Once upon a time...
there was a diabetes educator named Susan Clarke.
She found herself patting clients on the back and encouraging them to achieve 30 mins/day, 5 days/week of aerobic exercise as well as 2-3 days of resistance training. Susan knew this was crucial to living well with diabetes. It was so important, she would often quote Dr. Ian Blumer, who once told an audience that studies have proven using 2 cans of soup to exercise just 10 minutes per day was beneficial.
As time went on, Susan heard endless reasons as to why clients were unable to exercise: winter ice, snow, fear of falling, back pain, hip pain, knee pain, arthritic pain, no money for exercise equipment, no money for a gym membership, and the #1 favourite saying; “Don’t worry - my blood sugars will improve in the summer!” It was painfully clear that a pat on the back and encouragement just wasn’t enough!
How could we help people achieve success in this area of diabetes wellness? We seemed able to provide experts in education, nutrition and stress management but not exercise. How could we make this available? It would need to be free, easily accessible, designed to address mobility issues and above all, be led by a professional using evidence-based exercises to ensure safety and avoid injuries.
One day, Susan was encouraging a client to try using 2 cans of soup to exercise with while watching her favourite TV program, along with instructions to “start low and go slow.” (i.e. increase weight and reps as able)
The client finally agreed to try, and her parting remark was; “Ok, I’ll do it and I
just might surprise you and graduate to tomatoes!” (referring, of course, to increased weight by using
a can of tomatoes)
And so...the name was born:
“From Soup to Tomatoes”
And then...Susan’s dream slowly became a reality:
a free, chair-based exercise program that provided
“something for everyone.”
And yes...we did use cans of soup until we could afford weights.