OurHealth Patient Success: Michael’s Story

Michael Griswold of Charlotte struggled with obesity for most of his adult life. Years of unhealthy eating and a lack of regular exercise took its toll and Michael eventually reached upwards of 300 pounds. He knew his lifestyle put him at risk for diabetes, but he rarely sought medical care unless he was sick.

Michael could access OurHealth’s Charlotte MyClinic network as an employee benefit through his job with Mecklenburg County in North Carolina. The County incentivizes employees who complete an annual biometric screening, so he scheduled an appointment. The results ultimately confirmed his fear—Michael had Type 2 diabetes.

His hemoglobin A1c measured 7.6 percent. A hemoglobin A1c test correlates to a patient’s blood sugar over the previous 90 days. A reading above 6.5 percent indicates diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

“There was initial shock,” Michael says. “It was a realization that, ‘Okay, so it’s real now and I have to put together a plan to address it.’”

Michael was prescribed diabetes medication to help control his blood sugar and during a follow-up appointment, OurHealth physician Dr. Lloyd Bridges suggested he try health coaching. That’s where he first met Nate Littlefield, a health coach at OurHealth.

“From the outset, I wanted to set some phase goals that were realistic and attainable,” he says. “The first one was, ‘Let’s get to 10 pounds,’ and then that happened really quick. It just melted off.”

Nate helped Michael establish a regular workout routine, coached him on healthy meal planning and taught him how to count calories using an app on his phone. Michael was determined to get his health back on track and took Nate’s advice to heart.

“Nate has been really great,” Michael says. “He was willing to listen to what had happened or the challenges or successes that I’d run into since we last talked and then offer some strategic feedback on how to either overcome those challenges or offer that pat on the back for the successes.”

Michael says his regular meetings with Nate helped him stay accountable to his goals. Since starting health coaching, Michael has lost over 70 pounds, he’s shed 10 inches off his waist, his A1c has returned to a normal level and he no longer takes diabetes medication. He essentially reversed his diabetes through healthy lifestyle changes.

Michael is fully committed to his new lifestyle and has even signed up for a couple of 5k races in the near future. He credits his success to his own determination to make healthy changes, and the personalized, one-on-one support he received from Nate.