetes diagnosis is within arm’s reach. Over the years her weight has fluctuated but she continually tries to adopt healthy eating habits, though it can come with some challenges.

Living alone, she opts for eating out (admittedly quite often) to get a break from coming up with meal ideas for one. Treva also loves to travel and will frequently dine out in cities she is visiting. Though it solves one problem, it can create another. Bread, for instance, is a weakness for her but she’s learned to become more disciplined about the bread she will eat that’s brought to the table. “It has to be hot bread with butter. I won’t eat hard, cold, or crusty bread!” These particularities help Treva avoid filling up on carbs every time she eats out.

Another problem she has struggled with is dessert; “I don’t feel I’ve had a complete meal until I have dessert.” Key lime pie, crème brûlée, hot fudge sundaes, you name it, Treva will love it! Nevertheless, she’s learning to be choosier with her selection. “It can be as simple as a scoop of ice cream.” As a result of her love for traveling, she is able to walk off much of what she eats. She clocked in several miles during her recent visit to NYC, burning off the delicious treat she had enjoyed that day.

Having visited several other cities and countries, Treva will tell you it’s about the journey, not the destination. Similarly, this is how she views her relationship with weight – it’s been about the journey of finding out what works for her and being flexible in shifting certain habits to avoid a diabetes diagnosis. “With my family history and by helping on the PaTH to Health: Diabetes study, I’ve become more consciously aware of what to do and what not do.” She is thankful to not currently have any cardinal signs of diabetes and has managed to keep her A1C at an all-time low. After her diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (Afib), she’s been trying to fit more dark leafy greens and other healthy vegetables into her diet. “It’s not an overnight thing, though I wish I could just push a button. I need to stay cognizant of my choices.”

Treva plans to remain steadfast on her journey towards a healthy lifestyle and continues to head in the right direction. This summer she will be the Mother of the bride, and has been busy planning a beautiful wedding for her only daughter. We wish her lots of fun planning the menu for the big day!

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