My Schedule (Continued)
Overall, Fit4D seems like an excellent service for people who need individualized diabetes and general health coaching but can't get it from their doctor or educator or in the area they live. My coaching team was very attuned to my needs and readily available to fine-tune my training program. However, I personally felt challenged to find enough time to work with my coaches regularly to try to get maximum return from the program, while maintaining my already substantive time commitment to daily diabetes care, which includes testing almost a dozen times per day and using my insulin pump effectively (as well as trying to keep diabetes from overwhelming my life). You may need a specific mindset to make it a success – more than the familiar "I invested money in it, so I should stick with it."
I also tested out a month's membership of "StayFit," which is a follow-up program from Fit4D to make sure participants have adequate support after the active coaching program ends. The goal of StayFit is to help individuals maintain the progress made during Fit4D membership and to stay on track or develop new goals.
Whereas Fit4D used phone and e-mail to connect, StayFit is an email-centric communication program. In my case, it worked great! I used StayFit when it snowed for several days in Alabama, and my fitness coach helped me identify additional exercises to try indoors. While you can access the Fit4D workout log website during this time, I found it just as easy to email a few days' workouts to my coach to get immediate feedback and recommendations. When I asked about new exercises to try indoors to target certain muscle groups, my coach even sent links to YouTube clips to show me how to do the exercises.
Fit4D recommends 6-8 months of StayFit membership following your regular Fit4D program coaching, and it can be cancelled at any time. One of the great features is that you can choose a member of your team to be your StayFit coach. So, if you worked with your nutrition coach the most during Fit4D membership and are still working on those goals, that coach can continue to help you as needed during StayFit. StayFit is $35 per month. Fit4D also has a service on their site where you can schedule an appointment to talk to a coaching expert for 15 minutes for $25, and $1.50 for each minute after. If you've grown used to the support from Fit4D and like having direct access to diabetes coaches, StayFit is definitely a good deal for the following months!
Overall, I could really see this program working for many patients, especially those who are trying to improve their glucose control. My only complaint is that it was confusing to communicate with my team at times through email. Sometimes, different coaches would be copied on different emails, and many emails often had the same general subject lines such as "Hello from Fit4D." Additionally, the user interface could be improved so it is easier to navigate and log workouts. However, these things would be relatively easy for Fit4D to address. As the saying goes, "your mileage (and diabetes) may vary," and there is a strong opportunity for Fit4D to reach out and work with the many people with diabetes who have been alienated by the current healthcare system or for other reasons are seeking additional support for daily diabetes care.
Editor's note: www.Fit4D.com is offering a 10% discount for all diaTribe readers! The discount applies to all Fit4D coaching calls and memberships. To apply your discount, head to www.Fit4D.com and enter the coupon code "diatribe" upon checkout.
Dana Lewis works at diaTribe, an independent, advertising-free e-newsletter for everyone eager to learn about the latest advances in diabetes management. diaTribe is your inside track on diabetes research and products – sign up here for your complimentary lifetime subscription!
NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...