Today marks 21 years of being a Type 1 Diabetic (the insulin dependent kind.) In the eyes of most people, I would be considered “sick.” I wear an insulin pump on my stomach 24/7 and have to check my blood sugar and administer insulin anytime I eat. Yep, every meal and every snack… I also experience low blood sugars and high blood sugars on a regular basis and have to treat them.
(See if you can spot my pump in the picture below... I try to hide it.)
I was 12 years old when I was diagnosed. I went from being a very normal middle-school girl to checking my blood sugar and taking insulin shots a few times a day. It was a HUGE transition!! I have gone through a lot of different phases with this disease and various forms of treatment. However, as a grown adult I feel I finally have the right perspective…
I have always tried to look at it as a disease that I can live with. It’s not cancer and it’s not going to kill me! I have seen diabetics use Diabetes as an excuse to not workout hard because they’re scared their blood sugars will drop to quickly. I have seen diabetics use Diabetes as an excuse to not eat healthy because it takes to much time and would be to much trouble to adjust their insulin intake when they don’t eat as many carbs and sweets. However, I have learned that Diabetes is NOT my excuse. It is MY REASON to take care of myself!!! I want to be around to watch my grandkids grow up, I want to grow old with my husband who has been by my side since college, I want to make a positive impact on people I know, and I want to live life to the fullest and die with no regrets! To me, it's worth the extra work!
Yes, my life is very inconvenient at times! I prick my finger and take insulin A LOT! It is a huge aspect of my everyday life. However, I really try not to draw a lot of attention to it! Some of you may be reading this and didn’t even know that I have Diabetes. But, it is something I deal with on a daily basis. I CHOOSE to be positive, live a close-to "normal" life, and to try and keep myself healthy!
I don’t claim to be better than other diabetics or other “sick” people (I still have plenty of weight I need to lose and probably have the sweetest tooth known to man) but let me tell you a few things I do to help myself be better.
First of all, I exercise! My favorite is doing Crossfit a couple days a week. It’s a great mix of weight training and cardio. It helps me keep my blood sugars regulated and gives me confidence overall. I have challenged myself harder in the past year of doing Crossfit than I ever have! I am not one of the toughest or fastest at my box, but I love it and I try my hardest!
Rope climbs are something I do about once a month now. I hadn't done them since Middle School when I first started Crossfit.
Stone to Shoulders! This stone is 73#'s and I can do a whole workout using this bad boy now!
I also run periodically and have ran a few 5K’s over the past few years. I'm not a good runner at all, but it definitely challenges me!
Secondly, I have gotten into eating “clean.” Clean eating is simply eating food that God made…fruits, vegetables, and protein. I have tried a lot of new recipes and have really enjoyed learning more about food. It does take more time and I don't eat clean 100%, but I know when I eat better, my blood sugars are SO MUCH better and I just FEEL better!
I have been very blessed so far! In 21 years, I have no major complications associated to my Diabetes and I have been able to carry and naturally deliver 2 very healthy, happy babies! I’m very glad that my health is holding up for me, but I also don’t take it lightly…
Another thing I do is take steps in being proactive to find a cure for this disease. One of my biggest fears is that one of my children or future grandchildren may develop Diabetes because of the genes I have passed down to them. Because of that, I participate in the “Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes” every year! I raise money for the American Diabetes Association and it makes me feel good to do my part!
This is my daughter and I at the 2013 Step Out Walk! My family walks it with me every year!
We're all going to be "sick" at some point in life. It's up to each of us as an individual to decide how we're going to deal with it! I want to encourage those of you out there that are “sick!” Whether you have Diabetes or some other disease, do whatever you can to take care of yourself!! Don’t use your sickness as an excuse to not workout or eat healthy… Use it as your REASON!! Get a little motivation to LIVE LIFE and run with it!