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The DX Diabetes Dish: Shelley GoodStein

Model, mom & d-advocate living with type 1 diabetes

Author, advocate, mom, and Ford model Shelley GoodStein is the definition of the phrase “model behavior.” GoodStein, who lives with type 1 diabetes, has established herself as a beauty expert, blogger, and diabetes advocate, and as a successful model whose career just keeps going. A 2011 JDRF Promise Light Honoree and author of Face This: Real advice from real models, photographers and makeup artists on how to become Picture Perfect. GoodStein is passionate about pursuing your dreams no matter what the obstacle. Here, GoodStein dishes with The DX on living, loving, and aging gracefully.

What is your state of mind today?

Contemplative – I am always trying to be better.

What three words would you use to describe who you are?


How does diabetes change – or not change – who you are?

I cannot move mountains, but my diabetes has helped me find a way to hurdle some, by giving me determination to find a way around them to make my dreams happen today. And it has helped to realize that good health is a gift.

What inspires you to do what you do?

My three healthy beautiful children. And I am inspired by a fairy tale love story that waited to hit me after I turned forty, when I met the man of my dreams. I am so happy that I have remained healthy all these years living with diabetes, because God definitely saved the best for last. 

What would you pack for your favorite vacation?

Fashion legend Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” And with Facebook and camera phones, vacation photos never die either, so I always make sure for any vacation that I pack a little black dress. Simple is chic!

What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Raspberries, smoked salmon, and Tab® – my drink of choice. When I was first diagnosed with diabetes thirty-three years ago, it was one of the only sugar-free sodas on the market and I have been a loyal consumer ever since. It’s like my chocolate cake! And yes, they still make it.

What’s your favorite diabetes management tip?

I always carry something in my pocketbook in case I have a low blood sugar. And when I’m craving something I know won’t be good for my blood sugar, I drink a Tab [instead] – sugar-free and zero calories.

(Read more about what sugar-free means here.)

What is your favorite way to relieve stress?

I like to jog/walk in the early mornings. It’s my time for meditation, and without a doubt, the time I am most creative. I get a lot of work done in my head those mornings!

What is your idea of happiness?

I am living it right now. I am healthy, busy doing what I love, and blessed with a beautiful family. I always try to wish for the best, do my best, and try not to get tied up into the outcome. Life has brought me incredible surprises that way – brilliant successes that I could not have even dreamt or planned for. 

What is your style philosophy?

Play up your best feature. We all have one whether it’s our hair, smile, or infectious way to make people laugh. Mine are my legs, and lucky for me, legs are the last to go, so I tend to wear a lot of dresses, shorts, or skirts. I am a Ford model, and so instead of wearing an insulin pump on days I have jobs, I switch to injections for those days. I have hid it by tucking [the pump] into Spanx® or my bra at times too. Rest assured, you can always figure out a way!

How do you pamper yourself?


What is the best beauty lesson you learned?

Less is more, especially as we age. When we get older and our skin doesn’t look like it used to, I think our first impulse it to add more. But the truth is, we need to lighten up and go softer. Use brown instead of black eyeliner, rosy pinks instead of dark lipsticks, and matte shadows instead of glitter bombs.

Do you have a secret to aging gracefully?

I believe that if you are happy or pretty inside, it shows in your face. Confidence is another important factor too. After all, who isn’t attracted to confidence? And watch your weight. Every year it’s easy to adjust our expectations up two pounds, but soon that adds up (two pounds a year for ten years is twenty pounds!). I try to hold firm.

Who are your heroes in real life?

I am an Army general’s daughter and my father has always shown me how doing the right thing, working hard, playing by the rules, and protecting others is the right path in life.

What are you looking forward to right now?

I have some new ideas that I can’t talk about just yet, but as I always say to my friends, “Beware of the brunette in your life because she’s got plans.”

Any last words of wisdom?

Give yourself permission to dream no matter what your age, whatever your situation, or issue. Letting go is the only way to let new stuff find you! Whether it’s the love of your life, or your wildest expectation.

All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the interviewee and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates.

© 2013 The DX: The Diabetes Experience

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