Fit with Diabetes eBook Review

Fit with Diabetes Recently I was given the privilege of being asked to review Christel Oerum’s new fitness book.  I was both honoured and excited.  My son has been big into fitness since he was in his early teens.  The idea of learning a few tips from this fitness guru that I could share with him led me to open up the book soon after it landed in my inbox!

In keeping with the book‘s fitness theme, I read this book while on my treadmill.  It made me feel slightly better when I saw images of the toned and amazing Christel staring back at me.  I am nowhere near her fitness level but at least I was trying and her book tells you how to do just that…try…and succeed!

Christel offers amazing tips, tricks, and recipes that make you drool!  She shows you how to set achievable smart goals that lead you to your ultimate goal.  Smart goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

From the very beginning, Christel offers great advice like looking at why you are excited about your goal.  She reminds you not to focus on what you don’t like. Don’t focus on being out of shape or carrying around that extra weight but rather how great you are going to feel instead!

Fit with Diabetes also offers valuable, usable tips for people no matter what their fitness level who may be struggling to manage their diabetes care. 

As I said, my son has been big into fitness for years.  There is a huge collection of dumbbells in his room.  He heads over to the gym whenever he can.  I was, therefore, taking a lot of notes when Christel discussed weight training and how different exercises impact blood glucose levels differently. My son had told me something similar.

He saw different bg levels after leg day versus when he had an ab day for example.  Christel tells you how to use this information to your advantage!

One of the things that amazed me the most and made me go “Of course!” was the idea of using the dawn phenomenon to your advantage.  She gives you an effective way to deal with morning spikes through exercise.  You really want to check this out!

As I said,  Fit with Diabetes can easily be your personal trainer if you are not in the position to invest in one just yet.  Christel shows you real examples of how people on pumps and injections are managing their diabetes care while exercising.  She shows you exercises that you can do at home or at a gym and how to put them together into your own personal fitness routine.

I was equally impressed by Christel’s no-nonsense approach to diet and exercise in general.  She never gives you a “diet” to stick to.  She offers suggestions on what a healthy meal should contain.  In Fit with Diabetes, Christel provides formulas and apps for you to use to create the menu plan that fits you! I am the world’s pickiest eater but after looking at some of Christel’s prepared meals, I was drooling!

Finally, Christel reminds us of the reality of weight loss.  Many of us, myself included, get hung up on the numbers. We want our scale to say this weight or that.  Christel promotes a healthy body weight and a positive self-image.  Muscle weighs more than fat.  You may be getting toned and building beautiful muscle without seeing the scale heading the way you expect…and that is okay!

I loved this book. It was easy to read.  The concepts are easy to follow.  I was however starkly reminded how different it is for me to jump on my treadmill with my perfectly functioning pancreas than it is for my son to do the same with his flaked out pancreas.

This book gave me a renewed respect for everyone who is living with diabetes and working to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  It isn’t easy but Christel shows you that it is attainable with a little guidance and dedication!

To purchase your own copy of Christel Oerum’s Fit with Diabetes, you can go to her website at

Christel is a Los Angeles based blogger, certified personal trainer, and diabetes advocate. She has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1997 and at an early stage decided that it wasn’t going to slow her down. Her motto is “There is Nothing You Can’t do With Diabetes”. She writes about how to be Fit With Diabetes on She also coaches people with diabetes from across the globe, online and in person, and supports them in meeting their health and fitness goals.
Christel holds an MBA in Finance & Strategy and an ISSA Personal Trainer certification with specialization in Fitness and Diabetes (Level 3 certified from the Diabetes Motion Academy). You can find her on Facebook  @DiabetesStrong and Instagram @DiabetesStrong_IG /

You can learn about more diabetes-related books here

Exercise and Play…the diabetes way

The next two prompts for Diabetes Awareness Month Photo A Day are exercise and play.  When you live with diabetes, both require special preparations.

Last winter my son decided to begin working on his body.  He “found” exercise in a way that only a teen can.  He picked up the Body Beast exercise videos and began to tone his muscles.  This presented new challenges for us.  We had to learn how to tailor his insulin needs and extra carbohydrates depending on the intensity and length of his workouts.

body beast





Play also presents challenges…We must make sure that a glucometer and glucose are always with him no matter what he is doing.

skidoo day March 5 030 skidoo day March 5 005

Blue Ribbon Day

It may not last so I figured I will celebrate quickly before I am back to posting rants about my son’s apathetic care!

As you may have read in previous posts, my son has been very focused on fitness lately.  This has made things a bit of a struggle diabetes wise but thanks to the good folks at Animas (and a reader) we have a new arsenal of tools to help us figure things out!

Each night before he exercises, we discuss setting a small reduced basal. He actually has tested before his exercise regime the past few days to give himself a clear idea of his potential performance level or if he needs a few more carbs to start his workout.  He then tests after the exercise before downing his small amount of post exercise carbs! Together we have been trying to determine how much to bolus for his after exercise/before bed snack (or meal for the rest of us!) and what sort of a basal pattern to run for the rest of the night dependent on the level of intensity of the workout and bg levels.

I am so excited that he is actually getting involved, paying attention and realizing that good diabetes  health means better exercise performance! This has only been happening for the past week but I feel so much better because we are finally seeing a team effort! There is a lot of relief when he is listening and learning.  We have even been able to have a few discussions on nutrition, fast burning carbs and the use of protein.

Again, being a teen, this may not last so I will bask in this glorious transformation for the few minutes that it lasts! While it lasts though, we will be sitting down tonight to write out what we have done, what sort of results it has given us for the past few days and what we have learned.  I have asked him to use a small notebook so we can get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t or where we may need to tweak. He was fine with that. YES!!! I may soon see my heart explode from the joy this is bringing me!

The total cherry on top of my blue ribbon day? He actually came to the table this morning holding a new site.  He had to have it changed before his final exam.  He didn’t want to be high when he had a science final to write! Yes, you could have knocked me over with a feather! Now, in fairness, my son HATES being high.  He swears it is the worst feeling in the world.  We have also been seeing some pretty tight control over the past week as we deal with exercise so a high this morning probably made him feel less than perfect for sure.  The difference is that he actually did something proactive about it! Yes, the site may have been ready to be changed (like 3 days ago) but please don’t burst my bubble. I will take the positive where I can.

It will soon be summer holidays. He will be away from me for weeks at a time and may chose not to test at all but maybe, just maybe he is learning, growing, and maturing when it comes to his diabetes care–well at least for today!

diabetes victory ribbon

D-Math Muddle

There should be a warning in life to prepare you, some sort of course you could take, or as my son would suggest–an app that would do all of your diabetes related math. I can handle adding up carbs in a meal. I can subtract fiber.  I can even follow the formula for an extended bolus.  I can establish the carb factor for many homemade meals.  Figuring out how much basal my son needs at certain times can however be a nightmare!

Last night he had the brilliant idea of taking off his pump before a workout.  He planned to use the “disconnect” feature which gives him part of his missing basal upfront and then the rest at a specific time so that there is no basal missed when the pump is off. Smart kid! The only problem was he was high before disconnecting.  Do we correct the high? Probably not because he is exercising.  He has a cold.  His body is fighting germs.  Exercise may not be enough to cut it.  The pump of course gave a suggestion for the correction but it hadn’t factored in those two key details.  Mom had no mathematical formula to do this with so my solution? Wing it! Take a smaller correction and hope for the best!

The next question came in the form of how much basal to you deliver before exercising? He figured he would be untether for about 45 minutes but the pump would only allow 50% of the basal rate.  Was he going to need all of his basal rate when he was going to be exercising anyway? Probably not. Where is that calculator that will tell me how much he will burn while exercising to the Body Beast as well as completing his own routine? Oh yeah, its more of the “Mom Guess” formula. Joy!

I assume my guesses did okay.  He was 7 (136) at 3am and woke up at 4(72).  My pancreatic skills sufficed for that round of exercise.  Let’s hope I am as brilliant for today’s battle. Math-problems-