Tag Archives: diabetes and body image



You know how you can have a spring in your step because you like your hair and outfit and then suddenly, you figuratively trip on your blood sugars and your awesomeness is sucked out of you?

Man, I hate when that happens.

But try to go with the flow.  Once your blood sugar is back up or down, whatever the case may be, forget it was ever out of range to begin with.

There is no need to feel like diabetes is a shameful or embarrassing thing to carry around.  Sure, we can seem drunk during a low and highs make us appear like walking to the kitchen is a marathon, but there is a lot more dignity in self respect than in self loathing.  Get your sugars back up or down and carry on.

Hold your head up high, it’s ok, I promise.

Because of Diabetes

Courtesy of Prozac1

Courtesy of Prozac1


Because of diabetes…

I am hyper sensitive towards those with chronic diseases.

Because of diabetes…

I try extra hard to look healthy and be healthy in order to help combat the assumption that a diabetic is unhealthy or unhealthy looking.

Because of diabetes…

I am a little less confident in myself than I’d like to be some days.

Because of diabetes…

I am proudly confident in my ability to handle syringes and other medical equipment even in the dark if need be.

Because of diabetes…

I didn’t enjoy my Cancun honeymoon nearly as much as I should have.  I was constantly lifting my meter and safety supplies up over my head and the water to get into a boat or something.  And I had a lot of swimming induced lows.  You know what?  I think I’ll spin this topic off into an entire post.

Because of diabetes…

I have fully enjoyed a lot of small things in life such as Saturday mornings (yay, I awoke!), walking around barefoot (yay, my feet are healthy!), and seeing my children’s faces (yay, I can see!).

Because of diabetes…

I am more humble.  There is nothing more humbling than needing help from someone when blood sugar is low and your body isn’t able to move.

Because of diabetes…

I never get too comfortable.  It keeps me on my toes.  It keeps me paying attention to my toes.

Because of diabetes…

I am constantly reminded that my husband is truly committed because time and time again my diabetes tests him and he passes with flying colors.

Because of diabetes…

I recognize how valuable community and sharing is. 

Because of diabetes…

I have been forced to understand the importance of a healthy attitude in life and how without it I am not well.

Because of diabetes…

I know what it’s like to almost die.  And as bad as that feeling is, I wish some people would understand what it’s like.  Maybe then they wouldn’t act like nothing wrong could happen to them.  Maybe then they’d respect their bodies/they’re life just a little bit more.

A Reason to Try


It was the Spring of 1999 and I was 15 years old.  I was sitting in my College Prep Biology class paying attention to something other than the teacher.  I was poking at my thigh which was starting to show a few broken capillaries.  My friend Michael, who sat to my right that entire year noticed what I was doing and said, “Don’t worry about that”, as he made a face to signify that it meant nothing, the face one makes when saying “nah”. 

“But, what if this is happening because I don’t take care of my diabetes enough?-I know I don’t take care of myself enough.”, I said.  “Well, then you need to take care of yourself better, you have to at least try.  I know diabetes must suck but, at least you have a better shot than if you had terminal cancer or advanced AIDS right?”, Mike replied.  “I suppose…” I said, not feeling too reassured.  Then Mike said, “Besides, one day, the right guy won’t be bothered by a few broken capillaries, I promise.”

I sat quietly the rest of class feeling relieved.  As a 15 year old, my worries involved my health but, I spent a lot of time preoccupied with how my diabetes might affect the way I look and I’ve always feared people (ok, males)  would be driven away.  Mike was right, later on, the right guy wasn’t bothered by a few broken capillaries, not even by a lot. 

Almost exactly three years after Mike and I had that conversation I found myself standing in a packed cathedral, the same one I’d eventually marry in.  With the bagpipes wailing in the background I thought about Mike’s words to me that day in Biology class.  He was right.  I had to take care of myself.  I had to do my best.  I did have a better shot than someone with terminal cancer.  He put up a strong fight, but, in less than a year from diagnosis, my friend Mike died of a rare form of Leukemia. 

Every time I think about giving up or giving in, even for just a day, I remember Mike, and his firm words to me.  And how his early death proved that I would have a better shot than he.  So of course, to me anyway, there is no question about it-I’ve always got a reason to take care of myself better.  I’ve at least got to try.

If only to honor those that don’t even get the chance.

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?