From Prediabetic “Junk Food Vegan” to Marathon Runner – David’s Transformation

Article written and reviewed by Jamie Koonce, DACM, L.Ac, Dipl.OM
Published August 8, 2018

Have you wanted to take your health to the next level?

Have you experienced a plateau in your weight loss or in meeting your health goals?

If you’re like many people, you may start a diet and exercise plan, make some progress toward your goal, and then have all that progress come to a screeching halt. You may believe you’ve been doing everything “right,” or perhaps you get discouraged and backslide into your former ways.

Perhaps you’ve read every diet book ever written (or close to it) and feel like you already know everything there is to be known about nutrition, weight loss, and diabetes.

You may even be following a vegan diet and exercising more than most people you know, but you’re still not seeing progress on the scales or on your glucose meter and in your A1c.

Many people in this exact situation join our coaching program and see tremendous results.

One of those people is David Sutton, who joined the Mastering Diabetes Program after 5 years of diligently following a vegan diet and training for marathons. 

While lots of exercise and a vegan diet helped him lose some weight and stabilize his blood glucose and A1c, he remained prediabetic and overweight.

Time for Positive Change

David felt that he had hit a plateau in his weight loss and in blood glucose management, and needed structure and discipline to maximize his prediabetic health (and reverse prediabetes altogether).  

David’s goal to run the NYC marathon was a huge motivator to continue exercising, but he knew that with exercise alone, nothing would change. 

As a highly motivated individual who found himself in a deep, dark place, he recognized that he had to make changes to his diet. 

Otherwise, he would follow the same fate as family members who had died from the complications of type 2 diabetes previously.

David's Results

After learning about the Mastering Diabetes Program, David was inspired to join the coaching program to take his prediabetic health to the next level. 

When David first joined, he said that being diagnosed with diabetes was a gift. He told his wife that he was going to reverse diabetes completely. 

David noticed improvements in his blood glucose values and weight immediately after he started reducing his fat intake by consuming only the green light foods recommended in our program.

He recounts that the most important thing he has learned was that dietary fat plays a central role in the development of insulin resistance, regardless of whether he was prediabetic or non-diabetic. 

Within 5 months, David lost 26 pounds, lowered his A1c to 6.0%, and ran a marathon.

He now loves that he has become a more positive person who enjoys eating an unlimited amount of potatoes and kale chips instead of vegan junk food.

As a prediabetic, he was amazed that he could lose weight and lower his A1c by eating all the fruit and potatoes he wanted.

The following table summarizes the changes in David's A1c, fasting blood glucose and blood pressure over the past 6 years:





A1c (%)




Fasting Blood Glucose (mg/dL)




Blood Pressure (mm/Hg)




When we asked David for his take away message from this experience, he replied:

"I'm no longer the person that I was before. I'm not this dark, angry person. When you eat these positive foods, you become a positive person. I've never had that before and now it's so nice."

While we are incredibly happy for David, his results are not surprising, given the amount of focus and attention he has placed on eating low-fat, plant-based, whole-foods. 

Once a prediabetic...now on his way to becoming non-diabetic, David is as happy as can be. Join us in giving David a virtual high five.

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Give David a virtual high five for his progress in reversing prediabetes, losing weight, and exercising like a champ.

About the author 

Jamie Koonce, DACM, L.Ac, Dipl.OM

Jamie Koonce, DACM, L.Ac, Dipl.OM is the Digital Content Manager at Mastering Diabetes. She holds a Doctorate degree in Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology & Anthropology from Hendrix College, and Certification in Plant-Based Nutrition through eCornell. Jamie has been enjoying a plant-based lifestyle since 1999. In addition to writing at Mastering Diabetes, she teaches continuing education courses to other health professionals on the science behind a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food lifestyle for specific medical conditions.