Monday, March 11, 2024
Chris Betts

My name is Chris Betts. I am a Registered Nurse on the inpatient Neurosciences Unit at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. I have been with the university for four years.

I made the decision to change my lifestyle because I was afraid of where I was heading. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a couple of years ago, and I didn’t take it very seriously. I witnessed patients through my work experience strokes, heart attacks, amputations, and even death because of diabetes. It really opened my eyes to what could happen to me if I didn’t get a handle on my health. In addition, my A1C (a measure of long-term blood glucose) kept going up with every doctor’s visit despite medications. I felt scared for my future, helpless, alone, and overwhelmed.

 Because I felt so lonely and scared about this, I started investigating resources that were available to help me. I discovered the liveWELL Health Coach Service through a university-wide email and a poster in the breakroom at work. The sign-up process was easy, and I was able to meet with my health coach at a time that was convenient for me.

 My health coach helped me set small goals and visualize how small changes would positively impact me over time. Most of the changes I made have been small and incremental, and that seems to be the key. Walk up a flight of stairs to the next floor instead of taking the elevator. Park one row further back in the parking lot and take a few more steps this week. Drink one less cola today than yesterday. Drink one more glass of water today than yesterday. It adds up.

My health coach showed me how to get back up and dust myself off and keep going after the inevitable “bad day” where I didn’t eat as well or exercise the best. I still hear her words and her encouragement to this day, and those lessons have helped keep me motivated and on track. I was successful in losing about 40 pounds and dropping my A1C from the diabetes range to the normal range (7.5 to 5.6) in about 4 months, in no small part to my work with liveWELL.

My words of encouragement to folks are to just do it. You are not alone. You have the resources you need to live better. Small steps matter. Just moving a little bit more today than you did yesterday matters. Do it for you, do it for the ones you love and the ones that love you.

Are you interested in working on small and sustainable healthy lifestyle changes? Schedule an initial appointment to meet with a liveWELL Health Coach at the Employee Health Clinic, Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, or virtually on Zoom. Contact us at or 319-353-2973 if you have questions.

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