Last week, Laura at a1-Conceive shared her weight struggles and I applauded her openness and honesty. I personally think every Type 1 Diabetic (T1D) struggles with weight at some point in their life (if not their entire life). It’s so hard if you are trying to lose weight and then get low and have to eat to bring your blood sugar up and eat things you wouldn’t normally on a diet. It’s hard to exercise when you are T1D because you worry about getting low from working our or if you are high, you worry about doing more damage to your body if ketones are present. And added to that, insulin can cause weight gain so having an insulin pump give me constant insulin can’t be good for my figure.
I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. When I was first diagnosed with diabetes in 1993 at the age of 9, I had lost over 10 pounds which was a lot for a 9 year old. I remember my step-dad telling me how I needed to gain weight. I was a picky eater and was no longer allowed to eat my powdered sugar donuts and pop tarts. Weight gained seemed impossible. Fast forward several years and I would never have that problem again.
The biggest fluctuations in my weight have been in the past 10+ years. Going into college, I was happy with my weight. I actually lost weight my second year after going through a bad breakup. I still remember my endocrinologist at the time thought I was trying to be diabulemic (where diabetics give themselves less insulin to try and lose weight). Nope, just not taking good care of myself (high blood sugars) and not eating much because of depression/stress (breakup).
Then I turned 21 and all went downhill. The lovely “liquid diet” turned out to be the opposite of diet and I weighed my heaviest on record. Clothes didn’t fit and being a poor college student I didn’t have a lot of funds to buy new clothes. I tried doing Weight Watchers the summer after I turned 21 and I ended up gaining weight and I assumed it wasn’t tailored to diabetics (not realizing that maybe my evening pig out on a bag of Doritos could have been the reason).
Somehow between turning 21 and graduating college, I managed to lose some of the alcohol weight. I didn’t really try, no dieting or working out, but by the time I entered the real world I was doing OK.
During my mid-twenties the cubicle sitting resulted in pounds creeping up and when the hubby proposed to me, I was back to a heavier weight.
I decided to give Weight Watchers a chance again since my company was offering to pay for it (who would turn down free weight loss coaching?). For some reason, maybe it was the upcoming wedding, but I was able to lose 18 pounds through WW! I guess it can work for diabetics :-P. When I got married, I was actually at my best weight since the breakup semester at college.
Then, I got fat and happy. I gained over 30 pounds my first year (and half) of marriage! I have no idea how it crept up so quickly, maybe all the celebrating or relaxing that I no longer had to plan a wedding or a consequence of basically starving myself for months through WW. I got married in May of 2011 and I first remembering feeling heavier in November of 2011. I had gained at least 17 pounds since my wedding date. So I joined My Fitness Pal and entered my weight. I didn’t go back to My Fitness Pal or think about my weight much again until the following August, August 2012. I had gained 6 pounds since the previous November. I thought to myself that I should take action but I didn’t. By December 2012, I had gained 8 more pounds! I think working from home had something to do with the pounds accumulating. This was my heaviest I had ever been (even heavier than my drinking days of 21).
I finally decided to take action. But this time I decided to avoid any yo-yo diet. I started a Couch to 5k program in November (a few weeks before my heaviest weight). That went pretty well so in January I signed up for a 10k and 10k training. I tried to eat a little healthier, focus on my blood sugars and kept running. I also had the added benefit of getting the flu in January which shed a few pounds and did basal testing/fasting all throughout March and April which had to help a little bit with the lbs. From the beginning of December to the end of February, I lost around 10 pounds then from the beginning of March to today (beginning of June) I’ve lost around another 10 pounds so 20 in total. My goal is to lose another 15 pounds but I’m not as focused on weight loss now but more on being healthy by running, lifting weights, eating right, having good blood sugars, etc. Hopefully by “being healthy” I can continue to lose weight/stay in shape and hopefully this will be a good path for getting my A1C Below-Seven. 🙂
I added a My Fitness Pal widget to my site to track my weight. Right now it says 6 pounds lost (not 20) and that’s because I started in November 11 then gained an additional 14 pounds through December 2012 before starting to lose weight, so it’s net is 6 pounds.