Real Talk With Dave: Diabetes is NOT a Diet

When first diagnosed, it may seem as though you are on a diet that is going to restrict you from eating what you once loved. But that is not the case what so ever! On the day when Diabetes comes crashing into your life and presents itself as the worst thing yet, one may feel confused as to what this disease is like and how certain foods will affect you and your daily routine.

When I was first diagnosed back in 2008, I remember feeling scared to eat because what was once an easy thing to do completely turned into a complicated challenge in which I had to measure all my food, eat a balanced meal with the proper nutrients, and calculate the carb and insulin ratios. Before I was diagnosed, I remember having the biggest sweet tooth out there and when the day of my diagnosis came, I felt like that was instantly taken away from me, all to realize that wasn’t the case, at all.

I know that after going to the Endocrinologist for years, they tend to lecture you and make you feel that you should always be eating the proper foods, but every now and then, a cheat day is necessary in order to live a happy (and healthy) lifestyle. If not, burnout can happen from trying to eat all the right foods all the time. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t care for your diet and watch what you eat, but remember, Type 1 Diabetes is most commonly found in children, teens, and young adults who every now and then just need a cheat day or some time to not feel deprived of the foods they once ate freely. Yes, you do need to be as healthy as possible to avoid Diabetic complications later in life, you just need to find balance between your diet and exercise pattern. When you do, you can eat what you like, along with a healthy diet that is best of you.

I went through a stage in my life in which I chose the path of a crash diet in which I would not even touch foods that were high in sugar or where unhealthy and processed. I was a little too careful with my diet and was missing the big picture. I remember at one point, I had it with this diet and missed eating the foods that I used to eat. After some reconsideration, I though to myself how I can still choose to live a happy and healthy lifestyle, all while eating “junk food” in moderation from time to time, as well as not worrying too much on how my numbers were and trying to make them perfect. That wasn’t living.

And I wanted to live, not for the future, but for the present.

I wanted to enjoy each day without living in fear of trying to eat the right foods and have, what I thought were, perfect blood sugars. Yeah I was healthy, but I wasn’t all that happy.

Every now and then you come to a point where you will have to decide what type of lifestyle you truly want, depending on your personality and current situation. Diabetes can be tough when you try and over plan and set limits to yourself. Finding a common balance between what you eat and how it affects you can help when trying to regulate your Diabetes as a whole. It is a lot of work and there will be periods of time in which it is mostly trial and error by simply seeing what works best with your blood sugars, but when you finally feel as though you have figured it out, it will truly feel amazing! You can do it all, eat what you want, not restrict yourself all the time, but just eat in moderation the foods that may not be the stereotypical diet for a Diabetic.

So go ahead, eat that ice cream. And enjoy it. Because even with T1D, you CAN eat ice cream.

Live well,

Dave

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