Losing weight, achieving goals

Nico Garnenez stands for a portrait on the Southern Ute tribal campus, Tuesday, July 3. Garnenez is the recipient of a free SunUte fitness membership, as part of a health program initiative through Shining Mountain Health and Wellness.
Photo Credit: McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum

When Nico Garnenez first heard the prognosis that he was diabetic, Garnenez took immediate steps towards managing his health. “That was very scary to me, so I took all the information they gave to me and took advantage of the programs that were offered,” Garnenez said

Garnenez is a community member and a Fort Lewis College graduate. He is also a client at the Southern Ute Health Clinic, which is where Garnenez was first referred to Shining Mountain Health and Wellness during a health check-up in early February.

Shining Mountain Health and Wellness is a program under the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Health Department that offers free memberships to the SunUte Community Center for a span of six months. These memberships are only available to non-Southern Ute tribal members.

In order to keep the free six-month membership, clients must have their primary care provider be the Southern Ute Clinic, they need to set, track and reach goals with Shining Mountain, they have to go and work out at SunUte for a minimum of three times a week for thirty minutes, and they need to go to regular check-ups and perform routine labs.

“Everyone is going to have a different goal, whether that be losing weight, A1C [blood levels] decrease or just wanting to get moving again,” Box said about the different goals each client has set.

“We can improve our community,” Shining Mountain Diabetes Program Coordinator, Morgan Box said. Box has been working with Garnenez for the past four months to help him reach the goals he has set for himself. “My goal is to reduce my medication, which has been happening,” Garnenez said.

“I first weighed 241 lbs. in Feburary, but after doctor check-ups, diet and exercise, I now weigh 211 lbs, and my A1C levels have dropped from 9.7 to a 6.6,” Garnenez proudly stated.

“It takes a lot of will power and dedication, but it can be accomplished,” Garnenez said, encouraging anyone with an interest in getting involved with the Shining Mountain Health and Wellness program.



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