Facing Down a Diabetes Diagnosis
Outdoor gal Lisa Seamen, from Summit County, CO, couldn’t agree more. In fact, she has made it her job to lead an empowered diabetic lifestyle. “All someone had to tell me was, ‘you can’t’ and I say, ‘well, let me show you I can,’” says Seamen, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1999 at age 20.
Seaman, who says she admits to originally thinking support groups “were for sissies,” joined a group through Mountains for Active Diabetics, a group of diabetic outdoor enthusiasts where she is able to combine her love for being outside with her life as a professional photographer.
“Your lifestyle doesn’t have to be compromised to accommodate diabetes. You just have to have the tools to make diabetes fit into your lifestyle,” says Seamen.
Living with Diabetes
The hard part about any life-long diagnosis is that it is difficult to get a clear picture of what your future holds. One thing that any successful diabetic or diabetes expert will tell you is that with proper care, life with diabetes can be fulfilling.
Sheri Colberg-Ochs, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and the author of The 7 Step Diabetes Fitness Plan: Living Well with Diabetes, says her own diagnosis with type 1 diabetes taught her how to help others live through the disease.
“You really have to take charge of your condition and own it,” says Colberg-Ochs. “You have to say, ‘I am going to make the most of my life and take charge of it.’”
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can never have a sweet treat again or that you’re automatically going to lose a limb or your eyesight. Help your body help itself with diet, regular exercise and a commitment to not letting diabetes take anything away from your daily enjoyment of life.