I have been overweight since the fourth grade. I have a vivid recollection of sitting in my math lesson, bored, grabbing the fat of my stomach to shake it. When I started paying attention to the lesson again, the teacher was looking at me with a sad, pitying expression, and I felt the flush of embarrassment.
Thus began my journey being aware of my excess weight, and subsequently trying to hide it.
For Type 1 Diabetics like myself, maintaining a healthy weight can often feel like a Sisyphean task. Insulin is a hormone that stimulates hunger, so you eat, inject insulin, eat, and the cycle repeats. It’s common for newly diagnosed patients to quickly gain a lot of weight once started on insulin. In fact, one of the symptoms of Type 1 before diagnosis is unexplained weight loss.
The double-edged sword of insulin, among other reasons, is why I now eat low carb, but the unfortunate truth is that I have been overweight, even medically obese (according to the BMI, which is a terrible indicator of health) for fifteen years if not more.
Sometimes I think I can’t even begin to describe the mental weight I have carried because of this.