March 06, 2023
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Welcome to Faces of Bezzy, a series spotlighting members of the Bezzy community. There’s nothing like hearing and learning from others who’ve walked in your shoes. Chat with other community members, learn something new, or maybe even make a lifelong friend.
I get up at 5 a.m., take a reading on my blood sugars, and depending on what the blood sugars are, I either meditate or go for a walk. If my fasting blood sugar (FBS) is above 130 mg/dL, then I usually drink 16 to 24 oz. of lemon water and go for a 15- to 20-minute walk.
If my FBS is in range (70–130 mg/dL), I write in my gratitude journal and meditate. Sometimes I use the app Calm to help me get into the meditation space. Meditation calms me and lets me focus on the day.
If I’m fasting, I don’t eat until 11 a.m., but if I’m not fasting, I have breakfast at 8 a.m. and while I’m eating breakfast I check the Bezzy app to see what’s been posted, and if there’s anybody I can help.
The rest of the day is split up between reading, writing, and volunteering for Bezzy T2D, my homeowners’ association, and my spiritual community. I do conference calls frequently with my remaining clients (I retired and tried to pass them on, but they like me!), with the property manager of the homeowners association, and with family and friends who live all over the world.
I also take online classes in finance, exercise, culture, education, and religion from Mindvalley.com and my spiritual community.
One, I spoke with a dietitian. When I met with the dietitian and discussed what I liked to eat, she said I was basically following a Mediterranean diet. She suggested that I reduce my red meat intake and eat more fish. I was eating a lot of lamb. Now, during the weekdays, I basically follow a schedule of fish 2 nights, meat 1 night a week, and all vegetables 2 nights a week.
In terms of exercise, it was just to start walking. In winter the temperatures are really cold up here, and when it rains, the hill I live on becomes like an ice skating rink. So now I have an indoor rower, what’s called an erg [ergometer], and it’s really good because I row when I’m watching the news.
Bypassing my favorite foods and going with friends for dinner or lunch and saying, “You know, there’s nothing really I can eat here. Can we choose another restaurant?” That’s the most challenging.
Nowadays, journaling. I keep a gratitude journal. I write down three things I’m grateful for every day. Also, I have an extensive practice of meditation. I meditate in the morning and I meditate in the evening.
I’m kind of lucky because my family is well-versed in diabetes. My brother has diabetes and my father had it as well.
In my friend circle, several of them have diabetes, so we kind of all understand. But the question that always comes up with other mutual friends is, “You don’t do insulin. Why does he do insulin?” I have to explain that not everybody needs to take insulin.
See a dietitian. Develop an exercise routine. And if you don’t know how to cook, learn to cook, so you’re cooking at home.
Fortunately, my family was in the restaurant business, so I learned to cook.
When the insulin cap legislation passed last year, I wrote a number of letters and called my state reps and said, “You know, we really need to get this handled because my brother’s insulin bill, if he didn’t have insurance, would have been $8,000 a month.” That’s ridiculous when I know it really costs very little to make.
It gives me a sense of community, a sense of belonging. I’m an ambassador with type 2 diabetes and I’m also a member of the Bezzy psoriasis group because a side benefit of diabetes is I just got diagnosed with psoriasis. It’s been very helpful to find out answers to questions like, “Now what are some of my psoriasis triggers?”
I’ve met a lot of people through Bezzy. Sometimes we chat on the platform. Sometimes we DM each other using the messaging app, and occasionally a couple of friends will directly email each other because we know what each other likes.
For example, one of the other Bezzy members is a retired nurse. She does research in a specific area, and every once in a while, I’ll pass along an article that she might like because I read scientific journals.
I think I’ve made a great connection with Mila Clarke, who is our guide. Because I cook and create different recipes and she has her own blog separately, I’ll send her recipes. I’ll say, “Hey, here’s a recipe — you might try it; you might want a variation. Here’s the source I originally stole it from, and this is what I do.” And she’ll come back and say “That’s a great idea. I’ll give it a try.”
Recently, I was craving apple pie, so I made “Apple Pie Oats Breakfast” and posted the recipe.
I regularly post my own recipes or those from other blogs, and I also compiled a list of recipe blogs and websites that community members can reference. We pinned this list to the top of the Diet and Nutrition forum.
There are lots of sources out there for research. I basically have a list of 15 resources I constantly go back to. Sometimes if there’s a question that somebody asks in the Bezzy forums, and I have no clue what the answer is, I’ll go out to one of the other diabetes organizations for recommendations. Then I’ll give the person those recommendations. For more information, I’ll give them the source I pulled it from so they can go check it out themselves.
I often provide Bezzy members with the basic steps that I’ve used to control my blood sugar or refer them to Healthline articles for more information. I’ve received thanks from several new community members.
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