When Kimberly Beachy developed gestational diabetes, she kept the disease under control by eating well and managing a physically demanding job. Then her daughter was born 12 weeks early. The newborn stayed in a neonatal intensive care unit for a month and a half with Kimberly by her side.
The first-time mom had little time to care for herself. Before her daughter turned a year old, Kimberly gained back the 30 pounds she had lost during pregnancy from her healthy habits.
"My weight was going to start causing issues with my blood pressure and having gestational diabetes put me at a greater risk for Type 2 diabetes," said Kimberly, who is in her 30s. "And I am now at high risk for preterm labor in future pregnancies."
That's when her certified nurse midwife offered to refer Kimberly to a registered dietitian nutritionist.
"I thought it would be good for me, because I'm good at following a plan," said Kimberly. She met Sherri Kramp, RDN, LD, Clinical Dietitian at Goshen Hospital, in March 2019 and mapped out an eating plan that changed Kimberly's life.
No longer a struggle
"It doesn't feel like a diet," she said. "It's a plan that's sustainable for the long term."
With Sherri's help, Kimberly learned how to eat well and enjoy moderation. She also started to pay close attention to portion control.
"If I want ice cream, I eat a little bit and move on," she said. "I don't feel deprived, and I know I don't have to be perfect every day."
"Kimberly is determined and diligent," said Sherri. "When things get challenging, such as a weight plateau or a vacation, or if she gets sidetracked, she gets right back on her plan."
In her first year, Kimberly lost 70 pounds. Now her goal is to get to a healthy body fat range, around 28 percent. She continues to check in regularly with Sherri. Her numbers in December impressed everyone so much, Kimberly even got calls of congratulations from the nurses.
Kimberly said a quote from one of her coaches helps her to keep things in perspective. “Take care of the little things and the little things will take care of you."
“When you take care of the things you can control, then the things you aren't able to control don't become as overwhelming,” Kimberly said. “My daughter being born prematurely was out of my control …. By taking control of my weight, I am reducing the risk of high blood pressure or gestational diabetes that might cause complications in a future pregnancy.”
Many insurance plans cover nutrition therapy services for weight loss or blood sugar control. Medicare allows two nutrition therapy visits a year for those who have diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Ask your doctor about a referral to get you started on a nutrition plan that's right for your condition.