Diabetes Forecast

The Buddy System

By Sara Sklaroff , ,

Have you ever noticed that the best way to succeed at something new is to see it done well by someone else? Case in point: this month's cover story. Until he met Chris Berry, Heath Pugh—then a high schooler—wasn't sure he could still play baseball while using his new insulin pump. Berry, who was coaching at Baylor University at the time, offered up some pointers that gave Pugh the confidence he needed to bring his pump onto the field.

Associate Editor Tracey Neithercott writes that today it is Pugh who is doing the teaching, as a sort of emissary to younger athletes with diabetes he meets as he travels playing ball for Sam Houston State University. Meanwhile, by a stroke of coincidence, Berry is assistant coaching the Sam Houston team—and continuing to give Pugh support with his diabetes management.

Social scientists who study such things have found that interacting with people who have healthy habits makes us healthier, too. In other words, you're more likely to go for a jog if you spend your time around people who are themselves likely to go for a jog. Not too surprising, perhaps, but it's also a reason to look around and see who is helping or hindering you by example of his or her own behavior.

Which brings me to the matter of breakfast. This month's magazine features some special recipes ("Breakfast for Champions") for busy people who don't have a lot of time in the morning. I used to be the kind of person who thought it was a good idea to skip breakfast. I was never very hungry when I woke up, and I (mistakenly) assumed it was a good way to diet. Then I met my husband, who eats breakfast every morning. Now I follow suit: He makes the coffee and brings in the newspaper, while I prepare my customary whole-grain cereal with nuts and berries. I should add that the good influence was mutual, in our case: When we were first married, his morning "meal" was a frosted strawberry Pop-Tart.

It was a habit I was happy to help him break.



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