Q&A with Matt Collins, Co-Founder of SizeSlim Supplements

Video courtesy of SizeSlimTV

1. Tell me your T1D story when you were diagnosed in 1997.

I was diagnosed during my freshman year in high school in 1997. I was the JV football quarterback, and during a game, my mom noticed how thin I looked. She mentioned to a friend of hers (who happened to be a physician) all of my symptoms. I was exhibiting the classic symptoms: weight loss, blurry vision, sweet-smelling breath, etc. The physician/mom’s friend told my mom in a very stern voice: “after the game go directly to the drug store. Buy Keto-Diastix and use them. If they turn color head straight to the ER. I’ll call them and let them know you’re coming.” Sure enough, they turned dark brown. Next thing I knew I was the first name at the top of the ER chart with a blood sugar reading of 680mg/dl! The doctors at the hospital said I was so lucky someone was there to recognize the symptoms…otherwise, I may not have made it through the night.

2. What was your first reaction when you found out?

I was bummed out for sure. I had a lot of things going for me, and I remember thinking “but I was so close to having everything lined up perfectly…why me?” Luckily I have an amazingly supportive group of friends and family who helped me take on a somewhat competitive spirit with diabetes and always helped me move in the right direction.

3. What complications have you experienced?

None so far. I’ve been extremely diligent with my routines…for 20 years. I’ve never had to deal with any complications thus far, thank God.

4. What resources have been of help to you?

For me, the number #1 resource is technology. The more information I can get about my blood sugars throughout the day, the easier it is for me to maintain quality sugar levels for extended periods of time. This and the online diabetic community has been extremely helpful.

5. Any advice you have for new diabetics?

My advice is to never be ashamed of your condition. It is what it is, and unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do (at the moment) to cure it. But, it’s really important that you know this “hard lesson” as well. This condition is NOT your fault. But it IS your responsibility. Take it day by day. Learn something new every day. And, have an open mind about new technologies, techniques, or tricks to help you along the way. Success does not happen overnight. It happens by learning from your failures and utilizing all of your resources.

6. What’s your go-to meal?

Breakfast: 2 eggs with avocado toast 🙂 Lunch: Chicken and salad. Dinner: Sashimi…I could eat raw fish every day of the week.

7. How do you manage diabetes with your active lifestyle?

I manage my situation by staying 1 step ahead of every low and every high. That means being prepared at all times with insulin, CGM’s, food, and meters. No matter what, we always have to stay 1 step ahead of whatever activity comes throughout the day. For Example, big meeting at 1:00pm? Check, correct, and fix BG’s no later than 12:30pm.

8. What devices do you have?

I use the Dexcom G5 CGM (love it) connected to my iPhone which connects to my Apple Watch…this is a home run combination. Makes my life sooooo easy 🙂 I also use insulin pens – Dexcom and Apidra.

9. You find yourself “low” when…

If I over bolus for a meal. I will get immediately frustrated for no apparent reason. I’ll look down at my watch and sure enough, I’ll be dropping and on my way to being low.

10. You find yourself “high” when…

If I don’t workout throughout the week and am super stressed, I’ll for sure run a bit high. I find myself aggravated very easily. Basically, I’ll go from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Jackass. LOL.

11. What does “living diabetter” mean to you?

It means giving myself every fighting chance to live a “normal” life. I would LOVE to know what it’s like to have perfect sugars for an entire year. We’re not quite there, but living diabetter is me finding my way to living the best life possible given my t1d situation.

12. Does it ever get easier? Are you used to it?

Oh, yeah! 100%. With all of the new technology and resources we have, t1d is 10,000 times easier than when I was in high school or college. Did I get used to it? I suppose so. It’s a way of life now. Still a pain sometimes. But I’m not ashamed, nor do I care what other people think about me. For others it’s probably harder to get used to. For us, it has to be 2nd nature.

13. Are you apart of any diabetes organizations?

Yes, indeed! I’m involved with JDRF. These guys are GREAT! I’ve actually been invited to be a guest speaker at the largest JDRF event which is on May 12 in Oakland County, Michigan. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there! Also, I’m proud to say that my company (SizeSlim Supplements) donates 1% of our sales to JDRF each year. More information can be found on our website at www.sizeslim.com.

14. Anything else you would like to add.

Please feel free to reach out with any particular questions you have about T1D. I can best be found on Instagram at @matt_t1d. I want to give a big thanks to Amshi at Living Diabetter for all of the work she does. I think this resource should be used by all T1Ds as a means to learn more from each other.

Remember: together we are MUCH stronger than dealing with this alone.

LifeSeasons 90-day Review

 

Over the past few months, I’ve been trying out 3 supplements from LifeSeasons: Mobili-T, Glucose Stabili-T, and Rest-ZZZ. The time has come where I share with you my 90-day journey with the all-natural products. After reading all of the great reviews, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity, I had to try these products out for myself!

Mobili-T

This all-natural supplement has helped tremendously with my shoulder and knee pains I have suffered from playing volleyball. I used to take 2 Advil or Aleve a day, but for the past 90-days I have traded them in for Mobili-T. I have noticed an improvement in the range of motion in my joints, especially when working out. Mobili-T lasts the whole day (if taken correctly) and I can tell the difference if I miss a dose. Take 2 with breakfast and 2 with dinner and you’re set!

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Glucose Stabili-T  

Being a type one diabetic, I was skeptical to sample this product at first. I didn’t know if it would mess with my blood sugars or not. My primary reason for sampling Glucose Stabili-T was to support my eye health. Throughout the 90-day trial, I scheduled an eye appointment and come to find out my vision isn’t that bad after all, lol! Eye health is extremely important for diabetics because if you don’t take care of your diabetes you will have to live with potential complications like glaucoma, cataracts, and even blindness. So stay in control of your diabetes, folks!

*Glucose-Stabili-T is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Disclaimer: Glucose-Stabili-T did not give me 20/25 vision.

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Rest-ZZZ

This supplement was my favorite of the 3. I’m always on the go and I love me some sleep. Some nights are harder to fall asleep than others. Some nights I stay up staring at the ceiling and other nights I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. My sleep schedule is not consistent and it is rare to get 8 hours of sleep. After the 90-day period, I have enjoyed restless-free nights. Just pop 2 Rest-ZZZ pills 30 minutes before bed and you won’t have to count sheep anymore!

My experience with LifeSeasons all natural health supplements has been a positive one. I would recommend these products to any and everyone looking to get formulated for life.

To read more about my favorite supplement, Rest-ZZZ click here.

Find the right formula for you! Get 20% off plus free shipping on your first order.

 

Disclaimer: These supplements were sent to me to review by LifeSeasons. This review is 100% my own honest opinion and it has not been influenced by any individual or organization in any way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Resolution: Get More Sleep!

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Happy New Year’s Eve!!

How are you spending your last day of 2017?

As you reflect on 2017 and the new year, what is on your vision board? What are your New Year’s resolutions? Now you might be apart of the cliche brigade and want to lose 50 pounds and workout every day and eat healthily and live a stress-free life…. but we all know that’s not going to happen. I mean sorry to burst your bubble but you’re going to go strong for the first few months, maybe, and then give in and eventually your long-term goal is now a short-term goal.

One of my 2018 resolutions is simple: get more sleep! We all live busy lives, working our 9-5 jobs, balancing work life with our personal life, extracurricular activities, you may have kids, spouses, family, etc. After all the hustle and bustle of life, what more could you possibly want besides SLEEP? I have the solution to getting a good nights rest. The answer is Rest-ZZZ of LifeSeasons.

What it is: Rest-ZZZ aids in relieving muscle tension, restlessness, and nerve-related sleeplessness. It helps calm the nervous system and promotes natural sleep cycles.

My mind races at nighttime because  I’m always thinking about what I have to do for tomorrow. The only time I go straight to sleep is if I workout right before bed, but what if I don’t make it to the gym? Rest-ZZZ is basically my hero. I take 2 right before bed and I’m  good to go.

Rest-ZZZ Ingredients: Chamomile, GABA, Melatonin, Passion Flower, Valerian Root

I challenge you this new year to treat yourself to more sleep! You deserve to feel refreshed every morning you wake up.

Treat yo’self TODAY! 

Get 20% off plus free shipping on your first order.

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Low Carb Coke Float

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

A diabetic sat craving, something sweet for Mr. Claus.

The fridge and pantry were empty and bare

In hopes that Saint Nick would put healthy goodies there.

While she sat and pondered what could she possibly make

No flour or sugar, cookies for Santa were going to be impossible to bake.

But with a blink of an eye and a wish on a star

Two magical ingredients appeared on the bar.

She in her onesie and coke float in hand

Taking sips of the tasty dessert that was not planned.

As she left one for Santa and checked her BG ‘fore bed

A sound echoed in the chimney and down came someone in red.

Saint Nicholas answered all of her wishes

and filled up the fridge and pantry with low carb dishes.

He gulped down the coke float and flew out of sight

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!

Keto Friendly Coke Float Recipe

2 ingredients:

1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

1 3/4 Cup of Diet Soda

Do-It-Yourself:

  1. Pour the Heaving Whipping Cream into your glass of choice.
  2. Slowly pour your favorite diet soda into the glass.
  3. Enjoy!

For the holidays or a little kick add Vanilla Crown Royal to the mix! It pairs great with my diet soda of choice, Vanilla Coke or regular Coca-Cola.

(Please drink responsibly)

Thank you Hey Keto Mama for the delicious recipe!

Follow all of her Keto friendly recipes on Pinterest.

Dear Diabetes, Thank You.

6th Diaversary!

Today marks my 6th year living with type one diabetes. As I reflect on how much type one has played a major role in my life and how much it’s impacted me, I’m forever grateful God has chosen me to take on this challenge. Instead of writing about how much I hate being a diabetic and how inconvenient it can be at times, I would like to celebrate my 6th diaversary with a personal thank you note to Diabetes.

Dear Diabetes,

You can’t control me. After putting up with you for 6 years, I feel like we have a special bond and an understanding that I can tell you anything. Now what I’m going to say next may shock you, but I would like to take this time to say thank you.

Thank you for being there 24/7 and never leaving my side even when I wanted to take a break from you. The late nights and early mornings never get old… because we’re bonding right? Knowing I can count on you to wake me up at 3:00am with a welcoming sweaty pillow, makes it all worthwhile. We spend more time together than I do with my fiance and family. We have formed a special bond no one can break, not even my endocrinologist, dietician or doctor.

Remember when you thought you were going to take control of me 6 years ago? I was a freshman in college, running to the bathroom 15-20 times a day, drinking a 24-pack of water that lasted every 2 days, feeling burned out during volleyball practice more frequently, and not knowing what was going on with me.

Well, guess what? I kept going because that’s the only thing I knew how to do. My athlete instinct kicked in and I pushed through the weird experiences I was going through. I blamed my 10-pound weight loss on the tough workouts and the constant urination on all the Gatorade and water I was consuming. I made excuses for something I didn’t know I had for 3 months.

No more excuses. After my diagnosis, you changed my life forever and I have accepted it. I have accepted the challenge.

I thought I was the healthiest I could be at 18 years old, but you fooled me. I am now more aware of what goes into my body. I can look at any type of food and automatically tell you how many carbs it has. I can tell you that Mexican food and pizza will raise my blood sugar 2 hours after I eat because it’s a higher carb meal. With carb loaded meals like those, I know to extend my bolus on my Omnipod to prevent bedtime highs. This has become second nature. Now at 24 years old, I’m the healthiest I’ve been with a 6.7% a1c. So I thank you.

You had me think I was in the best shape of my life, but you constantly remind me that I have to workout daily to keep my numbers in a normal range. But you have to make things difficult. I have to run a temp basal and monitor my numbers throughout my workout to prevent lows because having lows suck. Lows suck especially at the gym when you’re killing leg day and all of a sudden the squat rack feels 20 times heavier. You have to stop in between reps and go to the locker room to squeeze a juice box down your throat hoping you don’t pass out. You’re already sweating from being there an hour so you don’t know you’re THAT low until the room looks blurry, your walk becomes wobbly and your hands are shaky. Besides that Diabetes, you’ve held me accountable and made sure I stay in the best shape of my life.

I could really strangle you and curse your name for how expensive your supplies are, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll rearrange my entire budget and bite my tongue because I have to live. I’m very fortunate to be able to afford your expensiveness… test strips, insulin bottles, Omnipods, alcohol wipes, back up insulin injection needles, glucometers, ketone sticks, blood glucose meters, and batteries. At least you’ve provided me with a temporary survival kit until you are no more. So on that note, I say thank you.

Thank you for showing me how strong I truly am. When you decide to play those funny games in the early mornings, I get you under control and find myself up 3 hours later continuing my normal routine. It’s like I have 2 jobs, one that I get paid for, the other, well… I pay you. Thank you for teaching me that my appearance does not matter. All of the finger pricks, site changes and bruises that appear on my body, are constant reminders of you. I am greater than my highs and lows. I am not my disease. I am capable of the impossible. All because of you. I will not let you win. I’m a type one diabetic showing my gratitude for everything you’ve taught me about myself and with that, I say thank you.

After 6 years of our ups and downs, I can honestly say I’ve had enough and I pray for the day you are gone out of my life for good.

But until that day comes, I will continue inspiring others to push through their struggles and educate those who are unfamiliar with how cruel you really are. Even on my bad days, I will try to look for the positive. I have come too far to throw in the towel now. So on this day, after reflecting on how you’ve changed my life for the good (mostly bad), I’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t control me… you never will.

Yours truly.

 

Diabetes Month Q&A

As we wrap up Diabetes Awareness Month, I’ll be featuring stories of fellow type one diabetics. Today, I’m sharing with you a Q&A interview I had with Parker Nunes.

Parker Nunes was recently diagnosed with type one diabetes on June 22, 2017. His diagnosis story intrigued me so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to dive in deeper. Parker is from Massachusetts and is currently a college student. After graduating with a degree in Landscape Design, Parker plans to attend nursing school. Read how Parker chooses to live diabetter!

Q: Tell me your diagnosis story.

A: I was diagnosed with type one diabetes a month before my nineteenth birthday. Every morning I woke up with the inside of my mouth and throat completely dried out. I was drinking about four to six gallons of beverages a day and using the bathroom about twenty-five times a day. I thought the many bathroom breaks were due to me drinking more frequently so it didn’t alarm me. One night, I knew something was wrong because, in my sleep, my legs locked up making me feel paralyzed, unable to move without feeling sharp pains. The pain went away after an hour or so and I went back to sleep. That morning, I went to work and I started feeling the same pain. I immediately went to my physician’s office to do a routine check-up; everything came back clear except for two things. My sugar level was extremely high, with an a1c of 12.6 and large ketones. This day forever changed my life.

Q: What was your first reaction when you found out?

A: Once the physician’s assistant told me what the diagnosis was my heart literally dropped to my stomach. After nearly having a heart attack my physician contacted my father and told him what was going on. He was very surprised too. After getting off the phone with my father he called my mother and she had a very hard time understanding why this was all happening.

Q: How has it been adjusting to your new lifestyle?

A: Adjusting to diabetes was hard at first. As time passed, it got a little easier to manage but still difficult.

Q: How does type one interfere with sports?

A: When playing sports like hockey and golf it is difficult. Hockey is more difficult because I can’t wear my pump when playing. I have to disconnect the pump and load up on a bunch of carbs so I can keep my levels even throughout the entirety of the activity.

Q: What resources have been of help to you?

A: I always talk to my regular physician, four endocrinologists I see at Baystate, and my nurse I see about anything diabetic related. I’m surrounded by my helpful resources.

Q: Any advice you have for new diabetics?

A: For any new diabetics of any age, I would say watch what you eat for the first month or so to see how you adapt to your diabetes and insulin/ carb ratio. At nineteen years old, I joined the gym to keep up with exercise and to maintain a healthy weight. Insulin does have an effect on your body, you just have to get used to the changes. Whenever I’m at home or somewhere and in public, I normally keep my bag full of supplies with me and of course food.

Q: What’s your go-to meal?

A: Who doesn’t love food? My go-to is beef/bacon jerky. My all-time favorite snack is low in carbs and it’s very accessible anywhere you go.

Q: How do you manage diabetes in everyday life?

A: Managing diabetes in my everyday life can be difficult at times. When I first started on pens it was more of a hassle than it was with the pump.

Q: What devices do you have?

A: I have the Tandem Slim X2. I will be getting the Dexcom G5 continuous blood sugar monitor. The CGM reads your sugar level every five minutes to let you know how you are doing. If you have a pump without a CGM I would consider looking into it.

Q: What does “living diabetter” mean to you?

A: Living diabetter means being conscious of what I eat and being aware of my numbers, but still finding that balance. I still love my sweets 🙂

New Partnership with LifeSeasons LLC

Okay… so I know I told you I had some exciting news to share with you. Well, here it is… *drumroll please* I partnered with LifeSeasons, a natural supplements company in Dallas, Texas. LifeSeasons creates natural formulas targeted toward specific everyday health concerns. I’m so excited to be given the opportunity to share with you my 90-day journey with the following all-natural supplements:

Mobili-T 

Rest-ZZZ

Glucose Stabili-T

Living with type one diabetes, it’s difficult to find supplements and/or medications that don’t interfere with your blood glucose levels. For example, I can’t take Tylenol because it raises my blood sugar drastically. Well, guess what? LifeSeasons is a healthy substitute which doesn’t affect your blood sugars! It makes it easy for you, blending all of the natural ingredients together in a safe formula. I knew I had to try these products out.

What it is:

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Mobili-T assists in the free movement of the joints and assists in moisturizing them to help support ease and range of motion. I’m a retired college volleyball athlete and I have accepted the fact that my joints and muscles will forever ache. I recently injured my shoulder, which has limited my range of motion. Depending on the day, the pain creeps up on me; so bad that I can’t sleep on it, put on clothes, or even shower. Any slight movement can be unbearable. With my luck, I also sprained my ankle recently in an alumni volleyball game, and now I’m experiencing stiffness and more pain. So basically, EVERYTHING HURTS!!! I will use Mobili-T twice a day (as suggested) as a daily Ibuprofen replacement.

Rest-ZZZ aids in relieving muscle tension, restlessness, and nerve-related sleeplessness. It helps calm the nervous system and promotes natural sleep cycles. Being the millennial I am, I work a 9-5 job with a few side hustles; life is tiring! My mind races at night and I’m constantly making to-do lists for myself. I’m grateful to try Rest-ZZZ to ease my racing mind and restless nights. Everyone deserves a great night sleep, right?

Glucose Stabili-T helps maintain healthy blood sugar, circulation, and vision. It also supports the body’s natural cellular metabolism. I will use Glucose Stabili-T to help with circulation and vision. Diabetics have to get frequent eye and foot exams. If you’re not in control of your diabetes, it can affect your eyes and feet the most. Eyes- Having high levels of sugar in your blood for a long period of time can harm the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. This can result in vision problems or even blindness. Feet- Diabetes can damage your body’s nerves. Nerve damage stops you from feeling pain or other problems in your feet. Poor blood circulation can also cause damage to your feet. A lack of blood flow can slow down the healing process for a sore or infection. IMPORTANT: Ladies and gentlemen, before getting a pedicure, make sure everything is sanitary! Watch the pedicurist clean the bowls and utensils before they touch your feet.

Mobili-T Ingredients: Glucosamine, Chicken Collagen, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), Chondroitin Sulfate, Turmeric Root Extract, Bromelain

Rest-ZZZ Ingredients: Chamomile, GABA, Melatonin, Passion Flower, Valerian Root

Glucose Stabili-T Ingredients: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Bilberry, Chromium, Cinnamon, Gymnema

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LifeSeasons conveniently ships the products directly to your home. If you sign up for the monthly subscription, not only do you save 15% on all of your orders, but you get FREE shipping! If online shopping is not for you, go to your local Whole Foods or Sprouts. LifeSeasons is found on the shelves of many health stores. Find a store nearest you Store Locator.

To find the supplements that are formulated for you, visit Formulas to Help You Rebalance.

I will share my experiences with you as I continue this journey to a healthy lifestyle.

For more information on these fabulous products, click HERE.

#FormulatedforLife

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Traveling with Diabetes

As you can tell, for the past few months, I’ve been on hiatus from posting, but now I’m BACK. And it’s been nothing less than crazy.

If you follow me on social media, then you know that…I’M ENGAGED! My fi-an-cé (love saying that) popped the question during our vacation to Riviera Maya, Mexico, and it went like this:

There we were, in a 5 star, all-you-can-eat steakhouse called Bovinos in downtown Playa Del Carmen, celebrating our last night in Mexico. Oddly, my fiancé wasn’t diving into his steak (I mean, he’s a pretty big guy and loves a good steak), so I knew something was up. From there, he really indulged in the wine, multiple times – and not so despacito, ha! We then ordered dessert, and there, in the chocolate covered ball that was elegantly plated (that I really wanted to eat), was my ring. What a sight to see – something so beautiful to mark such an enchanting moment, a catalyst to the rest of our lives together. And from there, it’s history!

 

 

So, as you can imagine, it’s been nonstop wedding planning, which means all my time has been consumed by Pinterest, dress shopping, venue open houses, food tastings, watching Say Yes to the Dress, thinking of creative bridesmaids proposals and coming up with clever hashtags. 😉  I will be getting married October 2018, and I’m already stressed, but I promise to stay consistent in sharing all of my new content.

To say that Mexico was awesome would be an understatement. It was by far the best vacation of my life. The resort staff was so welcoming and made every day that much more enjoyable. Something I gained from the trip was a newfound appreciation for nature, the realization of how beautiful the world around us can be. I woke up to oceanside views every morning and dozed off to the sound of calming waters at night. I snorkeled in the ocean, went horseback riding in the forest, touched the Mayan ruins, took pictures with Parakeets, and ate and drank all the authentic food and imported liqueurs you can imagine.

 

It was this amazing because I chose not to let my diabetes dictate otherwise. From packing my suitcases and going through security lines at the airport, to making sure I had meals throughout the day and enough supplies to last, it was safe to say that I was prepared to take on Mexico! Ariba! I want to show you how you can do the same, so you can take on any destination on your bucket list.

Living with diabetes is a 24/7 job, but when you’re on vacation it’s the last thing you should have to think about – let alone manage in an unfamiliar place. From my experience traveling abroad, here’s some tips I came up with for traveling diabetter:

1. Planning ahead is a plus!

Pack extra diabetic supplies with you in both your carry-on and checked bag. You want to bring extra needles, test strips, alcohol wipes, lancets, batteries, and a back up insulin pump or injection pens. Make sure to store your insulin in a cool place. For me, I brought a small lunch box with ice packs.

2. Travel letter

Ask your Endocrinologist to write you a travel letter that consists of everything you are allowed to carry on the plane. This will make the security check a smoother process. I got stopped three times going through security. They patted me down until they reached my Omnipod site on my stomach. After giving me the look of confusion, I had to explain what it was. That is when I showed my travel letter and they released me. Take the time to educate those who are unaware about T1D.

Here’s a fun fact… if you show your travel letter to the gate monitors, you get to pre-board! My fiancé and I skipped the lines and flied first class!!

3. Meal prep

Pack snacks that travel well. Avoid hypoglycemia by packing non-liquid foods like sandwiches, dried fruit, lentil chips, peanut butter cups, tuna packs or hard boiled eggs. Foods with great sources a protein will help maintain a steady blood glucose level. Even foods with higher carb counts (goldfish, chips, trail mix, protein bars etc.) are okay to pack, just make sure to check your BG often and bolus accordingly.

4. Under bolus and correct later

Get solid at carb counting. Knowing the basic foods can help when eating a dish you’re unfamiliar with. If you’re not sure, ask the wait staff or chef for the nutrition facts, “Is this dish more of a carbohydrate?” It is completely fine to guesstimate, but aim for a lower carb ratio to avoid hypos. Every meal I ate was carb heavy (whoops!) so I gave a less bolus and checked my BG more often. I also used the extended bolus option on my pod. Daily activities like snorkeling, touring the ruins, playing sand volleyball, horseback riding etc. offset my highs because I was doing some type of exercise and movement that caused my BG to level out.

 

 

5. Be responsible. Get lit. 

Alcohol can lower your blood sugar. Be careful with mixed drinks (I’m guilty!) and anything that has a juice or soda as a base. Stay hydrated throughout the day/night by drinking water, iced tea, coke zero; something with zero calories added. My drink of choice was a mojito (and shots of tequila) which is soda based, so I made sure I had water with me at all times. Staying at a resort made access to food and drinks much easier. Be responsible.

6. Enjoy your vacation!

Just because we have diabetes doesn’t mean we should limit ourselves in life. Traveling with this disease definitely makes it more complicated, but as long as you keep tips like these in mind, there’s no reason to let it stop you. God gave us a big battle because we are strong enough to persevere and handle such ups and downs… so why not splurge a little?

I embraced every second of my vacation because I didn’t care what people thought. Yes, I received those awkward stares at the beach when they saw my Omnipod. Yes, people did a double-take when I bolused for my meals, but those are opportunities to educate others and grow in one’s self confidence.

So here are my last tips:

1. Book your dream vacation.

2. Don’t avoid taking risks because of this disease.

 

Diabetes doesn’t define you. Too many times as diabetics we allow our lives to be dictated by the disease that we have. We feel that we cannot enjoy a quality of life that only “normal” people have access to. Before taking this trip I was worried how my routine would be affected. Would I go low and have to stop whatever activity I was doing and take a glucose tab or drink a juice box? Would I be able to partake in all of the delicious authentic food that was available to us? If anyone knows me they know that I am someone who likes to be in control of my circumstances. Doing something that you have no control of and accepting that you cannot control the outcome is one of the most empowering experiences.  Life is the greatest gift we have, so it’s up to you to decide how to live it and always remember, Vive la buena vida!

#LivingDiabetter

At Home Workout Circuit

Alright, I’ve given you 3 months since we made our New Years pacts. Have you kept yours up? I know you’ve been busy, and you wish there was more time in the day (doesn’t everybody?), but make sure to make time for yourself. Being a diabetic, it’s especially important to focus on yourself to avoid complications down the road.

This 2017, I scratched “resolutions” and decided to focus on one goal this year: to lower my A1C. In January and February, I made a commitment to eat healthier by putting the oven to work and avoiding fast food. I suggest meal prepping every week, because it saves me a lot of time and comes in clutch when I have unhealthy cravings. The prepped food is staring at me in the refrigerator, so I have no choice but to eat it. All I have to do is pop that sucker in the microwave, and we’re good to go!

Now, I will tell you that living a diabetic lifestyle is not easy. When my sugar drops, I want to eat EVERYTHING in sight… forget the plastic containers filled with grilled chicken breast, broccoli and black beans. I choose the greasy potato chips, fruit snacks, cookie dough, goldfish after the juice box and glucose tablets! I know what you’re thinking; I should have healthier snack options. But when you go low, you’re not thinking, let alone thinking healthy. Self-discipline and low blood sugars are on opposite sides of the spectrum.  There’s no such thing as carb counting in the event of a hypo.

What I will tell you is eating healthy on a consistent basis has lowered my A1C to 7.0. For people without diabetes, the normal A1C range is 4-6%. I want to feel a sense of normalcy again, so I’m aiming for that  “normal” percentile.

This past week, I signed up for personal training. My mentality is if I can pair healthy eating and a guaranteed workout 3 times a week, my A1C is bound to decrease. I’m not saying in order to see results you have to invest in a trainer. Being a former athlete, I’m used to being pushed, and this is what works for me. Do what works for you. For those that don’t have a gym membership or personal trainer, I’m giving you one of my favorite at-home workouts.

This is a circuit. Each exercise is timed, 30-45 seconds for each one.
15-20 seconds rest in between. Rest more if needed. Each exercise has to have maximum effort! These exercises can easily be done at home with a couch or a chair. Use a couch or chair for reference to make sure you are getting low enough.

Jumping jacks

High knees

Squat jumps

Pulsating squats

Bulgarian split squat

Tricep dips

Inclined pushup

Declined push up

Suitcases

Mountain climbers

Russian twists

To increase the intensity of this workout, time each exercise for 1 min. +

Disclaimer:
Don’t forget to check your bg levels before you start any exercise. I run a temp basal for the duration of my workout so that my Omnipod gives me less insulin to avoid hypos. Always stretch before and after you exercise to avoid pulling muscles.

Follow me on the road to exercising better!

Coping with the Highs and Lows of Dating a Diabetic

Living with diabetes is difficult enough, from meal planning, carb counting to finger pricks and site changes. When you add the “Big D” to the mix of everyday life, it can cause a relationship to either grow stronger or fall apart. These extra challenges that are involved with the lifestyle of a diabetic are better when faced together. “In sickness and in health until death do us part” isn’t just a memorized vow you say at the altar, it has a deeper meaning to us diabetics. It means when shit gets hard, you will be there every step of the way. When we become shaky, fatigued and sweaty, will you hand us our favorite candy (yummy glucose tablets) or juice box? How about when we’re cranky and argue for no reason? Will you be the first to apologize and tell us to check our numbers for a high? When we are burned out and don’t feel like diabetes-ing today, will you step in and take over our numbers or cook a low carb meal? When the going gets tough, will you run or accept the challenges of this new lifestyle and face it together?

I reached out for some first-hand experiences and tips on dating a diabetic, and the responses came rolling in. I found them very valuable and have shared them with my valentine of 6 years, and now, with you.

“My husband knows a box of chocolates is just asking for disaster, because if there’s chocolate in the house, I will find it and then eat every piece! Flowers are always a sweet gesture, and I won’t snack on those!” – Ang, @sickoftheprick

“My boyfriend and I were together prior to my diagnosis, which was back in November. I always had so much energy prior! Then things started to go downhill. I felt so awful and tired all the time, so much that one day I stopped at his house on my way home from class so I could nap, and then continue on home.
When I got the diagnosis I felt so calm, as if I had already accepted it. I think at that point I was just glad that I knew why I felt awful. Though, that’s when my boyfriend kinda freaked out about it. Every time I ate, we would go on long walks to bring my blood sugar down, and when I wanted ice cream, he literally read all the nutritional facts on all the ice creams at Kroger until he found one with the lowest amount of carbs. Even when I bought him a cake for his birthday, it was obvious that the thought of me eating a slice worried him. He didn’t quite grasp that I could just use insulin. At that point, he had also done research, which of course revealed all the terrible effects that T1D can have on the body.
Now, I’m the one freaking out. It’s like it has finally hit me that I’m going to be battling this the rest of my life. Luckily, my boyfriend is the calm one now. I cry a lot more, and he just holds me. I have a Dexcom G5, so whenever my phone makes a noise, he checks to make sure it’s not my blood sugar. He knows how to use my glucometer, knows how to work my insulin pen, and he knows what to do if I’m high or low. For me, I sometimes don’t even feel a low, but when I do, he can tell. I also never feel highs unless I’m hitting 500.
He has truly made this process so much easier for me, and I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like had I not had such a supportive person by my side through this. As long as a person cares about you, your diabetes won’t matter. If anything, this experience has made our relationship stronger.” – Rachel Reedy

“My hubby said that he’ll remind me to check my bgl if my movements are slow and/or my speech is slurry. I know he has asked me to check them if I’m cranky and I try to listen without being defensive, where possible! When I initially started on insulin, my hubby learned to carb count with me, and I have to say that I relied on him a lot as I was having trouble remembering things at the time. We go for walks together on the weekend, and he happily changes his pace for my interval walks. He was originally impatient when we went on long road trips, but now makes stops patiently if I need to make frequent toilet or water stops when my bgl is up. We mainly eat healthy, and my hubby has learned to try to keep junk food out of sight. He has also slowly learned not to tell me what to eat! It has been a hard road, and we still struggle with it sometimes, but we’re getting better at it all the time.” – Pauline Cunningham

“We have been together almost 24 years, and I was diagnosed about four years ago. He has been awesome. He knows when I am low, and he knows to be patient when I am high and crabby. He wakes me up in the middle of the night to check my sugar if my sensor is not working. He tries to eat as close to me as possible aside from some ice cream and heath bars when he is dying for sugar. He helps remind me to make sure I have all my supplies on me. In return, I have helped him with his sobriety and this year we were both diagnosed ADHD, so we have been through hell together and are stronger because of it.” – Kelly N Jeff

“We have been together 4.5 years, and I was diagnosed just 2.5 years ago. He’s been great at adjusting! Before I got my Dexcom, he would just magically know I was low when I had no idea. He reminds me to take my insulin even when I’m having a rough day and don’t want to and will do pump changes for me if I’m being lazy about it. We are still working on learning that if I start getting mean when high to remember it’s the sugar talking, not me!” – Alexandra Marie Raxter

“I have been with my husband for 6 years. I was diabetic when we first met. It took him a while to get his head around it all, but he’s my rock. Now, he will always take interest in my sugars and remind me to take them if I am unwell. He does it for me at times. He’s good at recognizing symptoms of highs and lows, and he’s been there for every hospital admission, and I would be lost without him.” – Stacey McAinsh

It does’t end here. If you want to give your valentine a shoutout or share some experiences you’ve encountered, please comment below.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
XXXX
P.S. splurge the day away, just don’t forget to bolus 🙂