Choosing to live well with Type 1 diabetes


by Baylor Scott & White Health

Jan 26, 2024

Having lived with Type 1 diabetes since he was 2 years old, Matthew Bagley has always been conscious of his health. But sometimes life gets in the way of our best intentions. Going into his 30s, Matthew noticed his metabolism was slowing down. He had been busy with work and family and wasn’t exercising as much.

Matthew was looking for a healthier lifestyle when his doctor referred him to the Power of You class at the Robert Conte Wellness Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Clinic - College Station Midtown.

“I was tired of trying all these hokey approaches to healthy living,” Matthew said. “I wasn’t looking for a magic bullet. I really wanted something that would work for my life, so I wouldn’t have to keep doing this all over again.”

Matthew enrolled in the eight-week class that includes lifestyle coaching, interactive nutrition classes, weekly workouts and body composition analysis. “I’ve been through a lot of nutrition classes, trying to find a strategy for maintaining good blood sugar,” Matthew said. “Most of those are a half-hour meeting with someone who doesn’t know anything about my life. This was more long-term to help me change habits and get on a routine, with input from my doctor who knows my whole health history.”

The Power of You class offers a body composition scan analysis, interactive nutrition classes, cooking demonstrations, tools for weight loss and weekly workouts, as well as lifestyle coaching and support for attendees. Matthew said the program is the first he tried considered his chronic health issues.

“Other diets and exercise programs are really prohibitive and don’t consider the realities of Type 1 diabetes,” he said. “I can’t starve myself or only eat low calorie foods—sometimes I have to eat some calories to bring my blood sugar up. They took everything into account and helped me tailor the program to my life.”

Finding his power

Though Matthew has lost more than 20 pounds since the class, he said Power of You treats weight loss as secondary to other health benefits, focusing more on body composition.

“I think focusing too much on weight can be a toxic way of looking at your health,” he said. “I’m more interested in how my mood has improved, how I’m sleeping better and how my high and low blood sugar levels don’t vary so drastically. I have reduced my body fat by 8% and increased my muscle mass by 6%. My cardiovascular health is improving, and I’ve been able to go longer between retinopathy injections.”

As part of his new healthy habits, Matthew commutes to work on a bicycle most days of the week, biking up to 16 miles a day.

“Yes, I’m down a couple of pants sizes, but what matters to me is that I’ve been able to stay on track and I feel so much better.”

Baylor Scott & White Health offers diabetes education classes, support groups and other services at many of our facilities in North and Central Texas. To find a program near you, ask your doctor or check out our lineup of classes, support and services.

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