Feature Friday ~ Kelly Reilly

Feature Friday ~ Kelly Reilly


Today we are hearing from the amazing Kelly Reilly from Beverly, MA! She has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for 29 years and Celiac Disease for 21 years. She is married to her husband and they have two children together. On her Instagram she always keeps it real and shares great workout ideas and inspiration. She has adopted movement and many of healthy habits, which she shares with others. I am lucky to have found her and I’m so happy to share her story with you in this “Feature Friday ~ Kelly Reilly” ! Enjoy!


Yes, I have a 10 year old son and an almost 13 year old daughter. It keeps me busy for sure! My focus has changed in how I care for myself as a mom due to wanting to be my absolute healthiest for them!

Diagnosis Story

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 13 on Friday the 13th! Crazy right? Weeks prior to my diagnosis I had all the classic symptoms- rapid weight loss, excessive fatigue, urination, thirst. I remember it was a historic flood in our town and my mom wanted me to walk downtown to see what was going on and I couldn’t hardly move. I look back on pictures and looed sooo weak and pale. We ended up going to my Pediatrician the next day and my blood sugar was over 1000 and was rushed to the ER where I stayed for 1 week to learn about this new diagnosis.

Initial Thoughts

I remember being scared…I HATED needles. Like, severely had an issue with them and was typically that kid that would get faint or pass out whenever I got them, so to think this was my reality was terrifying.

Tip/Trick ~ Mindset

I am not sure this is typically a trick, but I have always lived my life believing Diabetes is part of me and not all of me. I don’t let it define what I do, who I am and I think because of that I haven’t experienced as much of the burn out as I see others. Clearly it’s a huge part of my life with what I do both online and in my nursing office, but I don’t set unrealistic expectations for myself.

What does thrive mean and how do you thrive?

Thrive means to me doing something the best you can…

I feel as though I thrive with diabetes, by showing others anything is possible with this disease. Once again…diabetes is part of me, not all of me and I do the best I can and somedays nail it and somedays miss it….and it’s ok! It’s a 24/7 disease and you won’t get it right 100% of the time.

What do you wish someone told you earlier about diabetes?

That it’s ok to have days that you aren’t ok…normalize the hard and talking through it helps you work through it.

Words of Encouragement

For my families…remember the importance of letting kids be kids. Diabetes once again is just a part of them, but don’t put crazy restrictions on them as they are young as it can lead to burnout when they are on their own. It’s ok to take over a lot of their diabetes care to give them a break. Or course they will be involved and it’s important for them to know, but they will need to do it on their own down the road, so the more you can reduce their workload now will help them not burn out when it’s time for them to take it all on.

Movement & Diabetes

As I tell my patients and my clients….exercise needs to be viewed like your “other insulin”. Finding a way to incorporate exercise/movement in your daily routine is key to your mental health, your long term cardiovascular health, your blood sugar control, etc. I truly didn’t listen to my own advice about this until about 6 years ago and it has been a game changer in how I feel both physically and mentally. We all know the risks with this disease, but instilling some of those life long healthy habits if key to that prevention.


Find her IG here: @type1diabetesmama and check out our last Feature Friday here

1 thought on “Feature Friday ~ Kelly Reilly”

  1. Pingback: Feature Friday: Denise & Judea | Thriving Diabetic

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