I know it might seem sad to some people, but never have I felt so at peace with what I put in my body, since I got Diabetes. It’s very difficult for outsiders to understand, as most of them have spent a great deal of time simply blaming overweight people for ‘causing’ their own illnesses, or not taking care of themselves… but I am well aware that I have not spent a lifetime overeating.
As someone who visibly started gaining weight, slowly, at the age of 6 or 7 years old, I could hardly have been blamed for ‘overeating.’ I just ate what was made for me, and many times I was actually forced to eat said food, as I was a picky eater, like many children at that age. But explain that to my mother. I love my mother, don’t get me wrong, but my mother is from that generation, where women need to look trim for their ‘man’ or they won’t ever find a man, at all, and women need to do everything in their power to not overeat. In her well meaning ‘encouragement,’ my mother put me through a lifetime of trauma and embarrassment in front of strangers, clothing store clerks, and friends. You name it.
So… it’s not a surprise that one day, I said to her: “Look, I am unhappy on all these diets… I am happy the way I am, right now, so I’m not going to do them anymore, and you cannot EVER mention weight to me, ever again.” I know it must have been tough for her… watching me balloon up in size to about 250 lbs… But to be honest, I needed to find peace with myself. Peace, because I didn’t want to keep being blamed for the few things I ate, considering that I also have Hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and Insulin Resistance. I tried explaining these things to my mother… but in her eyes, and many other people’s eyes, I was just exaggerating things, and needed to do my best to ‘correct’ my situation.
Now I am at peace… even though I have Diabetes. Why? Because I have my own purpose, and not the purpose someone else wants me to have… I can feel free to diet for my own reasons, and for my own health, and not because my mother, or any other person wants to tell me I need to do it. I have something to grasp and hold on to when I feel like I’m failing, other then the idea of ‘you need to look good in order to find a man,’ or whatever other inane idea. I will live every day, and try my best, in good health… to show the world that someone can live with Diabetes, and beat this disease into the ground as much as they can… and of course, so I can stick around for those I love. I will do it every day, for my self, and for all those before me, like my father… who suffered from poor advise, misinformation, and poor medication options… Besides, I don’t even consider it dieting. It’s simply a lifestyle change… and it can be my own lifestyle, now.
I know getting a chronic illness was not the best of all circumstances… but Diabetes has given me purpose. I hope you can find your purpose, too.