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My photos for the taking: Inspirational type 1 diabetes art

Save, share, it’s yours for the taking.

I love taking photos and using all kinds of apps to make type 1 diabetes art on Instagram.

Here’s a few of the latest below.

If you’d like to request a specific phrase, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to create it for you. I have one stipulation- it must be a positive message.

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Happy National Diabetes Awareness Month!

xo

J

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3 tips for your first marathon with type 1 diabetes

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 2 years and 3 months since diagnosis.

5 weeks into a 16 week training program for the Disney Marathon. My first. Race date? January 2014.

Here are 3 tips that have really helped me in tackling this distance so far. Share with me your advice :)

1.

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We have soccer, crossfit, and swim coaches…running should be no different. When you step out of leisure running and want to complete distances like the half or full marathon, I strongly suggest hiring a coach. You don’t have to shell out big bucks either. Work out a barter system with someone or negotiate a deal.

For me, I hired a coach who is a good friend of mine. We worked out a great system where we both helped each other out with the skills we have. This will be one of the best investments you make into your running. She knows my personality, the challenges I face with t1d and all my other health challenges that come into play.

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Type 1 author/speaker and good friend Shawn Shepheard once told me, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

In training. In career. In life.

Be ruthless. Make sure that those around you are supporting your goals (whether it be a marathon or something else). Good people motivate, inspire and keep you accountable.

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Nailed a run with smooth bg’s? Finished a great workout when you really didn’t feel like hitting the gym?

Maybe you passed a certain mileage point or hit a PR.

It’s important to treat yourself for the mini milestones but also just for taking part in the process altogether. We all know t1d is unpredictable. You’re a star.

Happy running!

 

 

Fly like an eagle..

What a difference a year makes: Connected in Motion’s Trampoline Dodgeball Tournament 2014

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Last year I showed up to Connected in Motion’s trampoline dodgeball tournament scared and alone.

It was my first active event with CIM and I was beyond nervous. You can read my blog on that day here.

This time around was so different. It was a chance to see my amazing friends, but it was also a reminder of what a difference a year makes.

So many CIM events in between and friendships made and grown. More acceptance. More empowerment. More strength. Without Connected in Motion, I really don’t know where I’d be in this journey. I cannot thank you guys enough-from the people who run the show to the volunteers and all its members.

Special thank you to Amy & Steph-dodgeball organizers :)

Here are the photos from this weekend’s tournament-another one in the books!

 

 

Opinion: Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an adult

My diagnosis smoothie is a not-so-healthy mix of guilt, frustration and…wait for it..an additional hit of more guilt.

At the last JDRF adult support group meeting I attended we got into the topic of what it’s like to be diagnosed as an adult. I was pointed out by one of the organization’s reps as someone who was diagnosed much later in life (29).

I was happy to share my thoughts on the issue, but more importantly, incredibly thrilled that someone else in the room was able to chime in with me in feeling the same.

JDRF in the exhibit hall.

JDRF in the exhibit hall.

Guilt: I haven’t lived with type 1 diabetes for very long. I’ve passed my two year mark but that’s it. The majority of t1d’s were diagnosed so much earlier in life. What right do I have to complain when I lived such a huge portion of my life free from the worries this disease brings?

I’m hyper aware of this fact and so when I’m around other type 1’s or even people who are curious about what it’s like to live with t1d, I watch myself carefully. I don’t ever want others to feel like I’m not acknowledging their long struggle with this autoimmune disease.

I’ve been through my fair share of struggle, heartache and pain. This did not happen to me at a time when I was still growing. Why can’t I get this down? Why do I feel so incredibly helpless at times? I have often felt guilty for feeling this way, not for myself, but for the loved ones around me who feel the ripples of t1d.

Frustration: Trying to explain t1d and that I was diagnosed at 29 can be a pain. As an adult, coupled with the misconceptions about the disease, I feel (FEEL, not that it’s in any way reality) like there is a judgement put on me when I proclaim I am diabetic.

“She must not have taken care of herself.”

For me- I equate the above statement with being lazy about my health. I know that’s not the case, but for some reason I cringe to even think that the word ‘lazy’ can be associated with me. I’m a self-confessed workaholic (but I’m getting better). Prior to being diagnosed I was the girl who stayed late at the office and checked her e-mails in the middle of the night. It has been incredibly difficult to own my disease because of my Type A, work-work-work mentality I have carried with me for many years.

A little more guilt: I know there are people in this world praying for food, water, the end to violence. I live in a place where I have access to insulin, doctors and amazing organizations like Connected in Motion. In the grand scheme of things, I know I have it good. I am free to live how I want, pursue my dreams and have the hope of a long life ahead of me. There’s a tinge of guilt for me when t1d gets me down and I complain or make note of my annoyance.

I left that meeting feeling a lot better about being diagnosed much later in life. I always knew it, but this time I felt it- I was not alone in my thoughts and emotions.

Irregardless of what struggle you face (a disease, a troubled relationship, a career dilemma) it always feels good to know you don’t walk the path solo. Others have prevailed and so will you.

DSMA Blue Fridays- the dress with all the detail

I hit the jackpot with this dress. Sequence, beading, more beading, gold? Oh my!

I show you guys an outfit at the end of each week for Blue Fridays.

Sport any kind of blue on…well…Fridays to show your support for those affected by diabetes.

 

Show me your blue outfit pics, hashtag it #BlueFridays and share!

Happy Friday,

Jess

From start to finish

150km + with type 1 diabetes. The MS Bike Tour from London to Grand Bend wrap-up

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“Nice behind. Hey I can say that without getting into trouble!”

I heard that more than once with my fake and dimply plastic butt attached to well… my real butt.

Team name: Butt Ugly (get it?)

Event: MS Bike Tour from Grand Bend to London, Ontario, Canada  (in support of Multiple Sclerosis)

Distance: around 160 km total. 85 km on day 1, 75km on day 2.

Accentuating the positives

  • Learned more about MS, how it changes people’s lives and why it’s such a worthy cause to support.
  • Re-discovered that my parent’s friend lives with MS. Although I cannot remember what she looks like, I thought of her often during the ride and it pushed me through some tough spots.
  • Successfully completed the tour feeling happy & confident.
  • No lows (for me this is a big deal as I’ve been battling lows while training for a while).
  • Somehow I managed to stay in between 4-8ish (mmol) for the entire two days. This is in large part due to the well-spaced rest stops which provided ample food & drinks of all sorts. At almost every stop I filled up on Gatorade to sip slowly as I rode, ate PB & J sandwiches and wraps.
  • Hydration win. I drank ample water and other liquids. When the weather isn’t super sunny I find it easy to slip on continually rehydrating. This time around I really made it a priority and it helped.

Lessons learned & other notes

  • Train. This season has been severely disorganized and 100 per cent my fault. Next year I will be more prepared, and will do back to back training rides so I’ll be in better form. I did one 100km bike ride (my longest distance prior to event day) and that was about it. Definitely not enough.
  • Test often. Each day I tested about 15-20 times. I’m glad I poked as much as I did because my bg’s would have been very low had I not remedied the situation.
  • Near bedtime I was around 4mmol so I drank an entire can of pop (not recommended) and I ended up floating around 6 or 7. It was a really weird experience and it made me realize just how badly my bg’s dip when doing long distance.

And the most important victory…

I tested my bg’s while riding! Last year I kept trying and with no success. I would either fall, the test strip would fly somewhere or my meter would be on the road.

While riding with my friend I told her, “I’m going to try, I’m determined to do this.” With a little sweat I pulled it off and we celebrated together. It’s amazing to have such supportive friends.

After day 2 of the ride I still lowered my insulin levels by about 50% but by the day after that, I was back to normal.

Here’s what one of our teammates did to her bike. She arrived before us and we found her bike sound asleep by the time we got in.

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A big congrats to fellow t1d athlete Stephanie Brodie who also took part in the event! I had no idea she was there until after the fact. There’s also a great Connected in Motion indoor spin event that will be led by Stephanie, a certified RPM instructor.

It’s good to be back and if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask.

J

 

 

Seen on my run after my NTC class.

How do diabetics work in the diabetes field?

As many of you know, I am on a bit of a hiatus from this site and all social media outlets related to t1dactiveliving.

Firstly, thank you for all of your encouraging messages. They have been so wonderful to read and hear in person.

This time has been the most beneficial for me in terms of my sanity. Overwhelmed, stressed, over-worked. It was getting ugly.

I popped in from time to time to see what was happening but for the most part, I have been in my blissful world of relaxation.

Revelations from my time away

Most diabetics who do some type of work in the diabetes field (whether it be for a diabetes publication, dblog, drug or pump company) do need time apart and burn out.

I felt very alone and guilty for taking time away, but I was quickly greeted by others out there telling me that they’ve been there too. Maybe some of them can’t say how draining it can be to be immersed in diabetes for so much of the day (talking about it, reading about it etc.) but I can.

It’s so liberating to be able to write whatever I want on this blog, so I will say this: It is damn hard to be diabetic and work in the diabetes field.

My belief

If you don’t find it difficult at all, you are in denial or don’t really see how much of yourself that you sacrifice. Maybe it’s a job that pays well, a passion for advocacy in some way or something else. Either way, it takes something out of you.

No matter what your reason for working in the diabetes field, you give a part of yourself.

To all those that do what you do…thank you. It takes skill, will power and strength to keep going day after day, on top of everything else.

Lots of love,

J