Confession: I am a Type 1 Diabetic.
For those of you who do not know the different between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes—and trust me most of you dont even if you think you do—Type 2 is the kind of diabetes that can be controlled with diet, excersize, sometimes medications are added if you cannot control your diet or excersize. Type 2 is USUALLY weight related or age related or a mix of both. Type 1 (the kind that I have been blessed with) is an auto-immune disease where my body decided one day to attack itself, specifically my pancreas, and shut down my ability to produce any insulin what-so-ever. Type 1 is not caused by being overweight, or from eating to much sugary foods. Type 1 and Type 2 are often confused as many people are not even aware that there are more than 1 type.
A little background:
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 6 years old (I still cant believe that I have had diabetes for 21 years!). I was on multiple insulin injections every day, had to watch my diet carefully and was always sick in someway or another. On injections, I was in the hospital 1-2 times a month because of bad blood sugars.
When I was 15 I was given the chance to get an insulin pump. This was the best thing that could ever happen to me as it helped keep my blood sugars under control and I was never hospitalized for my diabetes again.The pump allowed me to live like a normal human being, but since I had always watched what I ate so closely and been so restricted before, I started gaining a lot of weight being able to eat whatever I wanted.
I was young and stupid and am paying the price for those binge sessions now. But imagine going from eating whatever a 6 year old eats (loving candy and chocolate etc) to being restricted. Literally not being able to eat any of those things for years after you already know what they taste like. You know what your missing and you are a kid who just wants to have a damn chocolate bar. Now imagine you go from really not being able to have any of those amazing tasting treats (yes sometimes I had a piece here and there shh..) to being told its fine if you eat them now….ugh DUH! I ate the shit out of that food. I ate everything that was restricted in my diet. That is where my weight struggles began.
I have definitely changed my eating habits now and am watching my diabetes so much more closely. I have been since my daughter was born 7 years ago (the birth of a child will do that to a person lol). I dont often binge and I eat food that is so much better for me, and makes me feel better too. Although I DO NOT deny myself the simple pleasures that food brings to my life, I enjoy those pleasures a little more carefully and with a little bit more moderation than I did when I was a teenager set free to eat what I wanted.
Sometimes though, I get people who make assumptions, or follow stereotypes about diabetes. Often someone (a laymen of sorts) talks to me about my diabetes and they make comments like ‘thats the bad kind right?’. I also get comments like ‘stop eating so much sweets then’ or ‘well once you loose the weight you will be fine’, when in reality this has nothing to do with my diabetes. Yes, my blood sugars will get BETTER as I loose weight but my diabetes will NEVER go away.
No matter how healthy I eat, how much weight I lose, how active I am, my Type 1 Diabetes will never go away. Actually having Type 1 diabetes makes losing weight so much harder than those who do not have it. The life saving insulin that I have to take everyday, all day, actually helps me to gain weight quite quickly and makes losing said weight nearly impossible. Isn’t that nice of it? lol
Anyways, I just wanted to shed some light on an issue that I deal with personally. This is Part 1, as I have so much information and did not want to make my post excruciatingly long 🙂 I am so thoughtful that way. Part 2 is mostly about the issues that I have while working out and eating with Type 1 Diabetes.
Thanks for reading. Don’t be afraid to comment below for any experiences you have had with stereo types or even some funny stories.