Individuality matters the most

No one size fits all. Clothes that advertise this lie. Healthcare professionals who try to sell you their programs with this idea lie. People who try to convince you to go on their diet and say their diet works for everyone lie. Fact of the matter is, there is always going to be a group of people for whom something isn’t going to work out. Diabetics in particular are a good example of this, regardless of their type.

Some diabetics have very poor control on LCHF (low carb high fat). Some diabetics have the best control they’ve ever had in their entire lives on LCHF.

Some diabetics are constantly in a state of hyperglycemia on a plant based, high carb (vegan) diet. Some diabetics have never seen better numbers in 40+ years of being diabetic ever since becoming vegan.

Some diabetics can’t eat ‘regular’ meals consisting of carbs, proteins, fibers and fats because it skyrockets their values. Some diabetics have excellent numbers as long as they take their medication properly for what they eat.

Being involved with the diabetic community I’ve seen all of the above and then some. It’s becoming ever more obvious to me that there is no “One” diet for diabetics, just like there is no “One” treatment in general. It’s also why it becomes so aggravating when people get pushy in sharing their success with their diet and treatment. They’re so glad that they found something that works that they insist it works for all, without taking into consideration that two people can be on the same exact diet, meal after meal, and have wildly varying results. Where one person drops weight like crazy, the other gains. Where one person sees dramatic improvement, the other just gets worse.

I deeply encourage every person to explore their options. Give diets a try, see which lifestyle change works for you. You’ll notice soon enough whether it’s effective for you or not. But please, pretty please, be considerate of those who have something that works for them. I can’t even begin to express my frustrations with people carelessly pushing their way of life onto me without knowing anything about my history or situation. Yes, I am very happy that it works for you. Genuinely, I am, because diabetes is a bitch and struggling for years with a diet that makes you feel bad is not fun. It’s fantastic when you find your holy grail in your diabetes treatment.

Just accept that it is probably different from that of others. Don’t lecture unless someone asks you to share information. Don’t try to guilt-trip them into it by saying ‘But don’t you want to live long and healthily?!’. That’s very disrespectful and dismissive of the nature of this disease. I’ve only been diabetic since 2014, and on insulin for 4 months now, but I’ve already heard most of it and I’m already exhausted from other people trying to meddle in my affairs.

I know my body. I know what happens when I eat x food. I know what my wallet allows me to buy. I know what foods upset my IBS and give me unbearable cramps. A stranger on the internet can’t ever possibly know enough about my body and my life to give me adequate advice. If advice is asked for, it should be suggestive and encouraging, not demanding and reprimanding.

Be kind to each other, especially if you’re fellow diabetics. Trust that someone knows themselves well enough to make the right decisions. Give guidance only when asked for because nobody likes it when others stick their noses in your business. Embrace individuality and respect it, because that’s how we can be our best and bring out the best in others.

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Your shoe won’t fit my foot.

I weighed in at 118.3 kgs the other day. It’s a new milestone! I haven’t been this light in years. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve lost 7 kilograms. It may not seem like much, but here’s the thing: I’m going and I’m not stopping, so it doesn’t matter how slow it goes. My weight fluctuates a lot, but there’s a steady downward trend and that’s the most important thing. 🙂 The best pat is I’m not on an actual weight loss diet. There are no obligations, no reprimanding myself for ‘cheating’, no stress over not having lost that pound I set as my goal this week etc. It’s what killed all my previous attempts at losing weight, I’m sure. At some point the weight loss takes over your life and becomes a burden that you cannot carry forever. At some point counting calories is going to take the fun out of enjoying your meals. When you start thinking that frying your food is the worst thing that you can do because it means you MUST do three times as much exercise, you have a problem with your relationship with food. So you stop dieting, you feel like a failure for not being able to stick with it, and you pack on twice as much weight as you lost.

Dieting works for some people, but it just doesn’t for me. It took me so long to realize that small changes in my daily life can be incorporated without obsessing over my weight, and even longer to feel that is absolutely okay. It’s why I gave up on weight loss communities — everyone just tries to one-up one another and makes you feel like shit when there’s yet another thing in your life you can’t seem to get done. People always telling you what you should and shouldn’t do without realizing that everyone is different and their methods may not work for you. Inspire, don’t dictate!

So, yes. I’m doing well! My birth control implant is also working well, my period came but it’s so light I only need to wear pantyliners. My periods used to be crippling with heavy bleeding, cramps that wouldn’t allow me to sit up and extreme fatigue. If I can have periods like this for 3 years, I won’t even mind having periods. Though there’s hope that they’ll go away entirely, too.

I’m still going strong with my bento boxes. Even when I don’t go out, I prepare them. It helps me to prepare nutritious meals and my increased protein intake also makes it easier to have smaller portions for dinner. Ergo, I’m full longer. A bento’s traditional formula is pretty brilliant in that aspect.

What have you been achieving as of late? What’s your latest food craze?

“What’s your secret?”

I weighed in this morning at 121.2kgs. This is the lowest I’ve been this year and it’s awesome! I’m noticing a drastic improvement in my health in numerous areas: my blood sugar is more evened out without awful spikes or dips, my fitness condition has improved (I walked up and down the stairs to my apartment, with groceries, five times in a row and was only mildly out of breath!), and I’m overall more active. Even my emotional and mental problems seem more manageable than before, although part of it can probably be contributed to having a proper professional support system in place that is willing to work with me instead of pushing me through to the next person.

My neighbors in particular are commenting on this frequently. “You look so much prettier than you did last year!” “You look really sexy now that you lost weight!” “You’re looking so good this year!”

I choose to take these as compliments rather than insults lest I snap and shove their heads into their filthy pool and drown them. I choose to understand they’re not very intelligent but very shallow people who can’t see past someone’s looks and they don’t know any better. I was pretty and I was awesome when I was heavier too, thank you very much. A couple of days ago, my neighbor’s sister asked me “What’s your secret?” and looked at me with those horribly drug riddled judging eyes, as if I was going to give her the magic button she wanted to get rid of her excess weight.

“There is no secret. I just watch what I eat and focus on my blood sugar levels and try to exercise more.”

“Oh…”

I suppose in hindsight I think there is some sort of magic button to press, but the downside is that it’s not easy to do so. The upside is that it’s something everyone can do.

Just be honest with yourself. If you do this, you’ll find that your only obstacle to a healthier life is your own dishonesty. It’s the only reason you’re not losing weight, it’s the only reason you’re not becoming healthier and it’s the only reason whatever condition you have isn’t manageable to you.

When I peaked at my top weight, I was lying to myself a lot. I don’t eat that much, it must be medical. I tried to lose weight so often and couldn’t so it must be out of my reach. I don’t have the money to buy healthy foods so I better not try. Exercise isn’t good for me because of my health issues. I won’t get sick from being a bit too heavy anyway.

All lies and twisted truths that I had convinced myself of to be my reality because actually making changes is really, really hard when you’re dishonest. It wasn’t until I started counting calories and couldn’t deny seeing right there in front of me what I knew deep down to be true, that I was confronted with my dishonesty. I eat too much. I can lose weight but I just didn’t really try that hard and gave up too quickly. If I do my best I can at least eat partially healthy and cut down on bad foods with the little money I have. I can do exercises if I pace myself properly and don’t overdo it. I did get sick from being too heavy.

Bam. My whole life turned around just because of this. Don’t get me wrong, it was tough as shit to admit my faults to myself, but once I did it everything else got easier. Eating healthy when you’re in denial about your diet affecting your health negatively is much more difficult than making the right choices when you take your health seriously and approach it with honesty. You don’t have to give up everything you love, but you do have to make compromises and stick to them. Exercising when you put effort into finding something that works for you is pretty easy to do despite the discomfort it gives you, as long as you admit to yourself that sitting down and doing nothing is worse than getting up and walking up and down your apartment 20 times. If you put effort into planning for your shopping, you can replace half of your bad, fattening junk food meals with healthy ones without fucking up your budget. You may not be able to get there 100%, but hell, you turned around 50% of your diet. That’s 50% more health right there!

Some illnesses are unpreventable (such as type 1 diabetes and PCOS) and they come with disheartening consequences. But here too, admitting you’re sick and that’s just how it is instead of feeling sorry for yourself or even denying it’s serious makes all the difference. You’re not a lost cause just because you’re sick and your life doesn’t have to suck because you need to cut out foods that make your condition worse. You can choose to just accept that’s how it is, and you can choose to find alternatives that taste good. It won’t be easy, but it is possible.

When people spoke of unhealthy people being too lazy, I got offended and tried to deny it. But if that’s how you respond to such statements, that by itself is an indication that deep down inside yourself you know it to be true. If someone tells me now I’m fat because I don’t even try, it makes me feel… exactly nothing. I’m no longer lying to myself. I know what I eat, I know what I can do and what I actually do. I know that, sure, maybe I COULD go that extra mile and be the best of the best, but I’m healthier now than I’ve ever been. There’s nothing deep down inside of me cringing because someone’s words revealed a painful truth I tried to deny. I just know their statement doesn’t apply to me and therefore it doesn’t offend me. So if you take offense in what I wrote, just take a step back and look inside yourself. There’s probably a good reason as to why you’re offended.

Every time I try to think of the magic fix to be healthier, I always come back around to honesty. I got fat because I lied to myself about what I put in my mouth. I got fat because I lied to myself about the exercise I did and didn’t do. I got sicker than I had to be because I denied that something was wrong when initial tests came back pre-diabetic. I continued to be on a bad diet because I lied to myself about the possibilities of changing what I bought from the store. When I became honest, I became healthier. That’s the only magic button there is.