Category Archives: Interviews

Free eBook Shares Diabetes Diagnosis Stories

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The online diabetes magazine A Sweet Life has put together two great eBooks you can download for free.  They are each a compilation of inspirational diabetes diagnosis stories but one shares stories from people with type 1 diabetes and the other, type 2 diabetes.

My story is one of the stories in the type 1 diabetes eBook.

It was an honor to share it and I thank A Sweet Life for doing this and offering it to the DOC for free.

If you haven’t checked out A Sweet Life, do so today-it’s full of seriously handy information and a source for excellent opinion articles by a number of people with diabetes.  In fact, I’d say the site is one of the DOC’s best kept secrets.  Check it out and have a great one!

XOXO

DOC Brides Infographic!

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Allison, April, Kerri, and myself are featured in a DOC Brides Infographic with tips and suggestions that we learned through trial and error.

This was put together by Sanofi and is shown on the Discuss Diabetes blog.  Click here to check it out!

Also see my guest post, “Diabetes on Your Wedding Day” for more things I wish I’d known before walking down the isle.

Happy Wednesday!

On the Radio

I’ll be on DSMA (Diabetes Social Media Advocacy) Live! tonight as a guest.  I’m so excited to talk to some DOC friends and actually hear their voices :)  Here are the details:

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Here’s the link:  http://dsmalive.com/2012/10/03/dsma-live-with-sysy-morales-on-1042012/

 

XOXO,

Sysy

Interview with Type 1 Living Abroad, Ariana Mullins

 

Remember earlier this year when I interviewed Nathan ShackelfordHis blog is still one of my faves.  Well, he said I might like to check out his sister’s blog.  Ariana Mullins has type 1 diabetes like her brother, but doesn’t blog about it.  Instead she blogs about her family’s adventures living in Europe.  She is a fantastic writer (she just wrote my favorite blog post ever) and takes some amazing pictures.  Do check out her blog, it’s a beautiful reminder of what living a healthy, fabulous, and grateful life is all about.

I asked her some questions about how she manages her diabetes and what it was like having diabetes and living in Europe (and other places):

How long have you had type 1 diabetes?

I was diagnosed 21 years ago, at age 12.  By the way, I was diagnosed by my dad and his glucometer, and never even saw a doctor  about my diabetes until I was 14.  My dad and older bother are both type 1 diabetics, and we were living in a rural area in the Philippines. My dad helped me work out my insulin dosages, taught me to estimate carb counts, etc.  My brother sent me my first insulin wallet, (which I used for the next 15 years!)  I decided right away that I wanted to be healthier than any non-diabetic, and took everything related to self-care pretty seriously.  Six months after diagnosis, I left for boarding school, on another island– so I was really on my own!  When I did finally see an endocrinologist, he was amazed that I had an A1c of 5.6!

What’s your motto in life?

“Never make decisions based on fear.”  I think I have lived this philosophy pretty well with my diabetes.  I haven’t let my diagnosis keep me from doing anything I really wanted to do, with the exception of snorkeling and scuba diving.  I used to snorkel all the time as a kid, but once I became diabetic, the idea of being in the middle of the ocean with low blood sugar was just too hard to justify!  Other than that, I have not let my diagnosis keep me from living as fully as possible, trying as many new experiences as I can.

Ariana and her brother, Nathan:IMG_1246

What is your diet like and why do you eat that way?

I eat low carb, and follow more of a paleo-type of approach.  I love food, and love to cook.  We originally started eating a grain-free diet because of food allergies that my daughter and husband have, but I quickly realized that it was great for all of us, and simplified my life a lot, since I was already not eating much starch anyway.  We eat plenty of meat and eggs, lots of vegetables, coconut products, and plenty of fat.  If we’ve been to France recently, then there’s plenty of great cheese on the table, as well!
I don’t crave a lot of sweets, but I do make room in my day for dark chocolate (usually 80%) and am happy to try out grain-free dessert recipes for my family, although I don’t usually eatmuch of those treats.  We always eat very well, though, with an emphasis on great quality items.  Who wouldn’t be happy to have a nice steak with herbed butter, grilled asparagus, olives, and a fresh, herbal salad for dinner?  Add a glass of red wine and some chocolate for dessert, and I feel like one lucky lady!  I never feel deprived, and absolutely love eating all of the great food at our table.

I think that one of the most positive, proactive things a person (regardless of health concerns) can do is to look at their food supply– what are we really eating, and where did it come from?  How was it produced?  Taking an interest in our sustenance is extremely rewarding, and eating well does not have to be expensive or difficult.  It’s true that eating quality food is a real priority for me, both in terms of budget and effort, but I don’t spend more than the average person (in fact, probably less!) and we feel incredibly wealthy when we sit down to eat together.

(Sysy speaking-she isn’t kidding.  Below is her cooking.  It’s what I want for dinner.)

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What in your opinion, is the toughest thing about living with type 1 diabetes?

I think the hardest part is just that it’s always there, on my mind, and impacting the smallest decisions in my day.  What I eat, when I eat.  The type of exercise I do, when, how long, etc.  Although diabetes doesn’t limit me much, it impacts everything.  When I leave the house, I have to think about whether I have something on hand in case of hypoglycemia, and whether it’s enough, or where I could get more, if needed.   And I am always counting…  The insulin I took, what I ate, when, what I will eat, what my last number was, what happened yesterday or the day before, trying to anticipate what my blood sugar might do.  There are so many variables– how much sleep I got, the amount of stress I am under, how old my insulin is, which ratio of insulin in my system is basal, how long a bolus dose will be working… The list of factors is endless, and it can be overwhelming at times, when there is a problematic dynamic happening that I need to figure out.  I can do everything “right” and still not get the numbers I am shooting for.  Diabetes takes a ton of mental energy and patience, and when other things in my life are a little wild, it can feel like too much!

Do you ever fear your daughter will develop it?

Yes, I do fear that she might.  Genetically, the chances are not too bad, but there is always that possibility.  Honestly, this is another reason that we eat the way we do– I want to give her the best health foundation that I can.  I do my best without being obsessive, and the rest is really not up to me.  It’s not something I think about every day, though, and it really wouldn’t be the end of the world if she did develop diabetes.

With her adorable daughter, Amelia:IMG_5617

Is it challenging living abroad with type 1 diabetes? What places have been the most challenging/least challenging?

I don’t find living abroad with this diagnosis to be much more challenging than living in the US.  In Germany, I did have to do more work to find a doctor that spoke English.  My diabetes is the same here as it would be anywhere else in the world.  I think it would be more challenging living in a really hot country, where I had to think all of the time about keeping my insulin cold.  Or a place that I couldn’t find supplies so easily.  But so far, it’s not hard at all.  We travel quite a bit, and that of course presents some challenges, but usually nothing too serious.  And of course,  the travel is so worth it!

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If you can’t find glucose tablets, what do you use for lows?

Fruit– I often carry an apple in my purse.  I can’t find Smarties candy here, which is my #1 choice.  Fruit leathers are pretty good, though, and if I am out and about, then getting a little bit of fruit juice is fast and effective.

How many times a day do you check your blood sugars?

This actually varies.  Since I have some limitations of test strip supply, I use a “save and splurge” sort of strategy.  I might use tons of strips for a few days, while I am figuring out a dynamic or blood sugar problem.  Once I have logged all of that information and have something to work with, I will make changes, and then check less obsessively, to see how things are going.  On average, though, I’d say I check 5-7 times per day.

Why did you decide to move abroad? Were you worried about how you would manage with your diabetes?

We decided to move overseas because we wanted to live in Europe.  It’s really that simple!  When we found out that my husband could get a good job working for the US government overseas, we jumped at the opportunity.  We lived in Germany for a while, and now we have been in England for over a year.
To be honest, my diabetes was not even a factor I considered when making the decision to move.  I think this makes sense, if you take into account my first years as a diabetic– completely self-managing in a foreign country.  I had not gotten exceptional care from doctors in the US, and the cost of insurance, co-pays and things like that never made me feel like I was particularly lucky to be a diabetic in my home country.  Once, I went to see a really great endo in Portland, and they booked my appointment and said they would accept my insurance.  But it turned out that they wouldn’t– I found this out after the doctor had run a whole bunch of labs (which just revealed that I was super healthy!) and we ran up a bill of $1,000 for that one visit, during a time of financial strain!  I could not even afford a follow up, which would have been the more valuable visit.  See what I mean?  There are great resources for diabetics, but not necessarily available to the people who need them.

So, here in England, the way they manage diabetes is not that great, either.  But they do cover prescriptions and supplies 100%!  Honestly, it is the patient that manages their diabetes, not the doctor.  So I would rather be empowered by having the supplies and medications I need, than lots of face time with doctors and nurses.  That said, there is a diabetes clinic nearby, and I can call one of the nurses, send them my logs, etc., whenever I want, for help.  The technology is a bit behind, though.  Not many diabetics use pumps here, since the funding is limited, and CGM supplies are not covered.  I am currently on a waiting list for a pump class, and then subsequently getting set up with a pump.  I don’t know how long it will be, and it’s not something I am expecting next week, I’m just waiting to see how it plays out.  Interestingly, you have to sort of prove your worthiness to get a pump– a reasonable A1c, and adeptness at carb counting and adjusting insulin.  I know these are kind of basic in the US, but I think it’s more rare to find PWDs who are very engaged in their own management.  This observation is simply based on the way things are handled– I haven’t met another PWD here yet!

What advice do you have for someone with type 1 who is considering moving to England (where you live now)?

I would recommend that they work to get their diabetes well-managed, through whatever resources they have available to them at home first.  It may vary depending on where in England they land, but I don’t think the management resources here are great.  They would need to be pretty competent with trouble-shooting and investigating issues on their own.  Sure, there are doctors and nurses here to help, but it could take a while to get an appointment at a diabetes clinic, or to find the exact type of help they need.  For example, if I had been working with a great endo before I moved here, I would have tried to set up a way to stay in contact with them, and pay for consults over the phone or via email.  On the other hand, if they qualify for NHS coverage, then they are going to love getting all their supplies for free!

The thing that most positively impacts your diabetes management?

A curiosity about the human body, and health in general.  Being diagnosed at a young age definitely sparked my life-long interest in health and nutrition.  Our bodies are really amazing.  They are always working hard to do their best, and deserve our best in return– the best nutrition we can find, plenty of rest, play, etc.  It makes me sad when I see people feeling angry with their bodies, or fighting them– the body is always working really hard, and never tries to sabotage us! The discomforts or troubling symptoms I may have are just forms of communication.  If I pay attention and respond, I can take great care of myself!  Don’t let the challenges of living with diabetes overshadow all of the really wonderful things that we are capable of through such exquisitely designed structures!

Where in the world would Carmen Sandiego be if she had type 1 diabetes?

Probably in Germany!  The best diabetes technology always seems to be coming from there, and they also have a great healthcare system that allows diabetics to get the care that they need, with minimal personal expense.

Any last words?

I don’t usually write about diabetes, so this was a positive exercise for me, in terms of articulating my experience with this condition.  Diabetes is actually not a big part of my identity.  I learned from an early age that I didn’t like being thought of as “that diabetic girl.”  People either felt sorry for me, or felt like they needed to get involved, or (worse yet!) tell me their best diabetes-related horror story.  No thanks!  Life is so interesting, and there is so much out there to experience, so I do my best to strike the balance between taking good care of myself, and just living and enjoying everything else around me.

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With her husband, Jeff.

Thank you for letting me share a bit about my experiences, Sysy!

Anytime!  Thanks for being so candid and helping prove that people with diabetes can do anything.

“The Sweet Arts” Interview

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As you all know my youngest sister Ana has type 1 diabetes (got it the same year I did).  She has been an artist since I’ve known her (and I’ve known her since she was born).  Her personality seems to fit the stereotype for an artist (except she’s really good at math).  She is extremely kind, non-judgmental, very “live and let live”, quiet and observant, and has a wonderful eclectic style.  Her bedroom looks like art, fashion, quotes, and a rainbow all blew up in it.  Every time I go in there my face probably resembles a child’s at Disney World.

She was interviewed for Sanofi’s new diabetes website, thedx.com.  The article is about how people with diabetes, Ana being one of them, are using art to express their emotions and reach out to others.  It’s a great post and we’d be honored if you read it :)

Click here to read the article.

By the way, Diabetes Art Day is fast approaching.  Look out for the upcoming post on how you can participate and support this creative initiative!

The Making of The Girl’s Guide, Part 2 of Interview

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Many of you have heard this story before but if you haven’t and happen to be curious here is part 2 of my interview with Laura Kolodjeski from Sanofi talking about how and why I started the blog and what my future plans are.

The only thing I would like readers to take away from my words is that sometimes having diabetes can be the source of motivation in our lives.  It can provide our route to helping others.  It can be a big part of our lives without being the bane of our existence.  I think to some extent that’s what I’ve been trying to do.  Thrive with diabetes, embrace it and learn from it, and use all that energy to help others who have it.

Luckily for me my path on this blog has led me to immense learning and support from the DOC.  So it’s just another example of how life is always full of pleasant surprises and even our having diabetes can ironically dish good things out.

Click here to read The Making of The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes

As always, thanks so much for reading.

XOXO

Interview about Bonding with My Sister Over Type 1 Diabetes

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Painting is called “Thank You” by Ana Morales

 

I had a chance to meet Sanofi’s Laura Kolodjeski in Washington D.C. last month and not only did we so easily hit it off as friends, Laura also interviewed me about what it was like for my family to have two type 1 diabetes diagnosis in the family.  You all know how I can go on and on and so here is Part 1 of that interview.  It’s pretty candid considering how comfortable I was speaking to Laura.  I hope you all enjoy.

Thanks, Laura!

Natural Supplement for Nerve Pain Relief

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I was sent a free sample of Neuropasil, Nerve Pain Formula recently.  It was developed by a renowned podiatrist who specializes in Medicine and Surgery of the foot and ankle, Dr. Enrico.  I’m all for natural products so I was eager to see what was in this formulation.

You take one tablet twice a day and get a cocktail of vitamins and minerals, including alpha lipoic acid and inositol.  These ingredients all promote optimal nerve health and supposedly you start to experience results in 2 weeks with maximum relief in 4-6 weeks.  I’m not sure I have enough nerve pain in order to experience “relief” since all I ever get once in a while (if I wear high heels) is a twinge of nerve pain under my right toe.  But I can say that after 3 weeks of taking this I haven’t felt any twinges of pain.  So that’s cool :)

I asked Dr. Enrico a few questions about this product:

Who is Neuropasil for?

Neuropasil is a nutritional supplement that people can use to manage nerve pain and support nerve health. Anyone who suffers from nerve pain, or neuropathy, may benefit from this supplement, including people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, chronic neck and back pain, neuropathy associated with chemotherapy, among others.

Can people get the ingredients for Neuropasil in their diet?

Theoretically yes, but realistically no.  Neuropasil contains a proprietary blend of B vitamins, minerals like Alpha Lipoic Acid and supplements. While these ingredients are naturally occurring in certain green vegetables, in order benefit from these you would have to consume a very large amount of these foods. Its best to incorporate a nutritional supplement with these ingredients into your daily diet to get the nutrients that you need.

Aside from taking this supplement, what else can people with nerve pain do to help their symptoms?

In relation to diabetic neuropathy, the best thing to do is keep your blood sugar under control and to exercise, which keeps you healthy and releases endorphins which can help ease pain.

Thanks, Doc, for answering those questions.

Here is more info:

Website: http://drenriconutritionals.com/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NeuropasilDr-Enricos-Nutritionals/220351811345879

Have any of you tried this product?  What did you think?  I know our feet are really important to us :)

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Interview with Husband about Marriage and Diabetes Part 2

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You can laugh at the picture.  We’re goofy like that.

Here I interview my husband, Alex for the second time since this interview.  Last time we had just been married a year and this time, since more time has passed, I ask harder questions.  Alex is kind of like one of my heroes- Honest Abe Lincoln and so he answered truthfully here.  And I have to be honest and say it stung a little.  Luckily, love and friendship soothes this kind of pain as well as the knowledge that knowing, at least for me, is always more empowering than not knowing.  My interjecting comments are italicized.

Interview with husband about marriage and diabetes:

If you describe me to someone, do you mention my diabetes?  Does it come up?

I say that you are beautiful and smart. That you are a great wife, mom and daughter. That you work from home writing for a health site. I also always mention your blog and yes, diabetes always comes up.  Diabetes is a big part of what makes you, you. Therefore, I cannot omit that from your description.

Aw shucks…:)

What’s the hardest thing about marriage?

Communication.

What’s the hardest thing about being married to me?

Communication.  A lot of times we’re not on the same page.

(Oh honey, tell me about it)

What’s the hardest thing about being married to a type 1 diabetic?

The worry.  The worry about seizures at night, low blood sugar when you’re with the kids, the future and the potential damage diabetes might cause you.  I have cousins, an uncle, a great aunt, a great grandfather who all died from type 1 or type 2 diabetes complications.

So you’ve seen what you hope is not in my future…

Yeah

Does intimacy get complicated by my diabetes?

Yes it does.  (Said much like a general confidently says “affirmative”) It increases your stress level, makes you more likely to be depressed and anxious, all of which affects your hormones.  Diabetes can help lead to secondary issues like your PCOS which causes you a lot of pain.  High blood sugars really affect you physically, too  Diabetes does a lot to this area.

Since we’re being honest…when I’m really happy with you I do make more effort to manage my blood sugars more.  Hint, hint.

What about my diabetes management could I change to make our marriage better?

You have a killer sweet tooth and it seems like your anxiety makes you dig into anything sweet that you buy sometimes and overdo it.  Then you don’t feel well, are mad at yourself for splurging, and then your mood is changed for the rest of the day.  You’re much happier when you don’t overdo sweets because your blood sugars are better but mostly because you are happy with yourself.

So true…so true…

What about my diabetes management would I have to change to make our marriage much more challenged?

Eat unhealthy and not exercise.  Your blood sugars do so well when you eat well and exercise.  And your self-esteem is great.

Do you think me having diabetes makes me somewhat less of a mother or wife?

NO. (said in an “are you crazy” kind of tone)

Does me having diabetes make it more difficult for you to communicate to me brutally honest things?

No, I just have that problem in general.

lol…yes amor, I know…

Do you ever pity me?

No, not pity, I feel compassion.  I wish you didn’t have this disease or that you had a chance to get rid of it.

Does me having type 1 diabetes somehow make our marriage better in any way?

It makes me more appreciative of good health and of life and it makes me a kinder person.  And I can see that you having type 1 will help our children be more compassionate about others who are different or who have any kind of challenge or something.

Do you take care of yourself more than you otherwise would if I didn’t have diabetes?  Why?

Good question…I think I eat healthier now but I’ve always wanted to take care of myself.  My reason for never drinking much soda wasn’t because I thought it was unhealthy, I never drank much because I didn’t like how it made me feel.  And I don’t like to think about it… but I also take care of myself more now because I feel like I should in case something happens to you later in life.

But I’m happy to do it.

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Catching up with Ginger Vieira

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Where do I start?  Ginger is like a powerhouse of a gal.  She has type 1 diabetes and Celiac disease.  She is a record holding power lifter, a yoga instructor, expert vlogger, a health coach, motivational speaker, a published author, and an all around great asset to the Diabetes Online Community.  I’m always appreciative of her perspective and positive energy.

Here, I interview her to find out what she’s been up to lately and see what wisdom we can take away.

I loved your book, “Your Diabetes Science Experiment” and highly recommended it in my review on this site. What other feedback have you received from people who’ve read it?

What I’ve heard the most is that it’s very easy to understand, and it explains the answers to questions that so many people are frustrated over all the time! My goal in writing the book was to help people not only understand why their blood sugars were high or low, but to empower them! To give them the confidence that they can actually take action to prevent those unwanted highs or lows, instead of accepting them as part of life with diabetes.

I recently received a Facebook post from a woman who’d read the book saying that it saved her life because she was about ready to give up on her diabetes. Instead, she found the answers to questions she’s had for so long and discovered that she is absolutely capable of managing her diabetes. I can’t ask for a better impact on someone’s life with this disease than that.

Another big thing I think almost everyone will gain from the book is a deeper understanding how balance exercise around a life with diabetes. It can absolutely be done, and you can absolutely enjoy exercise with diabetes, but you have to learn a few really important things in order to make it all happen. So far, my book seems to be providing those lessons for people!

In the end, what I hope reaches the reader is inspiration, empowerment, and motivation. And of course, a feeling that you are not the only person in the world having to deal with this crazy disease every day. It’s really crazy when you think about what we have to do day in and day out. We’re keeping ourselves alive, and we all deserve a good pat on the back.

For more testimonials, interviews and blogs about my book, visit this link!

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Are you planning to write any more books?

YES! Have I begun writing it? No. But I have the outline and I know exactly what I want it to give to its readers. This book is about how diabetes impacts your relationship with food. As a diabetes coach, this is one of the challenges I help people with the most often. Diabetes twists up your emotions and connection to food so much that it’s so easy to wind up using food as a weapon against yourself, against the disease.

It’s often builds like this: You can’t control that you have diabetes.You can yell at any specific person for giving you this disease. And you can’t throw the towel in completely just to spite your diabetes because that’ll be the end. Instead, you punish your body, your disease, with food.

It’s incredibly common, unspoken, and difficult to overcome. It is one of my favorite things to help my clients overcome because it is SO POSSIBLE to overcome — I’ve seen so many do it! But you’ve got to start at the beginning and I believe I have a few methods of working with people that prove to be very effective.

Where would Carmen San Diego be if she had diabetes?

Oh, she’d definitely be in Vermont. :) It’s beautiful in Vermont, people are friendly and happy, and being active and eating well is always encouraged as a regular part of your daily life!  And we love dogs in Vermont!

You tend to be very focused on positive and empowered thinking. Why is that and do you have any tips for others on how to do that?

I guess I would say I’ve always been a very positive person, but gradually, I became very, very aware of how much impact our own inner-dialogue has on our lives, our actions, and who we become.

I don’t leave much room in my head for negativity anymore. When I find it there, I get rid of it as fast I can. If you keep putting negative thoughts in your head, or criticizing yourself, or telling yourself you’re not capable of something, then that is exactly what you’re going to believe.

I tell myself, “I can. I can. I can.” And then I try my very best. If at first I don’t succeed…I try again!

If you’re constantly telling yourself that you’re ugly or stupid, make a rule with yourself: you are not allowed to keep allowing those thoughts in your head. As soon as you start telling yourself negative things, stop yourself, and tell yourself the opposite: “I am beautiful. I am smart.” Even if you don’t believe those things yet, tell yourself those things until you realize they are true.

I also started noticing that every time something scared me, and I pursued it anyway, it became another experience that absolutely made me a stronger, smarter person…and the more it made me understand who I am and what I want for my self.

Even little things: during high school the movie theater I worked at promoted me to Assistant Manager with a bunch of 40 year old men, and then me, a 15 year old female. In college, the writing department asked me to be the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper even though I had no journalism experience. And you can bet that when someone suggested I compete in a powerlifting competition, I was extremely nervous! But I told myself “I can. I can. I can.” And it was so worth facing that fear, small or big.

The first step is admitting that the way you talk to yourself DOES MATTER! I think it’s very hard for people to accept this, and really take responsibility for their own happiness. Yes, there are situations like depression where you have additional challenges, but in the end, life is hard for everyone, and it’s up to you to make life what you want it to be. The way you think impacts the way you believe…which impacts your actions…which impacts your life.

What is your favorite way to de-stress?

Ohhh, exercise! Powerlifting, especially, makes me happy. I mean, literally, I can be having a really stressful day, and then my time to workout with my coach comes along and I get to do deadlifts and squats and lat-pulldowns and power-cleans…and I am happy!

I also do a lot of cardio and plyometrics on the days I don’t powerlift. The challenge of it lights my brain up. I’ve been working on my box-jumps, being able to jump higher and higher. I can jump onto a box that’s about 2.5 feet now. Earlier this summer I was terrified of box-jumps! I do sets of 10 jumps, and then I jump-rope in between each set for about 90 seconds. Then I do either a set of 10 kettelbell snatches or pull-ups. Then I repeat the whole circuit 6 – 10 times…depending on how exhausted or sore I am from my other training! But by the end of that, I am always happy and tired! Exercise makes me feel like a million bucks.

I used to stretch and do a lot of yoga. I only do yoga once a week now. I used to do it more like 3-5 times a week, but part of my back pain last year was due to being hyperflexible, so the physical therapists told me to stop stretching so much! Ridiculous! I never knew a person could become too flexible. It’s not unlike me to overdo things!

And friends. I have awesome, fantastic, hilarious, kind friends. People I’ve found to surround myself with. They’re always a phone-call away.

You’ve been a health coach for a while. Why is health or life coaching so beneficial for people with diabetes?

Because this disease is insanely complicated. Not just the management of it, but the actual task of including it in your life and making it part of your daily world. Diabetes is non-stop. As a coach, I help you break it all apart and look at what really matters, what you really want for your life and your health. I help you clear out the gunk that you’ve been storing in your head, all the things you’ve told yourself and that you’ve settled into a habit of believing that are getting in your way. Then I help you build new habits, new ways of thinking, and new beliefs about who you are and what you deserve.

That’s very hard to accomplish on your own. As your coach, I’m with you every week!

Winter is upon us and so many people, including myself, seem to struggle a lot with staying on top of our diabetes management during this time of year. What would you recommend a fellow diabetic who is suffering from diabetes burnout?

The first step? Acknowledge what you’ve been doing (or not doing) and forgive yourself! This disease is hard work. Constantly. I would love a day off. LOVE IT. I cannot imagine what my brain would do with all of that extra energy if I didn’t have to manage my diabetes all day long. It’s understandable that we get burnt out. In fact, it should be something we expect. So forgive yourself for being human.

Secondly, write down what you REALLY want for yourself. Ask yourself: Do I deserve to be healthy? Do I want to be healthy? And put it down in words. Write it down!

And lastly, start slow. Set a small goal for yourself. If you haven’t been checking your blood sugar at all, then set a simple goal like: I’m going to check my blood sugar once a day at 8 a.m.

If you’ve been skipping your insulin, then set a simple goal like this: I’m going to make sure I count my carbs and take my insulin for lunch–always. Just lunch. If I happen to take my insulin at other meals, that’s great. But for two weeks, I’m just going to focus on lunch.

And write it down. In big, bold letters that you can’t ignore. Make your new goals known.

Here’s a video blog I made on Diabetes Burnout!

What are your plans for this upcoming 2012?

To have FUN. In work. In play. In everything. I’ve really come to learn that I cannot, and will not, continue to do anything in my life that doesn’t feel right. Whether it’s a job that doesn’t line up with what I really believe in, or uses of my free time that don’t really feed my energy…I won’t do it! Life is too short and I want to spend my time and energy doing things that mean something to me and the people around me. Things I believe in.

I plan to write my next book, “Your Diabetes Relationship with Food” during the year of 2012, and hopefully have it ready to be published by the beginning of 2013. It will be a different process than my first book because I plan to do a lot of interviewing and incorporating other people’s stories in how diabetes has impacted their relationships with food. If anyone is interested in sharing their story, and being interviewed, please let me know! (Ginger@living-in-progress.com).

I will also begin working as the Mental Skills Coach for TeamWILD! If you sign up for one of the TeamWILD training camps in Boulder or San Diego…or one of the TeamWILD online training programs to become an endurance athlete, I will be your Mental Skills Coach! At the camps, I’ll be running seminars in person. If you sign-up for an online program, you’ll receive three videos from me over the course of your program.

During 2012, I hope to build my powerlifting strength back up enough to possibly compete next winter, or during the early Spring of 2013. I don’t know yet! My back is feel pretty great but I still can’t train as hard as I used to be able to. Mostly, I’m just grateful and happy to be able to lift heavy again…so when the time comes to compete, I’ll be grateful for that, too! The training is my favorite part.

Like I said, it’s about having fun and enjoying life. I choose how I spend my time. Everything I just talked about in the last few paragraphs are things that absolutely give me energy and make me smile.

Blue-Philo

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Thank you for the fun interview, Ginger!

Ways you can connect with Ginger:

Ginger’s website: http://www.Living-in-Progress.com

Ginger’s YouTube: http://www.YouTube.com/user/GingerVieira

Ginger’s Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/Ginger.Vieira

Ginger’s Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/GingerVieira

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