Thursday, February 28, 2013

#NEDAwareness Week: We All Know Someone~

We All know somebody 

We are smack dab in the middle of  National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 24th through March 2nd,) and this year’s theme is “Everybody Knows Somebody,” and that statement is absolutely true. 

I have friends with eating disorders (some with diabetes and some without,) and I’ve worried about them and I’ve tried my best to understand their issues with food. We’ve talked with some of them at great length about how they developed their eating disorders and where they stemmed from.  
And I’ve always tried to understand and be understanding - And I’ve worried about them because they are my friends and I love them.

And our DOC friend LeeAnn Thill has helped me to better understand eating disorders in general - Including  Diabulmia, an eating disorder specifically affecting people living with Diabetes. I first read about Diabulmia in SELF Magazine years ago and while I had never heard of it before - I wasn't surprised that such a thing existed  - Because diabetes and food issues go hand in hand.
LeeAnn created The VIAL Project  -  A "website for people with diabetes and mild to severe food & body issues, including disordered eating and diagnosed eating disorders, to share original, creative self-expression and connect with each other.  social media and art." 

Another site promoting awareness and support for pwds with Diabulmia is: We Are Diabetes.Org , founded by Type 1 PWD Asha Brown. FYI: Asha talked about her struggles with Diabulmia and WE Are Diabetes,  yesterday over at DiabetesMine

As as person with type 1 diabetes I’ve developed my own food quirks over the past 35 years. 

As a child with diabetes who grew up in the Diabetes Dark Ages, I snuck a lot of forbidden foods in the darkness of night and behind closed doors. 

And my tween self flushed candy wrappers down the toilet and than ran in place for 20 minutes to try and burn off the sugar (we didn’t count carbs back then,) contained in the contraband Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  
11 year olds should never do that  - diabetes or not. It's not a good thing - And I lived with that diabetes guilt as a child.... and as an adult.

 And that guilt lives with me still.

So do the memories of me sneaking food when I played over friends houses and then being caught. And instead of admitting to it - I lied like a rug - And ended a friendship over it rather than admitting that like any 13 year old - I just wanted to be normal.

In high school I overate with my friends at the mall and pizza joints because I could - And because that's what teenagers do - But in the Diabetes Dark Ages that was off limits - And I’m the one who suffered in the end. 

 As an adult, I have moments where I over eat for the same reason - and a few others.  
I’m reading Ginger Vieira’s book:  “Emotional Eating With Diabetes, ” and it’s a great guide in workbook form for people with diabetes "to create a positive relationship with food.” 
It turns out that I have some symptoms that would put me in the Emotional Eaters category. - And I wasn’t surprised to read that - After all, as a child and then an adult living with type 1 diabetes, food has always brought up all sorts of emotions.

There is there need for food to sustain my life - There was the longing for forbidden food and the feelings of shame and guilt whenever I was caught eating something that was deemed OFF LIMITS. 
There's the happiness that food brings to us as a society and culturally

We celebrate with food, we commiserate with food - Food is comfort. 

As adult with diabetes I’ve made it a point for no food to be put on the forbidden list - EVER. 

I tell myself that nothing is off limits and that I can eat everything - And that’s helped me a lot. But as an adult and diabetes or not, I shouldn’t eat everything because that’s not good for anyone. 
Quite frankly, no one can eat what they want, when they want - Diabetes or not!
It’s just not healthy.

So if your reading this on the internetzhelp to spread the word about National Eating Disorders Awareness Week!  It's as simple as posting the link to their website  on your website or Facebook page, following the #NEDAwareness hashtag & and tweeting about it.  

Or just send the link to someone you know who might really benefit from it. 

Busted pancreas or not, we all know someone who’s suffered and struggled with an eating disorder or who’s still struggling with an eating disorder - And knowing that they are not alone and that there’s help out there makes all the difference~

FYI: I was going to post up-teen individual links to other posts written about this subject in the dblogpshere - There's a ton of amazing ones and was in the process of gathering them all - And secretly nervous that I was going to miss linking to them all. But then I remembered that an incredibly detailed list of other amazing Diabetes blog posts written about National Diabetes Awareness Week already existed & can be found over at:

1 comment:

Scott K. Johnson said...

Thanks for helping to spread the word, K2. You are awesome.