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Real Talk With Dave: The Power of Social Media In Bringing Type 1 Diabetics Together

I’ve started my journey on social media as a Type 1 Diabetic back in 2014 when the idea of social media was just beginning to pick up. Since then, I have noticed a huge growth in support, awareness, and a building community develop right before my eyes. Being a T1D, I go through things that many non-Diabetics simply do not understand or are unable to relate with. Social media, however, has opened up that awkward space, allowing Diabetics to find other Diabetics going through the EXACT same thing.

I can honestly say that I was in a dark spot in my life right before I created my Diabetic-based Instagram page and shortly after creating @type1livabetic, I saw how many people began to visit my page, Diabetic or not, and they all were someone who seemed to have a familiar idea about T1D. It makes a huge difference when your audience actually knows what you are talking about. As we are being completely real here, I want to share how important social media has been to me thus far and how it can be just as important to you as well.

The amount of support and care that others can provide online, simply by sending a quick message or commenting on a post can play such an important part in our lives, more that one can imagine.

The Diabetic community, as sad as it may seem, is growing quite rapidly, but that just means that there are more and more people each day who are out there, sharing what they go through, looking for support, and being a shoulder to cry on during some of the worst days possible. That being said, there is a large community out there just waiting to help out and lend a hand as Type 1 Diabetes is no joke and is very real. When I have a rough day, I simply put out content when I feel like I need relief and support and in return, I get some of the kindest responses. Those are the moments in my Diabetic life in which I feel like I can continue and push through that rough spot.

To me, social media is about allowing for creativity and our own unique space in which we can share our style and personality with others. I love prepping my posts where I apply my own unique creativity and do designs, lettering, and illustrations on my photos, hoping to excite the viewer and show them that Diabetes can be fun, regardless of what it has to throw our way. Social media was designed to give people a purpose and a platform in which they can connect and share openly with one another things that interest them. Having a group of people in the Diabetic community staying loyal and true to what really goes down in their lives allows for more people to be inspired and share.

The bottom line is that having a space to feel comfortable in talking about something so huge (Diabetes) is so important to an individual. Now a days, really young people are joining the social media game and it is important that they find the support that they may be looking for. Some days I even forget that I have T1D, simply because I have a huge online support group that keeps me going and is cheering me on, allowing me to feel inspired and positive that I can continue to take on this disease, one day at a time.

Beating Those Lazy Days

Friends, it has been weeks since we made our New Year’s resolutions. How can we motivate ourselves to stick to our plans for healthier and happier selves? We know that exercise is good, but also how easy and comfortable it becomes to slack off burning the fat off.

As the saying goes, When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. We’ll break own the three pillars to gym motivation for when being lazy seems so easy: Why you shouldn’t skip the gym, How you can avoid skipping the gym, and You missed the gym…now What.

Why you shouldn’t

Gyms across the country have the slogan “You’ll never say, I wish I hadn’t worked out today” across their walls. Why? Because it’s 100% accurate. You may not appreciate the soreness, or you may feel fatigued later on in the evening, but in a world filled with guilty temptations, one thing about your day that you’ll never regret is that you spent time improving your fitness.

It’s February. Before you know it, you’ll be trading winter coats and boots for bathing suits and sandals. Put the work in now, future you (the one catching rays by the pool) will thank you.

When you work out, you feel more confident. When you skip the gym, you feel more self-conscious. It’s simple. You can’t put price tags on confidence and positive feeling about yourself. Working out is also known to relieve stress and release endorphins. If you care about how you feel, then you know you have to keep a regular workout regimen.

We live in a social media dominated world. Whether it’s a celebrity favorite or your neighbor down the block, you can count on being subjected to photo evidence that other people are working out. A healthy lifestyle is a personal journey, but boy does it brighten your day when you know you too are putting in work at the gym.

Physically speaking, working out has far more benefits than just helping you to look good; but it can actually help regulate your sleep cycle. When you skip the gym, you’ll feel tired and sluggish all day and then wide awake and restless at night. This is easily one of the most annoying phenomenons your body will subject itself too, and the fatigue will negatively affect the productivity of your work week.

Are you worried about food cravings? Do you want to eat a little dessert guilt free? Well when you work out, it’s easier to eat healthier. You feel accomplished about your day’s work and the mindset you have when you return home is to keep the good habits rolling. Also, when you weight train or interval train your body feeds off calories hours after you’ve completed your workout. So if you so please, you can consume a few more calories than if you chose not to work out, without worrying about fat gains.

Remember, if you aren’t getting better, you’re getting worse

How you can avoid it

Now that you have plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t miss the gym, here’s a few tips on actually making it out there:

Your pilgrimage to the gym doesn’t have to be alone. Willpower is much stronger when you have a gym buddy there for support in solidarity. Join a group, carpool, set appointments with friends, whatever is necessary to get you in the room. It still counts if you are only there to not look bad in front of a judging peer.

Take the time to plan out a schedule. Whether it is what you actually want to accomplish in the gym on that day, or when you can make it, it is much easier to stick to a well organized plan. Improvisation is akin to procrastination.

You know what really boosts your motivation? Activities that you actually enjoy. 45 minute treadmill sessions aren’t for everyone. Join a recreational basketball or dodgeball league and get those competitive juices flowing.

Rats… You did miss the gym. Well now what?

So despite my words of wisdom and impeccable advice you still couldn’t make it out the gym. Never fear, here’s a few tips on what to do now:

Don’t overeat, feel yourself getting full. You should drink lots of water and other non sugary fluids throughout the day to mitigate your appetite. You shouldn’t hit 1000 extra calories on top of already missing the gym.

Take the stairs, take a walk around the neighborhood, or run all those errands you have been putting off for some time. It may not be the hour long sweat-tacular , muscle crunching workout you had hoped for, but the day does not have to necessarily be lost.

Take some time to analyze the day and see what happened. Be true with yourself on what caused you to miss on a promise you made to yourself. Was it a party the night before? Improper planning? Work to get better or plan ahead to ensure you won’t miss many more workout days again.

Last but not least, get ready to hop back on your bicycle go again the next day. You lost the battle, not the war.

You can do this, I believe in you.

Invest In Yourself with Lyfebulb

Lyfebulb only launched a few months ago, but it had been a dream of mine for many years prior. I have always wanted to make an impact, to go against the norm and embrace innovation and new ideas to find solutions to difficult problems. Growing up, I enjoyed learning and being active more than anything. I excelled both in sports and in school. But above all, I was notoriously gleeful, — very few things seemed to make me sad. I had the unconditional love and support from my family. I believe that all of this helped me later in life, but a few things have changed dramatically – one being my confidence in myself and the other, my belief in happy endings.

I am still an optimistic person, in fact, some people would even argue I am too enthusiastic at times. I tend to see the glass half-full and to perceive obstacles as opportunities rather than hurdles. I thrive on socializing and working with interesting characters. Very few things make me happier, or give me more energy, than being surrounded by smart and dedicated people. I love debates and I encourage questions. It stimulates my mind and gives me a reason to go on. When I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1989 as a 16 year old with no previous “defects” or real defeats, I lost my belief in God and my belief to a certain extent in my parents’ ability to fix everything. I had already realized that my parents were not invincible (I beat them both in tennis, running, etc.), but I still thought they could keep me healthy and happy. Though Diabetes took that away from me; it gave me another reason to fight – not only to show to the world I was stronger and smarter, but also that I was a survivor.

This is what “invest in your own disease” is about. There is no one out there who can innovate, develop, fight, engage, analyze, or finance better than the ones who struggle with the actual condition every single day. I live this principle each day, and have throughout my career as a medical scientist, specializing in diabetes, and then working in the biopharmaceutical industry as both an investor as well as an executive, financing and developing product for people with diabetes and other diseases.

Lyfebulb aims to create a community for these people, to allow for them to engage in our four different divisions:

1: Lyfebulb Social Club for informal gatherings at great restaurants, where people can learn about a new technology or from each other, over small bites and cocktails.

2: Lyfebulb Impact for early-stage investments into companies or entrepreneurs that potentially could make a practical difference to people living with Diabetes, Celiac or Crohn’s/Colitis.

3: Lyfebulb Boutique for access to consumer products simplifying and improving daily life from a health and wellness perspective.

4: Lyfebulb Digital for online access through our social media, website and blog.

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