Diabetes Forecast

ADA Ambassador Connects Through Fitness

Running with her dog, Mable, is part of Evie Oberdorfer's fitness routine.

Evie Oberdorfer feels as if she's seen it all with her type 1 diabetes: She was diagnosed in 1968, and she's managed diabetes using everything on the market, from "old-school beef-pork insulin" to a continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump. But it was exercise, she says, that really brought her health into focus—and she believes it's what has kept her complication-free for 45 years.

Oberdorfer, 55, of Minneapolis, is a certified fitness instructor and owner of CoreSOULutions Fitness, a health and lifestyle coaching business. She's also an ambassador for the American Diabetes Association and has led fitness classes at the American Diabetes Association EXPO® in Minneapolis. From Pilates to kettlebells, strength training to running half marathons, Oberdorfer is focused on fitness. Yet it wasn't always her passion.

After college, she moved to Los Angeles for a job as an economist. She decided to try running for exercise and joining a YMCA as a way to make friends and build relationships. "I ran a block and almost choked, but I realized it cut me down by about half of my dosage [of insulin]," she remembers.

Continued training led to teaching fitness classes. As Oberdorfer's career took twists and turns, exercise was always at the forefront—as were diabetes education and awareness. Now, in addition to her own business, she works at the Melrose Institute, an eating disorder clinic, and the Park Nicollet International Diabetes Center, sharing her story and providing wellness coaching for others with diabetes. She sees it as giving back. Those in her classes see it as motivation and support.

"We love her enthusiasm and appreciate her extensive knowledge and skill in fitness training," says Diane Reader, RD, CDE, manager of diabetes professional education at the International Diabetes Center. "[And] as a regular attendee, I look forward to our classes, get a great workout, and appreciate the encouragement I receive every week."

Of course, Oberdorfer's motivation is twofold: She's looking after other people with diabetes while taking care of her own condition. "I just feel so happy about the fact that I have no complications, and I just know that it's the fitness that does it," she says. "To help people [learn to manage their diabetes, too], that's really what motivates me. I'm happy that I have my diabetic experience to lend to it."



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