Rufus Dorsey’s DForce for Life Diabetes Strategy

When type 2 diabetes caught actor Rufus Dorsey by surprise, he vowed to control the disease—rather than let it control him!

Linda Childers
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Rufus Dorsey, DForce, Diabetes, The L Word, Actor
Photograph by Dana Fineman

Remember to check blood sugar regularly. “I check my blood sugar the minute I wake up each morning and this helps me determine what I eat,” Rufus says.

Try this: Consider using a mobile app. Checking blood sugar before and after meals can help determine if what you’re eating could be raising your blood sugar. Busy schedule? Easily distracted? A mobile app can remind you to test and get you back on track. Researchers have found that free apps, such as Diabetes Pal and Glucose Buddy, help people successfully monitor their blood sugar levels, even while on the go.

Change the way you eat.
“I used to eat a lot of fried and sugary foods when I was younger,” admits Rufus. “After I was diagnosed, I began eating more balanced meals and looking more closely at my carb, fat and liquid intake.”

Try this: Keep a log of your meals and snacks to help you stay accountable. What’s more, keeping a food log will help with your blood sugar control—you’ll note how foods affect your levels and how to alter your diet to avoid spikes. Also, use measuring cups and bowls; before long, you’ll be able to eyeball what a healthy portion is.

Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Rufus is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor in Los Angeles, so he’s used to making workouts a priority. But, he empathizes, “The hardest part of exercising is getting started. I see this with students in my classes all the time. Once they begin exercising regularly, they feel better and have more energy.”

Try this: Find an activity you enjoy. Exercise doesn’t need to feel like work. Taking a dance class, swimming, even gardening—these all count. If you’re new to exercise, gradually work up to 30 minutes a day, even if you break it up into three 10-minute increments. Added bonus: A 15-minute, moderate-speed walk about 30 minutes after eating helps control blood sugar spikes, according to a recent study published in Diabetes Care.

November 2013