Diabetes Body Issues


It’s clear that diabetes easily harbors an environment of self-destruction.  So many of us deal with food issues, weight issues, discipline issues, can’t-remember-to-test-no-matter-what-I-do issues and serious depression issues.

My biggest problem, the one causing the most woe anyway, has been my constant negative body image.  Before being a diabetic I was thin and healthy, active and smart.  I remember getting compliments all the time.  So what?  Despite this I felt sick to my stomach when I looked in the mirror.  So when I did get diabetes my already budding self image problem just snowballed.  For the record, I think this tendency stems from my perfectionistic nature which is good for some things and often terrible for other things-like general happiness and satisfaction.

As a teenager, I was very aware that I gained weight because the R and NPH insulin mix I was prescribed forced me to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day.  It was too much food.  In fact, I rarely snacked before becoming diabetic.  Those years of frustration turned into a decade of what I might look back on as the time I heavily struggled with an eating disorder.  I didn’t skip meals or insulin, nor did I ever throw up.  But, I thought about food all day and how much I absolutely hated it and when I ate, I didn’t enjoy a single bite.  I would wish we didn’t have to eat to live.  For a diabetic, having to eat really complicates things.  

So when I lost a lot of weight, many years later, I felt I could try loving myself again.  I don’t know why it’s such a big deal for me.  I would say it’s definitely a problem I have.  Because I would never say to anyone else that this thinking or behavior is healthy and normal you know?  (Although it seems relatively common)  Frankly, I don’t think it’s helped me that I’m from Venezuela, the land of Miss Universe winners.  “You’re from Venezuela?!  Wow, all the women in your family must be really attractive!”  And of course, they are.  So sure, no pressure… 

I’m still adamant about losing weight.  The last time I lost a significant amount of weight (35 pounds) my feet and knees felt relieved and I could use some more alleviation.  I also want to fit into the clothes I have instead of buy new clothes.  I put up a goal for myself to lose 20 pounds starting this past August.  Since then I’ve gained 5 pounds.  Yes, those pounds have been muscle-which is great, but now I really can’t fit into my clothes! 

So I’m still going for 20 pounds lost.  For my feet, my knees, to lower my insulin resistance, and doggone it-to fit into my stashes of smaller sized clothes.  I know I’ll do it soon.  I just hope I can feel satisfied with my efforts and myself in general, no matter what I weigh.  I don’t want to hit 115 pounds and still feel lousy.

Sighh…am I the only one?  Any tips?

4 thoughts on “Diabetes Body Issues

  1. Reyna Maher

    Sysy…I am not a type 1…but I do love to work out and eat healthy. I too have gained 3-4 lbs doing P90X. I have to say that I have never felt more in shape as I have doing this program. I run too…but try to keep a balance between running and P90X.

    I used to only exercise and NOT watch what I ate. I never lost weight doing that. Once I started watching what I ate (1500 cals/day…during weight loss) the weight melted off. Now I most likely consume about 2000 to 2200 cals/d. That is with working out 1 to 2 hours daily…six days a week.

    Good luck! Love your openness!

  2. Kate

    As a Type 1 (for 16 yrs) who has been on Symlin for about 1 year, on and off, and has lost 20 lbs while on it (going from a size 8-10 to a 2-4) I have to tell you it is the key. It kills my appetite, helps reduce the insulin I take and helps the weight fall off. For years I have struggled with “sticky weight” as I call it from insulin use and without Symlin I don’t know what I’ll do. I also stick to about 1200 cals a day and workout about 5-6 times a week for an hour, but seriously I credit Symlin for the weight loss because it makes me feel satisfied on 1200 cals/day.

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