Why I Walk: Jeff Peterson

Hi everyone! We continue our Step Out blog series today with Jeff Peterson’s story. Learn below about his emotional diagnosis, how he found the American Diabetes Association and the steps he’s taken since to help others learn about type 2 diabetes.

“I had always pretty much done whatever I wanted with my body, never really paying attention to what I was eating, drinking…or anything else for that matter. Sure, my parents had diabetes, but so what? That was never going to be me.

About five years ago, I made a doctor’s appointment because I just wasn’t feeling right. I was asked to come in a week before to have blood work done because it had been so long since my last visit. When I was at his office, the doctor walked in the exam room, opened the chart and the first thing he said was, “I’m sorry to tell you, but it looks like you have type 2 diabetes.” That’s when my heart fell.

Years later, I was at a Chamber of Commerce meeting where different groups were able to set up booths and show their products. I happened to walk by the American Diabetes Association’s booth and they had a display showing how much sugar was in different drinks and foods I ate all the time. I was shocked by what I saw – it was at that point that I came to grips with my disease and chose to finally do something about it. I spoke with Jacqueline Reding, Associate Manager in the Minnesota area, and she told me about ways I could help others get educated about this disease. It was that night that I joined the Minneapolis Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes Committee.This image is associated with an external link. 

You can live with type 2 diabetes once you come to realize it’s not too late to start taking care of yourself. Having this disease, you cannot sit back and think, “Woe is me.” That’s why I decided to step up to the plate and knock diabetes out of the park. I’m excited to take the lead as a Team Red Captain so all those living with diabetes will be honored and celebrated. I encourage everyone to join Step Out so others will never have to hear what I did: I am sorry to tell you, you have diabetes.

As Jeff says, it’s never too late to take control of this disease. Are you a Red Strider or would you like to become one? Learn more here.

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5 Responses to Why I Walk: Jeff Peterson

  1. Gale Hunter says:

    Thank-you for sharing Jeff. My dad had type 2 diabetes all my life. I remember as a child watching him injecting insulin and struggling with high glucose levels and constant problem with this prostrate.He always warned me to watch my diet and weight and stay active. I was like you, pretty much ate and drank what i wanted.( i was also 60lbs overweight and stressed out) At 55 my doctor told me i was pre-diabetic. I turned my life around and changed my lifestyle.I lost the weight slowly and deliberately to stay focused. I live like i have diabetes and i look and feel wonderful. I have maintained my weight, eat whole grains and whole food and exercise (yoga,walking/running and weight training)everyday I am out of the woods and all my levels are normal.I am 59 and enjoying good health. Good luck to you and i am so glad we both like stepping out. Namaste.

    • Jeff Peterson says:


      Thank you so much for reaching out. This has been a Roller Coaster Ride for me emotionally. Some days I come to grips with what I have to do and other days I just want to give up. The progress seems slow but joining the ADA was my wake up call to get serious about taking care of myself. I am so proud of you and your progress and it gives me hope to hear others stories to know that I too can do this. I quit smoking nine years ago, you would think if I could do that I could do anything.

      Again Gale, thank you for sending the note and a Ray of Hope that I can do this. Thank you so much, I will always appreciate your caring. Have a wonderful week.

  2. LadynVa says:

    8/30/2011 I too was told that I had pre-diabetes. I was so upset that I told my physician that I did not want to my condition to proceed to full blown diabetes. What did I need to do. Lose weight, watch the fat and carbs. I since have joined a local program focused on nutrition and exercise. I feel better but I do not in order to reverse this curve, I will need support. So, I decided to go to the source, American Diabetes Association (ADA) to find out what information and resources are available.

    This is my first entry to a blog; so may need some help. I know that help is available just for the asking.

  3. MALIK LAL KHAN says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience.It is an encouraging story for the diabetics ..I am also living with diabetes since last 19 years.I believe in regular exercise/walk and regular medication.Diet control is an other important factor.By the grace of God i have no such complications due to diabetes.I appreciate the role of ADA for providing guidance .Regards.Malik Lal Khan from Pakistan.

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