Weight Loss & Type 1 Diabetes: Challenges, Suggestions, & A Fresh Perspective

So many of us are trying to live a healthier, more active lifestyle. Whether it’s to lose weight, get in shape, or just feel better, it’s a really fantastic move! I’ve been active and have eaten somewhat healthy for years now, but having two kids in two years in my mid to late 30s has wreaked havoc on my waistline! It’s time to shed some pounds. You’d think that chasing after two kids under 3 and training for a half marathon would do that. Nope. Thanks 30-something metabolism! I’m told it only gets worse once I hit 40, so it’s now or never as far as I’m concerned!

Losing weight is challenging for everyone. Losing weight with type 1 diabetes is extra difficult, in my opinion. As diabetics, blood sugar control is our first priority, right? I find that it’s nearly impossible to do that when I make drastic changes to my diet that involve completely cutting out carbohydrates, for example. Would I lose weight quickly? Probably. Is it the healthiest move for me? No. Rapid weight loss appeals to me (for obvious reasons…who doesn’t want to lose it quickly?!), but it just doesn’t work with type 1 diabetes. We need healthy carbohydrates to keep energy levels up and blood sugar levels stable. When I cut out carbohydrates it usually results in plummeting blood sugars and binge eating. While binge eating is emotionally satisfying, it’s not doing me or my waistline any favors. Everyone is different, I know. This is simply my experience with that weight loss route.

I prefer to stick to the USDA’s recommended portions. At each meal, about half of my plate is fruits and/or vegetables, a quarter carbohydrates, and a quarter protein. I try to pick high-fiber, multi-grain carbohydrates that allow me to feel full and eat less. If I am going to eat a starchier meal, I try to eat it earlier in the day. When I eat a lot of starch later in the evening I end up battling blood sugar problems all night.

Don’t get me wrong…I could live on nothing but Italian food, gourmet cheese, rosemary sourdough bread (my favorite), olive oil, and really good chocolate and I would LOVE every second of it. However, if I ever want to shed my extra weight I need to save that stuff for special occasions and eat smart the rest of the time. So, sticking to the USDA’s portions is what is working for me. It saves me from “grazing” all day (which generally doesn’t mean good things for my blood sugar) and helps me make better food choices.

Now, this is all fine and good until I get impatient. Impatience is my #1 obstacle to losing weight. I stick to a super healthy eating plan for 3 days, get frustrated that I haven’t lost 20 pounds yet, and quit. That probably sounds absurd, but it’s very difficult for me to stick with it!

I read a blog post called Level Up To Lose Weight on the zen habits blog earlier today that discussed this very problem, and it gave me a new perspective. I’ve been reading the zen habits blog for a couple of years now and I love it. It’s given me a fresh perspective on many things. Today’s post was about how starting small and progressing gradually will help you be more successful in your weight loss endeavors. I definitely recommend checking it out!

Weight loss is an ongoing struggle for so many of us. I plan to put the advice from zen habits into practice and see if it helps me stick with it. I’d love to know what’s working for you and how you’ve overcome the obstacles you’ve faced!

Categories: Lifestyle/Fitness | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Why bother being active?

There is an old Chinese proverb that I love and live by. It reads, “Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” My personal interpretation is this…I know it’s very easy to get frustrated, angry, and confused about your diabetes. Instead of cursing the disease and wallowing in your resentment, I argue that getting yourself out there and learning how to control your diabetes while doing the activities you love (or better yet…discover a new favorite activity!) is the best way to start embracing your diabetes and living the life you choose. Staying active will not only help you mentally and emotionally (it’s the best free therapy you’ll ever find!), it has many physical benefits as well.

Check out the Top 10 Benefits of Being Active for diabetics, according to the American Diabetes Association:

Getting active doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. While gyms are a wonderful way for folks to get fit, I prefer to go outside. If you’re trying to find an activity that is right for you, think outside the box! Gardening, swimming, golf, and hiking are all great options. If you are more of a social butterfly, join a kickball team, play volleyball, work with kids, or look into classes offered by your local Parks & Recreation Department. There are tons of options! I urge you to evaluate the countless benefits of getting out there and being active, and discover the ways you can incorporate activity into your own life. It is okay to start small. Baby steps are still steps in the right direction! It’s up to you to take the first step.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor when you are starting any kind of physical activity. Your doctors (especially your endocrinologist) are there to help you and serve as resources for you…utilize them!

Categories: Lifestyle/Fitness | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at