Food is never just food - it's medicine; it's a math equation; sometimes it's the enemy. The numbers on our glucose meters and on our medical charts often dictate, or reveal, our behavior. Are we skipping meals because we don't want to mess up that pretty little CGM line? Are we inhaling cereal at 2:00 am to bring us out of the sweaty, confusing haze of low blood sugar? (Really, who else inhales cereal but a PWD with a low BG?) How about the times we skip the healthy food - the fruit, the whole grains - because the low carb (but less healthy) options will wreck less glucosey havoc? (I'm looking at you, piles of bacon.)
And what about the times we binge - either mindfully or mindlessly - only to frantically attempt to carb guess and bolus accordingly afterwards?
What about the times we defy a healthy choice, simply because we can make the unhealthy one?
Growing up with type 1 diabetes, there were many things on the "nope" list. Hungry? Okay, you can only eat these things, in these amounts, at this time. Not hungry? Too bad - you have to eat these exact things anyway. Hostess products stayed on the top shelves of our pantry, out of my reach but rarely out of my sight. I'd linger there, leaning on the door and gazing with affection at all of the things I couldn't eat in whatever quantity I wanted to.
Now that I'm an adult capable of making my own decisions (and wearing an insulin pump that allows me the kind of foody freedom I never got to have as a kid), things get a little sticky. The cumulative power of "no" sometimes feeds an irrational sense of being owed; like I need to eat the things I couldn't eat previously to somehow make up for lost time. As if, somehow, I'm sticking it to diabetes by doing so - when, if anything, I'm only sticking it to myself.
Food issues? Yes. Yes, I absolutely have those.
The thing is, I know I'm not alone - many of us experience a tangled relationship with what and how and how much we eat. This week, February 24th through March 2nd, is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness if you're Twittery) and the Diabetes Advocates organization is striving to "broaden and amplify the conversation on diabetes-related eating disorders by offering information and resources to the diabetes community, including those at risk and those in need of support", and I fully support this mission. This post on the DA site offers some great resources to check out, and I urge you to pass them onto others.
Everybody knows somebody.