Q.Age – 34
Q. Where are you from? –
Midland, Texas, USA
Q. What do you do with your time? (Job, Pastimes, Family life etc.) –
Petroleum Landman by trade. Along the lines of an attorney that interprets transfers of property. I’ve been married 10 years in June 2017, and have 1 daughter who is 8. I have also been competing in powerlifter and strongman for the last 8 years.
Q. Tell us about your diagnosis? How did you know something was wrong?
I was diagnosed at age 4 so I don’t remember a whole lot about it. I know that I had presented with extreme thirst and frequent urination, so my parents took me to the ER. My blood sugar tested at 880. I was apparently in a bad state with DKA because I can remember the doctor telling my parents to go in and say their goodbyes to me. But, as you can tell, death was not in the cards for me that day. I did spend 2 weeks in a coma but came out of it, thus beginning my journey of life with type 1.
Q. Pens or Pump? Any preference?
Pens. After a short stint with a pump, I found that I have better control with multiple daily injections.
Q. How often do you check your blood glucose?
I use a continuous glucose monitor and also check 6 times daily.
Q. Recent A1C?
Q. How often do you train?
Three to five times weekly, depending on where I am in relation to a contest.
Q. What is your daily calorie and macro breakdown?
2400 calories- 210g protein, 210g carbs, 53g fat.
Q. What food do you love, but messes with your blood sugar the most?
I have a big weakness for pizza, but the high carb AND fat content makes it a real struggle for about the next 6 hours when I enjoy a medium pizza to myself.
Q. Have you any body composition or performance goals over the next 12 months?
I’m coming off of a couple of injuries, so strength goals are going on the back burner in an effort to get healthy. In the meantime I’ll be looking to drop about 20lbs (10-ish kg) and bring up some lagging body parts, such as triceps and hamstrings.
Q. 3 Things diabetes has taught you in life?
To realize that some things are just transient points, whether it’s a current body fat level, a grade in school, or an errant high blood sugar, it’s best to just consider these things data points that can be changed or improved without being snapshots of who I am as a person.
Perseverance – while being a strength athlete in and of itself, being a strength athlete with an autoimmune disease presents its own set of challenges.
That sometimes being an inspiration to others doesn’t require grandiose feats. Just showing that I can compete on the same field as other non-diabetics shows my fellow type ones they can accomplish anything they want as well.
Q. Top 3 tips for managing diabetes?
Consistency is key. Testing, eating, and exercising at the same times every day makes it easier to see trends and make changes to improve control.
Resistance training is probably the single greatest tool in your arsenal to improve insulin resistance and allow for long-term health.
Having a group of type 1 peers to pull from and ask questions of can be an invaluable resource. We all have the same issues and so someone may have figured out a method that I haven’t tried that will eliminate my current problem.
Q. Biggest fitness myth dispelled?
That insulin causes weight gain. It’s very popular myth in the type 1 world and causes a lot of fear among the community. I try to explain to people that any fat loss or weight gain follows this order of importance, calories > macronutrients > micronutrients.
Q. What is the single best piece of mind-set advice you could give someone who’s been newly diagnosed with diabetes?
The disease does not define who you are as a person. I always tell people I am a strongman who has diabetes, not a diabetic strongman. That might seem like a minute detail but in my mind it is a huge distinction. I get to define myself as whatever I see fit. Strongman, father, husband, not the errant blood sugars or bad A1C’s. Those things are not reflections of who I am as a person.