What I Did for World Diabetes Day

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This past November 14, I had the pleasure of marking World Diabetes Day by attending the Divabetic Makeover Your Diabetes event held in New York City. And I do mean “pleasure.”

Divas Entering Event

The free event offered both educational resources for caring for diabetes — including lots of opportunities to talk one-on-one with certified diabetes educators — as well as salon services such as manicures, makeup application by professional makeup artists, massages, and advice on choosing flattering dress styles. Two fashion shows took place during the day, complete with a runway, loud music, and models wearing attractive clothes designed to look good on larger body sizes. And there was even a “glamour shot” booth where divas could don a feather boa and have their picture taken by a professional photographer. (See some sample shots here.) Did I mention the healthy but tasty refreshments?

Boa Workout Stage

The theme of the event could probably be summed up as “I’m worth it!” and it applied to both taking care of your diabetes and to doing what it takes to feel good about yourself, whether that’s putting on some makeup every day, believing it’s OK to take some “me” time, or learning to speak up about your needs and concerns when talking to the people close to you.

Several hundred women (and a few men) attended the New York City event, which was staffed largely by volunteers. Those I spoke to were enthusiastic about donating their time and knowledge to help women affected by diabetes learn to care for themselves and, to quote the Divabetic philosophy, “Glam more, fear less.”

Twist and Shout

Max Szadek, creator and founder of Divabetic, echoed that enthusiasm when I asked him why he keeps on putting on these labor-intensive events (this is his third year of producing Makeovers). He responded that the feedback he gets from attendees — telling him how they no longer feel alone with their diabetes and how they now feel motivated to make healthy changes in their lives — lets him know how valuable his efforts are and motivates him to keep at it and to work on developing more programs to complement the Makeover events.

Diva Celebrating with Max

Founder Max Szadek dips a diva.

To learn more about Divabetic, find out about future Makeover events, and learn how to volunteer at a Makeover or for other Divabetic programs, check out the Web site www.divabetic.org.

The Makeover event was sponsored by insulin and diabetes supply maker Novo Nordisk, which offers free diabetes management resources at the Web site www.changingdiabetes-us.com. (Free online registration is necessary to access the resources.)

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