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mySugr Bundle Unboxing and FREE mySugr Giveaway

I have recently made the decision to start using mySugr. They were nice enough to send me a free mySugr Bundle. Below is my unboxing of the Bundle, as well as a FREE Giveaway announcement at the end!

To be eligible for the mySugr Bundle giveaway, simply enter below. You can enter up to 6 different ways and have a total of 9 entries into the contest. The TWO winners will be announced on Tuesday August 21.

 

MySugr Bundle FREE Giveaway

Upcoming Giveaways

The time to be subscribed to my newsletter is definitely right now. I will be doing multiple giveaways over the next month. Here’s a list of current giveaways already scheduled:

  • Real Good Foods
  • MySugr
  • Frio
  • ClimateCase
  • 5 Different Books
  • And More!!

There will also be special coupons that are sent out via the newsletter first.

So sign up below to make sure that you are in the know of when new giveaways are happening.

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What DSMA Means To Me

For those that may not know what DSMA stands for, it is Diabetes Social Media Advocacy. This was something that was created just over 8 years ago at this point by Cherise Shockley. For those of you who do not know who Cherise is, she is the most caring and authentic person you will ever meet. Those that doubt that are just idiots and people who wake up every day looking to be negative.

DSMA Weekly Twitter Chat

DSMA grew into a weekly Twitter chat, every Wednesday at 9pm EST. In 8 years, I don’t know if there’s been a week that’s been missed or not. Today, the chat is still here and is still going strong, if not stronger than ever.

DSMA also became just a hashtag to use outside of the Twitter chat hours. It was used to help connect people. If someone had a question or needed help with something, they simply put the hashtag in their tweet and before you know it, that person had more answers than they could even respond to.

DSMA has been so critical in the way that I manage my diabetes. I have met thousands of people online and hundreds of people in person because of DSMA. It has helped me see different perspectives, different management styles and has allowed me to take part in conversations that I wouldn’t normally take part in out in the real world.

Friendships and Connections

DSMA has created lifelong friendships that I will forever cherish. It’s also allowed me to see some people that I would wish to never speak to ever again.

DSMA has been such a critical part of my life for the last 8 years that I really don’t know where I’d be without it. The connections that are made during DSMA are unbelievable. I’ve been able to take management styles from people that have complete opposite views of me in every other aspect of life, but, they have a unique management tidbit that may have helped me out.

Now, as in anything with life, there’s going to be people who wake up every morning looking for a way to knock people down. I will never understand these people, but Twitter has created an opportunity for people to do this much easier. Every tweet or hashtag usage is just negative. That’s how you know that DSMA is making a real impact. These negative people wouldn’t be wasting their time trying to knock DSMA down if it wasn’t such an amazing thing.

Give It a Shot

DSMA has completely changed my life for the better and I think it can for you as well. So, join tonight by going to Twitter with any device or app you want to use and follow along with the hashtag #dsma

Even if you just lurk and read all the responses, that is fine, but it will be worth your while.

Also, don’t forget that you have 5 different ways, and you can enter with all 5 different ways to win a FREE copy of Mike Lawson’s Open Up Your Bag: a diabetes picture book.

Open Up Your Bag: A Diabetes Picture Book

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Open Up Your Bag: A Diabetes Picture Book Review and Giveaway

There is a new diabetes book making its way around the world and I feel proud to call this person a friend. I’ve known Mike on the interwebs for probably close to 10 years at this point. I’ve only met him a hand full of times in person, but every time that I have, he has been one of the nicest, sincere people that I’ve met.

Mike just so happens to be an incredible doodler. And if doodler isn’t a word, then it is now because that’s what Mike does.

I’ve seen his doodles be used by an entire company as their avatars.

Mike has created the book Open Up Your Diabetes Bag: a diabetes picture book.

This book is filled with Mike’s doodles to help kids learn and understand their diabetes management a little better. You can also head to Mike’s website, DiabetesDoodles.com and download activities so your children can color his doodles!open up your bag diabetes book doodles

The book contains concepts of opening your meter bag, testing your blood sugar, taking your insulin and more. This book is intended for kids and that’s just what I used it for.

I read this book with my daughter multiple times and there’s a page in the book where one of the doodles is taking a shot with an insulin pen and my daughter laughed and said, “daddy that silly penguin is taking a shot like you.”

That comment right there made the minimal investment worth it.

The book is super small so I can’t give too much of a review other than that I back this book up and I highly recommend it for not only a child with diabetes but any parent who has diabetes and wants to explain diabetes management to their child.

via GIPHY

FREE GIVEAWAY ALERT

I’ve asked Mike if I could do a giveaway here and he said absolutely. So, guess what, that’s exactly what we are going to do!

You can enter this giveaway with multiple different actions. The more you do, the more entries you get.

Please see below for the details. The winner will be announced next Tuesday, August 14.

 

Open Up Your Bag: A Diabetes Picture Book

I Need Your Help – Dexcom Sensor Tapes and Tricks

I’ve been using Dexcom for about 6 months now (has it really been that long?). During this time I have been using the Medtronic sensor tape, which I had a lot left over from when I was using the MiniMed 630G and 670G.

I personally think this tape is amazing and I absolutely love it. I’m just unfortunately running out of it and I’m looking for new options. I do believe that they sell the sensor tape individually now, but I always like having multiple options.

My sister-in-law has used a bunch of different brands with my niece’s Dexcom and she has her favorites, but I want to find out all the options out there. Partially for myself, but also so that my niece can have the best possible tapes out there.

So, here’s my call out to the community.

Can you please, please, share this post so that I can get as many responses as possible to find all the different options and hacks people use to keep their Dexcom sensor on.

Thank you in advance.

the diabetes power list

The Diabetes Power List

I’m a big guy list guy. I’ve used every kind of list method out there, but one that has always worked for me is pen and paper.

When I make a to-do list, I draw a circle then put the item next to it and once I complete the task, I color in the circle. I don’t know if this method has a name, but it’s what I was taught by one of my early marketing mentors about 15 years ago.

What is the Diabetes Power List?

Well, the Power List itself is a concept that I learned from the MFCEO, Andy Frisella, and yes the MF stands for exactly what you think it means.

Andy has a very “get shit done” and “win” mentality that I also share, so his content obviously attracted me.

His concept of The Power List is very simple. Every day, write down 5 things that you must do today in order to achieve your goals or be who you want to become. These are not your daily work tasks for that day like, “email John about vacation time” but things that you know you need to do to become a better you. These 5 items are about winning the day. *See end of post to win a FREE copy!

How Do I Use the Power List?

So, what I do is take my goals for the year and break them down into monthly goals and then what do I need to do every day in order to accomplish those goals.

For example, I want to lose 50 pounds in 2018. I’ve gotten a late start because 8 months in and I’m only down 5. Anyway, in order for me to do that I must:

1. Wake up before 7 am

2. Go for a 30 minute walk

3. Eat less than 75g carbs and/or less than 1,800 calories

My other two current items on my Power List are:

4. Make 2 point of contacts

5. Create one piece of content

Those 5 things, if done every single day, will lead me to my financial goal for 2018, my weight loss goal, my education goal (I listen to audiobooks during walk to help me reach my 25 books completed in 2018 goal).

Now that I have the 5 items for the day, I must accomplish them. If I accomplish all of them, I put a W on that day and I won the day. If I did 4 out of 5 or 4.5 out of 5, then I lost.

I don’t like to lose.

The goal is to win every single day. Every day is a challenge or competition and you must win the day.

Create Winning Habits

If you are able to complete the same task 25 days in a row, you can take it off of your Power List because by then, it will become a habit of daily life.

Here’s an example.

creating habits

I’ve never been one to floss (my teeth, not the dance). So, I put “Floss” on my Power List. If I didn’t floss that day, I lost the entire day, no matter how much I accomplished. I dont’ like losing.

So, guess what?

I floss every damn day now because it is a habit by now.

I titled this post the Diabetes Power List because there are certain items on my Power List that are diabetes related, but they are also there to help me become a better person.

For example, the 30 minute walk at 6 am every day was initially to help stop my dawn phenomenon and get some exercise in to be healthy, but it’s done so much more. It’s helped with my mindfulness and stress and has helped me accomplish so much more in the day. I wrote about this recently how walking in the morning has helped lower my stress levels.

Life is a Competition

100-zero scoreboardI know that some of you reading this may be saying to yourself, “life is not a competition, not everything is a competition, it’s ok to lose” and we can just agree to disagree from the beginning.

Life is a competition. If you are not becoming a better person, if you are not becoming better at your job, someone is going to take it from you. If you are not becoming a better parent every day or better spouse every day, then you are losing out on big opportunities.

I live by the 100-0 mentality (also a theme of Andy’s). And that mentality is that I want to crush my competition 100-0 every single time I step on the field.

I’m a big sports guy, so I use sports references a lot.

Diabetes is MY Competition

So, in my daily life, I live with diabetes, I’ve looked at my diabetes in so many different ways over the years. I’ve thought “well I have to live with it, so I will play nice with it” and “ughh, I hate diabetes” and “well I have to embrace it and love it”.

Well, none of those have worked.

I wake up and go to bed seeing diabetes as my competition.

Either I am going to win the day.

Or diabetes is going to win the day.

I plan on winning every day

And a lot of days ahead.

Want to win a copy of The Power List? Sign up for the newsletter below to stay in the know of all the giveaways I do. Instructions on how to win your copy of The Power List will be sent out via newsletter first!

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How Entrepreneurship Saved my Diabetes Management

As many of you may, or may not, know, I own my own business(es). I first started my own business back in 2009, but still worked full-time and just ran the business at night. During this time, I was not sleeping a lot. I worked until about 2 am and then woke up at 7 am to go back to my day time job.

During this time, I was hustling my ass off to grow my business on the side, while keeping my day time job. The day time job was important for two reasons.

First, I needed the money.

Second, I needed the health insurance.

This was back in 2009, so this was back in the day when pre-existing conditions were an automatic denial.

I wasn’t sleeping well at that time. I wasn’t eating healthy at that time. But I was hustling and growing a business and at that time, that’s all that mattered to me.

Fast-forward almost 10 years, I am still running that same business. It’s changed a bit, but not much. I own and operate an SEO and Social Media Management agency.

I also help my wife in running her Etsy business (soon to not call it an Etsy business, because we are launching our own site and adding more categories).

I also run an eBay / Amazon re-sellers business that takes up most of my weekend time.

Why am I talking about all of this?

Well, I made the decision a long time ago that I wanted to own my own business. I wanted this so that I am in control of my own income, my own future, and most importantly in control of my own time.

Time is the most valuable thing in this world and it’s something that we can’t buy more of or return and get back.

Entrepreneurship has allowed me to use my time how I see fit.

This is not only important for my family, but also for my diabetes.

In the last decade, I could schedule doctor appointments whenever I wanted. I could change an infusion set or a CGM sensor whenever I wanted. I could go exercise at any time that I wanted. I could eat lunch whenever I wanted.

I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

This is important to me. This has helped me manage my diabetes because I can take breaks when needed, I can be flexible on my appointment times, and I can also take the time to make a lunch during the middle of the day and prepare a healthy snack.

Now, listen, I know you can do that all when you work for someone else and work in an office or a typical 9-5.

However, when I was working a 9-5, I didn’t do those things. I ate out all the time. I didn’t exercise. I didn’t drink water.

Entrepreneurship has done wonders for my diabetes management.

I was always scared that I could never be an entrepreneur because of having diabetes. I thought that needing insurance would hold me back.

Well, it hasn’t and I’ve been able to do this for nearly a decade and I don’t plan on stopping here!

If you want to hear more about diabetes, entrepreneurship and the combo of both which I call my life, then subscribe to the Type One Entrepreneur Podcast. I tested the waters with this podcast earlier in the year, but I’m going all in on it. The scheduled re-launch date is August 13.

morning walks lower stress levels

Why Walking in the Morning Has Lowered my Stress Levels

I have never been someone who could wake up early and exercise. When I wake up, I am always dehydrated. This could be from:

  1. Having higher blood sugars all night long
  2. Going to the bathroom a bunch throughout the night

Going to the bathroom a bunch throughout the night, may not actually be related to the high blood sugars throughout the night. A lot of the time, this is because I drink coffee at night or iced tea or water at night which makes me having to use the bathroom a bunch during the night.

Then, when I wake up in the morning, my muscles are cramped and I’m not able to go to the gym or workout.

Well, I’ve been making changes to this and so far, I absolutely love it.

I’ve been waking up at 6 am and going for a 1.5 mile walk in the morning. The pace is slow to moderate. It’s not just for the exercise, but it’s also a mind clearing and stress relieving walk as well.  I am able to just walk by myself, while the sun is coming up and be able to clear my mind and think about being in the moment of nature and breathe in the beautiful air and think about where I want my life to be and what are the things that I need to do to get there.

I am big on mindfulness and visualizing my goals and my life. I do this while I am walking and also at night before I go to bed.

How to Fix Dawn Phenomenon

Another reason for walking in the morning was to try and stop the morning spikes that my blood sugars do to me every single morning. As soon as I wake up and roll out of bed, the Dexcom graph and arrows just start to go up.

I thought that maybe by walking early in the morning, that this would help bring down these spikes (you know, because exercise is supposed to help reverse your diabetes).

Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case. My blood sugars continue to spike and actually end up going up a little more afterwards. I’ve been having to still take insulin as soon as I get back and correct. I’ve yet to correct before going on the walk because I don’t want to carry more things with me during my walk.

Even though the morning walks haven’t fixed my dawn phenomenon, they have definitely helped lower my stress levels and have made me more alert during the rest of the day and become much more productive.

I will continue to try and test different ways to help fix the dawn phenomenon and get rid of these morning spikes.

Pre-Bolusing for the Win

I have been trying many different ways to better manage my diabetes. I have written about setting much lower targets for my Dexcom (170 as the high). This is because I want to have an A1C below 6.0. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, save the “A1C doesn’t matter”, no, it’s not the only thing that matters, but it is a way to see how well I did the past 90 days.

The other thing that I have been doing is actually trying really hard to pre-bolus. As I just wrote that sentence, I was about to edit it to get rid of the “trying really hard”, but I decided to keep it in. I’ve never seen Star Wars or Star Trek or whatever it is that Yoda says something like, “There is no try, only do”

I don’t know the background of that phrase, but I have heard it a lot. And I love it.

There is no “trying to do” something. You just do it or you don’t. You may not do it well, or you may not do it all the time, but you just need to do it.

That’s the route I have taken with pre-bolusing.

I’ve always had every excuse in the book.

“I’m too busy, I don’t know when I’m going to eat”

“My schedule is hectic, eating is never planned”

“Blah, blah, blah, blah, BS, blah, blah”

I do work a lot and I have a very hectic schedule. Managing Type 1 Diabetes, owning 3 companies and actively managing them takes up a lot of time. Luckily, my wife has taken over the cooking dinner duties and she gives me a 10-15 minute heads up. This has helped a lot.

When she gives me the heads up and tells me what’s for dinner, I can plan ahead and pre-bolus.

When I go to restaurants, I never knew how much I would be eating. I would eat mine, then my wife’s leftovers and maybe some of the kids, plus the appetizer, and maybe get dessert. So, a lot of the time, I would just eat and then take a crap load of insulin later. This would obviously create a massive spike and create a high blood sugar that took hours to bring back down.

Now, when I go to a restaurant, I look at the menu and order and then go take a shot, either at the table or in the bathroom.

Pre-bolusing has really allowed me to cut down on the after meal spikes. They are still there, but instead of shooting up into the 300s, I may only go up to 200. That is a huge win for me. I spend so much time out of range because of the huge spike after a meal and how long it takes for me to get back into range.

My daily graphs always include a spike, a drop, a spike, then a drop. Very rarely are my graphs just straight. My time in range currently is spent either climbing high or dropping low.

What made me really start pre-bolusing and making it a habit is a conversation I had with Scott Benner, who you may all know as Arden’s Dad or from The Juicebox Podcast. He had said to me (this is not an exact quote because I have horrible memory. I will reach out to Scott and ask for an exact quote),

“Yes, your diabetes may vary, but there are fundamental concepts that exists for all people with diabetes. Pre-bolusing just works.”

And I thought to myself, ya know what, that is right. There’s a reason you are told to pre-bolus and take your insulin 10, 15, 20 minutes before eating. It takes time to work.

This is also one reason why I was a huge fan of Fiasp and hope to go back on it once my insurance decides to cover it.

Well, that’s all for this topic. Pre-bolusing has done wonders for me. It was not something that I took seriously and since I have, it’s been a two-thumbs up for me.

Going to the Pool with a Dexcom Arm Site

Last week I went to the pool for the first time with a Dexcom arm site. This is actually the first time that I’ve gone to the pool with a Dexcom in any site.

I wasn’t really concerned about people seeing the Dexcom in my arm and being freaked out about being in the water with me while wearing it. I’m not going to lie, there are times that I get freaked out when I see people with scabs and band-aids and bandages on while in the pool. Frankly, I don’t know why they have those bandages, so I don’t know what could be getting passed in the pool.

My biggest fear was that it was going to fall off while I was swimming and that I wouldn’t feel it and then my transmitter would be lost and that would not be good.

Neither of those things happened.

I was happy to be wearing my CGM while in the pool because the pool typically drops my blood sugar quite quickly. I wasn’t doing any strenuous swimming, it was more just following my daughter around in the kid section and getting a few moments to dip my head under the water.

Blood sugar stayed pretty steady, but it’s great to be able to know that real time.

I was also very happy with the sensor tape that held up. There were no issues with it peeling or coming off at all.

In fact, that was day number 10 or 11 and it was still holding on tight.

All-in-all, it was a great first experience wearing my Dexcom to the pool and it was even better with it being on my arm.