Sebastien Sasseville #MCM t-shirts hit the market, Outrun Diabetes fans go crazy

#MCM? That’s the popular hashtag which stands for Man Crush Monday.

For those who don’t know, a trend every Monday on social media, especially Instagram, is to post a picture of a favourite guy celebrity, random stranger or boyfriend/husband.

Hashtag it #MCM and that means he’s your “Man crush Monday”.


This hashtag is all the rage and now, Canada’s own Sebastien Sasseville is “trending” as a #MCM.

*trending defined as myself and two of Sebastien’s friends, but just pretend it’s a lot of people k? 

He is, after all, RUNNING ACROSS Canada. The extreme athlete who lives with type 1 diabetes is calling his trek Outrun Diabetes. Goal: to inspire others and spread awareness about the disease. That’s hot right?

Since I’m following Sebastien’s progress and trying to give you guys timely updates (that’s my mission, to support t1d athletes in Canada!), people have been flooding my inbox with the most ridiculous questions.

Hi Jess,

OMG I can’t believe you got to talk to Sebastien! He’s so dreamy, even though he must smell so terrible at the end of his runs. I bet you get VIP access to everything Seb right? Are you going to interview him in person one day!? Can I come?! I won’t bother you and will stay out of the way.


Hey t1dactiveliving,

Can you get me Seb’s used shoes from his run? I’ll pay you. I’m serious.


Do I really need to go on here? And those were the two most tame comments I got.

Sebastien and I have a few friends in common and so together, we decided to take advantage of the craze and actually make some money. After all, we’re all type 1 diabetics and well we need to buy test strips.

Introducing the official Sebastien Sasseville #MCM shirt (click to enlarge and browse):

Watch the fashion show below


Sending lots of support and hopefully a few laughs to you Sebastien,

Shawn Shepheard, Anne Marie Hospod & Jessica

Disclaimer: This post is all in good fun. Please don’t take it seriously… unless you are offering me a lot of money for the shirt. If so, let’s talk. 

Read more

Sebastien Sasseville confesses before his run across Canada: I suck

Outrun Diabetes update: crazy photos of Sebastien Sasseville’s run across Canada

Sebastien Sasseville hits 1,000km mark on run across Canada

Find more articles on Sebastien and Outrun Diabetes here.

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Connected in Motion Ottawa half-marathon training starts TOMORROW!

Half training officially begins! But what have I been up to in the mean time? Here’s a quick 1 minute video:

After reviewing various programs, I’ve decided to go with the Nike Plus Coach program! Tres excited!

I chose this one because I like the app itself (moving from the Garmin 305) and the challenges I’ve already done with Nike + friends.

I missed the boat for the 12 week program start, but since I’ve been running consistently I’m going to suck it up and jump in with 8 weeks to go. Challenge accepted!

Ottawa Half-Marathon race day (May 25, 2014) goals:

  • finish strong & smiling
  • preventing lows to the best of my ability
  • significantly drop my time
  • have fun!

For my first half-marathon, Scotiabank Waterfront Toronto Marathon, the goal was to finish.

I ran it with my dad and we came in at 2:39:10. It was his first and last half-marathon, so I was glad we could accomplish that together.

This race I will be going at my pace and running solo.

Goal: 2:15-2:20

I’m not sure what’s going on with my other health stuff plus my wonky honeymooning but I’m pushing through.

I’m running this half in support of Connected in Motion. If you’d like to donate and read more about why I’m supporting CIM, please click here.

Thank you to those who have already reached into their pockets. This one means a lot.

Getting pumped!


Related reads:

My first half-marathon race report

Connected in Motion: my first meet-up, rock climbing 





Smashing meters and eating ice cream: Toronto JDRF adult support group does things Joe Solowiejczyk style

A blood glucose meter that was demolished by a meat mallet.

I’m home from a type 1 diabetes support group meeting where I was encouraged to eat ice cream and destroy a blood glucose meter with a meat mallet.

The idea to do this came from popular diabetes speaker Joe Solowiejczyk. He closed the show at the JDRF infosium in Toronto recently.

Read my post on the event here

During his talk, Joe explained what he calls “diabetes depression days”.

He calls in sick, plops in front of the TV to watch his favourite movies, eats ice cream and spends time sulking about his diabetes.

Our facilitator Ana used Joe’s diabetes depression days as motivation.

Last night, she and outreach manager Sherry greeted us with ice cream! This may be a generalization but I’m pretty sure everyone was happy about it.


Ana also encouraged us to roll up our sleeves and break an old meter to bits. She brought rolling pins but in the end, her and another attendee hammered the meter with a meat mallet.



What’s the craziest thing you’ve done at a type 1 event or meeting?

Although I didn’t take part in the meter hammering, I could see its therapeutic benefits. And the ice cream (for me dairy-free), well… I’m going to advocate for that to be a regular part of future meetings.

Tummy happy, waist elastic on pants (not so much),



Tutu mocking in Self Magazine? A Canadian type 1 diabetic athlete chimes in

I was a "running fairy" for my friend's very first 10km race.

I was a “running fairy” for my friend’s very first 10km race.

Self Magazine is getting a lot of heat for calling tutu-wearing during races lame.

Monika Allen was in the photo accompanying the statement. She was diagnosed with brain cancer and was in the midst of chemotherapy. Allen told the media she dressed as Wonder Woman with a blue tutu to give herself motivation.

Read the USA Today story here.

To make matters worse, she runs a company that makes tutus, which donates money to charity.

Allen had no idea her photo would be used the way that it was when the company asked for photo permission. The “tutus are lame” claim was listed under a section called the BS Meter.

In the running world and beyond, the story has gone viral. Self Magazine has apologized, but the damage has been done.

When I found out about this story, I immediately e-mailed my friend, fellow runner and type 1 athlete Anne Marie Hospod. She told me she addressed the news on Instagram.

Here was her post:

With permission via/ Anne Marie Hospod.

With permission via/ Anne Marie Hospod.


The whole hoopla surrounding the topic makes me think about mocking within the athletic world.

There’s those that make fun of cross-fit, people who don’t lift weights or runners who wear headphones. Are they REAL athletes?

You don’t have to wear moisture-wicking this or GPS that. Benching 3 times your body weight is irrelevant as is what you decide to wear race day.

If putting on cat ears and rainbow bright knee socks makes you happy when you get moving, do it.

Becoming active can be such an intimidating venture. Let’s put all the BS aside, move, and support each other.

My very first half-marathon. I wore a tutu to lift my spirits. It was my first big run after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and finding out about other health issues.

My very first half-marathon. I wore a tutu to lift my spirits. It was my first big run after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and finding out about other health issues.

Running in whatever makes me happy.






Canadian Diabetes Association’s exercise & type 1 talk in Toronto


I am one lucky duck and I know it.

Exercise to me is heaven. The sweating, lungs burning, legs aching…I just love it.

Running, swimming, biking, dancing, yoga… I’ll take two of each!

When I head back to the change room after a great workout, I feel like a movie star who is slow motion walking as something big and bad explodes in the background.

But I understand there are those who don’t feel this way. To remind myself, I ask, “What if in order to stay healthy I had to watch medieval-themed movies for 30 minutes every day?”


And that’s what it might feel like for those who cringe at the idea of sweat session.


Exercise was the hot topic at the Canadian Diabetes Type 1 talk on Tuesday evening in Toronto.

Guest speaker Michael Jacoby is an accomplished t1d athlete and acts as the operations co-ordinator for Team Diabetes. He shared the group’s fundraising efforts for the Canadian Diabetes Association and gave the audience a whirlwind tour of all the races the group participates in around the world.


Athens, Bermuda, Prague, Reykjavik, Kauai, they are all on the list of places to travel and race for the 2014/2015 season.

Denial, acceptance and living right

Mark Kerwin provided tips on how to be successful with type 1 diabetes.

Read his suggestions and all my live tweeting from the event here

The marathoner, triathlete and Tough Mudder man admitted to being in complete denial of his disease. He confessed to the audience that he tried to starve himself (going from 190 pounds to 120), doing whatever he could to get rid of type 1 diabetes.

Acceptance was one of the keys for Mark moving forward and it is also the key to success when approaching exercise.

Say it with me?

This is how I feel about t1d and training:

I accept that it will take time and I must experiment with many different methods to find out what works for me.

I accept that no matter what I do, things may go wrong and I may not be able to perform my best.

I accept the highs and lows that sometimes come with training.

And most important of all,

I accept all the glory, pride, and feeling of awesome when I cross the finish line.

Up next

This event has inspired me to blog more about what to expect when exercising with t1d. Perhaps by educating and sharing experiences we can help others transition to an active lifestyle with more ease.

More like that action movie. Less like a medieval movie.


Team Diabetes | Website | Twitter | Facebook |

Canadian Diabetes Association | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | YouTube |

Mark Kerwin | Twitter | LinkedIn |

Michael Jacoby | Connected in Motion blog profile | LinkedIn |

My first infusion site! Pump & CGM Shopping continues…

A constant game of catchup.

As an adult diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 29, I feel like I’m behind.

The majority of people I know with t1d have been living with it since they were children or teens. Pros.

Is it second nature to them? Do they remember life before this?

I’m still utterly confused and overwhelmed.

Example: Before I go to a d-related event, I often hop online and go through the same routine.

…the list goes on. You’d think by now I’d have it down pat. The fact of the matter is my brain has been super fried since diagnosis. Information doesn’t stick well and I get a deer-in-the-headlights look and feeling.

My new t1d friends have shown me nothing short of complete understanding, yet I still have a need to sound like I know what they’re talking about (or at the very least, sound a little less like an idiot).

Is this what it’s like to be diagnosed so late in life? As an independent, fully self-sufficient person maybe there’s this pressure  inside myself to “know it all” since I have the resources and mind to.

I don’t though. Not even close.

Meet the pumps & cgm’s

Choosing to pump is a big decision, as is what pump you’ll use. To make the process less daunting, I’m slowly trying to familiarize myself with the technology.

I got around to meeting with Omnipod and Animas last year to get a feel for their products. See my blog post on that here.

This time around, I contacted all four, adding Accu-Chek and Metronic to the list.

Sheldon Smith from Metronic came over to my house yesterday and I tried on my VERY FIRST infusion set.

On me right now is the Metronic Silhouette infusion set (I did manual insertion) as well as the Quick Set on the other side of my abdomen. Both were far less painful than I had imagined.

Luckily I had ballet class last night, the perfect place to start testing out these bad boys. All that bending, twisting and jumping. Here’s my Instagram post.


I’m going to beat up all these demos and give them a taste of my active lifestyle.

Trying to appreciating the process,


Connected in Motion’s rock climbing event at Joe Rockhead’s Climbing Gym

Rough hands, sore arms and a sweaty Jess!

Saturday was Connected in Motion‘s rock climbing event. Emotion review: a mixed bag of happiness, anxiousness, and this-is-frightening-but-awesome.

Our instructors Kale and Melissa showed us how to strap, clip and tie ourselves to rock climbing safety bliss.

I actually met Kale at the last Connected in Motion event, a trampoline dodgeball tournament. My blog on that here.

Kale is an excellent teacher. How can you forget a rope tying method that includes phrases like ‘strangling and punching someone in the face?’

So we started with the basics (click to enlarge and browse with captions)

Have to admit, I was a little paranoid about my rope tying. After all, it’s a long way down if you’re wrong.

A quick bg check before getting the party started

Sipped on a water bottle with eLoad for extra carbs.

Sipped on a water bottle with eLoad for extra carbs.

Now it’s time to climb!

Thank you Becky for being my belay buddy and watching out for me.

Hello from the top!

Hello from the top!

In addition to climbing with a harness, we also tried tackling the walls minus the gear. Here is the bouldering wall.

It was great to see so many CIM people having a blast and conquering the task at hand.

Things were looking good in the bg department too!

All done! I could take a nap on that blue mat.

I’d definitely try rock climbing again. It gave my upper body the shock it needed by switching my routine (my forearms were sore afterwards) and being with a group of t1d’s is always the best mood booster.

There’s a certain comfort in attending more d-related activities and seeing familiar faces. One of the best decisions I’ve made during this journey is coming out to CIM events.

Thank you CIM!

Next up is a beach volleyball tournament called Bumps and Pumps. Friends, family, supporters, type 1’s, everyone is invited! Find out more here.

Flying solo or have a few friends who want to join? CIM is accommodating everyone. They’re pretty nice like that. Check out the event blog from last year with tons of photos here

My DSMA Blue Fridays photoshoot- the opera gown

We’re getting fancy today for Blue Friday!

This opera gown is very comfy and classic. Comfort for me is very important when watching any kind of show. I don’t want to be shifting around or bound up tight.

Every Friday we wear blue to support those affected by diabetes. If you’re catching any kind of theatre, consider wearing a traditional dark navy for the occasion.
photo 4

photo 2-1

photo 3-1

photo 1-1

What blue are you wearing this Friday?


5 lessons I learned from the JDRF infosium in Toronto

photo 5-21. Listen to your body and trust your instincts. 

photo 3-7

Beauty and the Beast actor and guest speaker Austin Basis was extremely active growing up.

He played basketball, baseball and hockey. He wanted to be an MLB player.

Sports taught him to always be prepared and to learn and acknowledge the signs his body gave him.

2. The bionic pancreas is giving people hope.

Dr. Steven Russell had the audience in applause after this slide:


The closed-loop artificial pancreas blood glucose control system continuously monitors blood glucose levels. Fast-acting insulin and glucagon gets delivered based on a computer algorithm.

So, no more carb counting or guessing what stress and exercise would do to your bg’s. This device does all the work. Russell said the ambitious date of release to the public is 2017. Find out more here.

Click on any photo and browse

photo 2-4

 3. It’s 100 per cent okay to acknowledge how difficult diabetes is. 

Closing speaker Joe Solowiejczyk is a nurse, diabetes educator and family therapist. He’s been living with type 1 diabetes for over 50 years.

I’ve heard Joe speak before and although I’ve heard his sentiments before, it was so nice to hear them again.

Diabetes sucks. It’s like a full-time job. Yes Joe!

My favourite quote of the night by Joe was this, “I am exhausted. I hate having diabetes. I love being alive.”

We are all troopers and need to remember that.

4. People will be ignorant. Rise above it. 

I used to get mad. Very mad. Steaming mad really when I saw a joke about diabetes or when people assumed I didn’t take care of myself or ate too much sugar. The rage I felt was downright scary, and it would quickly spiral into moments of deep sadness and frustration.

Joe made a great point about those who are ignorant towards type 1 diabetes.

Can you say that you have NEVER made a comment that might have shown ignorance about a medical condition?

What do YOU know about other health conditions? Some people are ignorant. Others are just stupid.

Not knowing about type 1 diabetes hurts because it’s personal.

Brush it off. Educate if you want (I try to!). Focus on the positives and spend your time with people who do the same. This has been one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from t1d.

5. Over-estimate the demand for diet pop. Here’s what was left at the end of the night.



Check out all the tweets from the event via Connected in Motion’s Storify

Austin Basis | Website | Twitter | Facebook |

Joe Solowiejczyk | Website | LinkedIn |

Dr. Russell Stevens | Bionic Pancreas |

JDRF Canada Infosiums

JDRF Canada | Website | Facebook | Twitter |