Richard is participating in the Norma Jean Family Challenge. Here is his progress so far.
Name: Richard Fountain
Diabetes: Type 2
Location: Twin City, Ga.
SMART Goals: Lose 10 pounds by year-end; lower A1C to below 6 percent
Richard Fountain has lost 10 pounds since last May, thanks in part to starting on a new type 2 medication that causes weight loss as a side effect. His success has motivated him to set a new goal: “I guess I’ll need to lose 10 more,” he says. His A1C is back down to 7.0 as well, and he hopes to meet his A1C goal of less than 6.0 by the end of the year.
Although Richard hasn’t had much time for exercise, his job helps him stay active. “I do physical labor all day,” he says. “I’m walking back and forth to the truck and getting up on roofs.”
Like many of the other participants, Richard is motivated by the example of Norma Jean Fountain, his mother and the challenge’s namesake. “She was always encouraging me to eat healthy and do healthy things,” he says. As a family nurse practitioner, “She did a study on natural cures, and a lot of it was diet and exercise.”
One week after starting the Norma Jean Family Challenge, Richard Fountain experienced his first setback: his doctor told him that his A1C had increased from 7.1 to 8.1 percent. “I’d gotten hurt this past summer,” Fountain explains. “I couldn’t exercise and my [A1C] got higher.” Still, Richard’s goals haven’t changed: he hopes that the Family Challenge will still allow him to reach his goal of bringing his A1C down below 6 percent.
Richard’s injury has almost healed, and he’s started the family challenge by walking every day, playing golf more often, and improving his diet. “I have a bigger challenge because [my A1C is] higher,” he says, “but I should improve more now that I’m working again.” While the A1C test in December was discouraging for him, he is focused on moving forward. “Diabetes is something that you’re going to have the rest of your life,” he remarks. “Sometimes you get a little discouraged, but you have to say, ‘That’s the way it is’ and go on with it.”