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Dr. Sheri Colberg – Living First, Being Diabetic Second

Dr. Sheri Colberg

Dr. Sheri Colberg – Living First, Being Diabetic Second

Dr. Sheri Colberg is an exercise physiologist and a professor at Old Dominion University. She is the author of 8 books and over 250 articles exercise, diabetes, healthy lifestyles, fitness, nutrition, aging, weight loss, diabetic Latinos, and other wellness topics.

AKR: Dr. Colberg you were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when you were four years old. What is it and how did you get it?

Dr. Colberg:  Please call me Sheri. Type 1 diabetesis an immune system disorder that wipes out the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Without adequate amounts of insulin, the body cannot properly use glucose — our blood sugar — that our cells use for energy. Type 2 diabetes is more common. It occurs when our bodies don’t make enough insulin to overcome our cells’ resistance to using it (that is, our insulin resistance).

AKR:   How did you overcome your diabetes to become an athlete, researcher, and college professor?

Dr. Colberg: I was diagnosed at such an early age that diabetes has been part of my life. The secret to my success is to live life first and be diabetic second.It has presented obstacles, but I have always made the attempt to overcome them by managing my diabetes effectively.

AKR: Didn’t you have a difficult childhood without all of the sweets and goodies?

Dr. Colberg: In many ways it was a blessing in disguise since my parents and older brother adopted the diet that was recommended at that time time — which included a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, lots of vegetables and fruits, and very limited intake of sweets and refined foods. I really hated to give up my favorite cereal, Froot Loops, which was too sugary, but not eating them since the age of four has undoubtedly been better for my health.

AKR: Type 2 diabetes is quickly becoming a national epidemic. What advice would you give our readers on preventing type 2 diabetes or dealing with it?

Dr. Colberg:  The best way to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes is daily movement while achieving and maintaining your optimum weight with a healthy diet. The Lifelong Exercise Institute that I have set up offers several programs. The Fit Brain, Fit Body program is for everyone and features daily exercise that does not require sweating. Best of all there is no dieting. It is possible to prevent diabetes and to live a long, healthy life if you already have it.



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