Thursday, October 10, 2013

So Yeah - I've Been On A "Diet" Since I Was 8.

My dad used to make fun of the word diet. Anytime someone would say: I’m on diet, 
my father would reply: Diet? What color are you going to dye it?
Yeah, he was a funny guy. I miss him.

About 6 weeks before I went on my first diabetes diet. 
A year or two after my diagnoses - Still on a diet.
Also: GO USA

Technically, I’ve been on a diet since I was 8. 
Yes, I was an extremely under weight 8 year old who downed 2500 to 3000 calories a day on doctor prescribed diet to gain weight after my type 1 diabetes DX & I literally cried from having to eat so much.
And ever since then, I’ve been on one form of another of the “many incarnations of diabetes diet." 
I grew up counting diabetes exchanges and downing artificial sweeteners that caused havoc with my gastrointestinal system because I wasn't allowed regularly sweetened things -  And I graduated to insulin sliding scales and counting carbs. 
I've dabbled in both vegetarianism and the paleo diets - And snuck a lot of forbidden food in-between . 
I’ve questioned and dared to eat a peach & have developed my share of food idiosyncrasies over the years.
During my diabetes life timem there's been a never ending assessment and diabetes math equation when it comes to the food that goes in my body - And that's turned me into a Diabetes Savant - And I bet the same goes for you if you're reading this post and live with diabetes!

I hate the word diet and what it means to living with diabetes. 
I hate that the word diet has made me feel less than acceptable, less attractive and less confident  - And diabetes or not, no one should let word rob them of their value,  self worth & self esteem.

I don’t use the word diet anymore - I'm done with the d word - I find it destructive & counter productive -  At least for me. 
Instead I just try and make wiser choices when it comes food - Nothing is off limits - except for liver and gizzards - but that’s a personal choice because I think liver and gizzards are disgusting.

Recently a friend mentioned to me  that I should try and stay with in the caloric intake of the diabetes diet. 
And I literally said: WTF, girl! Your Diabetes May Vary  - And my caloric requirements are different than yours and hers and his. 
Diabetes caloric intake isn’t one size fits all - There’s body type, activity levels and body idiosyncrasies.. And it's more about counting carbs, testing blood sugars, accurate insulin/carb ratios to accurately bolus, not just about calories.
I've been on an effing diet since I was 8 - And I’m sick that word and what it means. 
And here’s the Ironical thing:  When my blood sugars are tight, sometimes I weigh slightly more because I have more lows to treat - And when my type one diabetes runs on the high side, I l tend to drop weight and people tell me how great I look.
Do you see how effed up that is? 

It’s a delicate balance and I’m always teetering on the edge of either scale - pun totally intended.
Same goes for people living with type 2 - They are always perceived as fat and over weight, and that’s not always the case - But people judge them none the less. 
And if they do have lose weight - Why do we ridicule them and and call them names? That's not right either. 
Dieting and weight and is never ending when you live with diabetes - And regardless of the type. So please, bring up calories to me - Calories = the word diet to me - And I’m over that word!

And kudos to my friend, because she got  where I was coming from and  totally understood what I was saying and we changed the subject.  

But the comment still rubbed me the wrong way  -  Primarily because after almost 36 years of  diabetes diets in all dimensions, I'm done with dieting.  I'm all about choices - As in wise ones when it comes to food and blood sugars and carb counting - In my wise choices include treats every now and then - Because flexibility in the bolus worthy treat category makes eating healthy much easier :) 


Melissa said...

I get annoyed by the term diet. Its makes it seem out of the ordinary to make healthier and more nutritious food choices.

Cara said...

I refuse to "diet" anymore than I do BECAUSE of diabetes. I already spend all of my time counting every single piece of food that goes in my mouth for carbs. I can't deal with anything else.
Should I eat less and lose some weight? Probably. But I'm not going to do it by a "diet." I'll figure it out on my own, in my own way. And I WON'T use the evil word "diet" while doing it.

Kate Cornell said...

Brava! Love this post. Thank you.

Richard Vaughn said...

Kelly, I had problems with being underweight for many years, starting when I was 6. In the 1990s there was weight gain due to switching from animal to synthetic insulin. Several years of reducing my carb intake by 40%, and increased exercise saw those extra pounds disappear. Then I began losing weight again, and increased my carb intake. Now I eat about 200 carbs per day and maintain a weight that looks and feels good. So I have never followed any particular diet.

You look great, whatever you are doing works very well. Keep it up!