Pastor Michael Wollman

Rapid weight gain, headaches, frequent urination, fatigue and the inability to quench his thirst prompted Pastor Michael Wollman to schedule a full-health screening.

On 4 December 2010, the day before celebrating his 55th birthday, Pastor Wollman was diagnosed with diabetes. Overwhelming feelings of depression overcame him. So many questions clouded his thoughts, “What does this diagnosis mean for me? What type of changes will I have to make? How and what exercise to fit into a schedule which exceeds 65-70 working hours per week? What meds and how many doctor appointments will I have to endure?” And endless other thoughts…

He soon got his emotions under control and realized this was something he could manage with the help of his family and team of physicians. The turning point for him was when his wife of 35 years simply said, “Michael, how many millions of diabetics are out there, come on …” Pastor Wollman didn’t need to hear anything further. This was the slap in the face he needed in order to move forward, take control and manage this disease.

He then was able to create a plan that worked for him, which balanced his personal and professional life, putting his health first.

Step 1. Make life-style changes. Become Educated. Change Diet – dramatically.

Pastor Wollman met with a nutritionist and changed his current diet radically. “It’s all about the carbs, I am down to 60 per meal! I’m working hard to include Omega 3’s and fish oil. Fish oil promotes a healthy heart and lowers cholesterol. I also met with an endocrinologist.”

After these two appointments, Pastor Wollman had all of the motivation he needed. The threat of a major health danger was too high and the determination not to have an insulin shot was all he needed.

Step 2. Add exercise into a demanding schedule.

Pastor Wollman didn’t have any days off. This meant changing a schedule, which included weekly sermons, hospital visits, counseling, bringing two lives together in marriage, honoring the departed and welcoming those through Baptism.

Pastor Wollman changed his schedule with the assistance of his (clergy) and now goes in late three mornings a week so he can go for a two-mile run on these mornings.

Since enforcing these two steps, he has lost thirty pounds and is feeling great!

Here we are a year later and the discipline is still strong, the exercise continues and a healthy life-style is still in place. When I asked Pastor Wollman any advice he would give to those recently diagnosed, he simply stated, “get past the first part of the shock of the diagnosis, get connected, and find out what you can do. I don’t tend to let the disease beat me. Sure, I wish I could have a chocolate shake when I want, but I don’t. Changes, it’s all about changes. It’s not a big deal, doesn’t have to be, it’s just common sense.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Educate yourself.
Become empowered.
Use your determination and don’t let diabetes beat you.