Enara Health Rockstar: Meet Jill!
In 2022, Jill Willette, an IT manager at Mankato Clinic, joined Enara Health. In one year, she lost 53 pounds with a combination of medication, diet and exercise. And she’s keeping it off thanks to Enara Health, a personalized weight loss and management program at Mankato Clinic.
“This is a total lifestyle change,” Jill says.
Jill, who has type 2 diabetes, knows that maintaining a healthy weight can help her to better manage her blood sugar and control her diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar levels can lead to complications such as heart disease, stroke, vision loss and kidney disease.
Weight is only one of the numbers that reflects Jill’s health journey. For instance, her A1C blood sugar level is at a normal level, which reduces her risks for complications.
“I love my numbers. The one I focus on is the blood sugar. I have gone from an 8.8 to 5.4 A1C level in a year’s time. My cholesterol has generally been pretty good, but I have gone from 199 to 177, which is almost optimal,” Jill says.
As an Enara Health member, Jill’s team includes a medical provider, nutrition specialist and exercise specialist. With an easy-to-use mobile app, Jill did regular weekly check-ins with her team and contacted them whenever she needed support or had questions. The team has been accessible and supportive.
“I really enjoy the smart phone app. It’s a one-stop shop to find things, contact people, read articles, sign up for online classes. The staff is very good at responding to messages,” Jill says. “They are there for you even if it’s just to tell you good job – you’ve got this. It makes a difference.”
Dr. Andrea Pollema, Enara Health physician, oversees Jill’s obesity care and prescribed Ozempic, a diabetes medication that helps control blood sugar and assists with weight loss. Medications, like Ozempic, are only beneficial when used as part of a comprehensive plan that includes diet and exercise.
When Jill began taking Ozempic, she noticed that it silenced the food noise in her brain – those ongoing thoughts about what to eat and when.
“The medication stopped the food chatter that goes on in your head. Since I didn’t hear the food noise, it became a lot easier for me to make good eating choices,” Jill explains.
Losing weight through a medically supervised program was very important for Jill.
“My primary care provider has complete access to my Enara Health data. I see my physician, Dr. John Benson, every 6 months and we review the information together,” Jill says. “We have cut down some of my medications. My pill box is looking pretty thin right now!”
Total Lifestyle change
One meal, one step , one day at a time, Jill made small changes in nutrition and exercise that have added up to a total lifestyle change. From her Enara Health nutritionist, she learned to take a whole foods approach.
“I try to stay away from boxed, canned and processed foods. If I do eat those items, I find I am reading that label religiously. Whole foods are best because you control what you put in and on them,” Jill says.
She has worked with two exercise specialists who have been game changers.
“They like to keep you challenged so you don’t get bored. My plans include walking, weight training and yoga. I also have what I like to call kitchen exercises – things I can do in my kitchen when I am cooking or cleaning up. Movement, movement, movement!” Jill says.
An expensive part of her journey was cleaning out her closet and restocking all her clothes and, yes, shoes.
“I do not need to buy wide shoes any more,” Jill says.
Now that Jill has completed a full year as an Enara Health member, she entered the maintenance plan. She will be reporting in less often, but she still has the continued support of her team.
Now for the best part: “I feel good,” she says.
To learn more about Enara Health, visit mankatoclinic.com/specialties/weight-management-with-enara-health.