How did your diagnoses influence the way you eat?
My eating habits were actually pretty good before my first diagnosis. I worked out a lot and ate lots of greens, fruits and water. I’d enjoy the occasional burger or cocktails with friends, too. After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, my eating patterns didn’t have to change too much. I did have to start being more conscious of macros – especially carbohydrates, which spike blood sugars. But food became hard to manage. I felt like I was eating well and counting carbs, but my blood sugars weren’t reflecting that. When I found out I actually had LADA and that I needed insulin, I had to be even more conscious of counting carbs so that I could take the appropriate amounts of insulin for my food without having low blood sugars. At first, remembering to count carbs all the time was difficult. Also, researching what I ate and weighing it to find the carb counts were so time-consuming. But now? I’m a human carb calculator! I can look at foods and estimate the carb counts pretty closely.
What’s something positive that came from your diagnosis?
One of the healthiest habits I have now is not shunning food. All food groups do different things for your body. I’ve gained the confidence of being able to include foods I love in my diet without feeling guilty. I’ve had my ups and downs with diabetes and food, from not eating enough because I felt like it was the only way to stabilize blood sugars, to eliminating cultural foods like rice and peas and Jamaican beef patties. Now, I feel so much better and freer knowing how to incorporate these foods without shame or guilt.
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