When I was 19 and home from school on Christmas break, I walked into my endocrinologist’s office and they told me something jaw dropping.
The news? My A1C was a 5.7- the best it had ever been since being diagnosed at 7. When the doctor told me, my mom hugged me with the biggest smile on her face and my endocrinologist started bragging to the nurse how much of a “star” diabetic example I was.
While this celebratory moment was going down between the nurse, my endocrinologist and my mom, I couldn’t help but feel so defeated. I know, not what you’d expect to hear. On paper I was healthy, but deep down inside I didn’t feel that way...
When everyone around you keeps telling you how strong and amazing you are, but the way you feel doesn’t match up, you feel like a fraud and like you’re letting them down. This shouldn’t have been the case. But it’s how I felt.
In college I wanted to lose weight, stabilize my blood sugars, and feel more in control of my diabetes. But I went down the path of restriction and obsession which ultimately got me a near perfect A1C but left me with a horrible relationship with food, an unsustainably restrictive lifestyle, and feeling less in control of my life then ever before.
In short, here’s what I learned at that time of my life about diabetes management: if you're interested in eating every meal at home, saying no to the movies with friends because you know the popcorn will be too tempting, restricting carbs, spending every 30 seconds checking your blood sugar, and scheduling your life around cardio machines in FEAR of not being enough, striving for perfection, and proving your worth to others, then you too can have a perfect A1C.
I realized at my rock bottom ( after losing my menstrual cycle for almost 5 years from putting so much stress on my body) that seeing the endocrinologist every 3-6 months and depending on her for a “one stop diabetes shop” wasn’t going to help me holistically move into the life I wanted: having more peace of mind, confidence in myself, stronger mentally and physically, more energized empowered, a good friend/daughter/ girlfriend, and simply the best, kick ass version of myself...
I eventually found that the answer was in unraveling my old habits in what I was thinking and doing, looking inwards at what did/ did not serve me, and building a new, stronger relationship with myself, my diabetes, exercise, food, stress...everything.
I understand how it feels to be frustrated by lack of results and trying to figure out what the “right answer” is to feeling your best balanced self is.Trust me, I’ve tried it all, I get it. But the truth is, when you prioritize your self care mentally, emotionally, and physically, you don’t have to choose between freedom and good blood sugars. You can have both.
This brings us to where we are today….which for me, was totally unplanned.
I was supposed to go to law school just like my dad ( my younger sister Dana is now his retirement plan!) I wanted to fight to improve our food and health care system. But I decided to become a health coach instead. I made a last minute switch because I realized I didn’t want to fight for years and years to create change.I wanted to empower and guide others to see a better way of doing things for themselves. Specifically, I wanted to help type 1 diabetics just like me who felt like they are fighting an uphill battle and frustrated by not getting the results they wanted, and needed.
I wanted them to feel the freedom I’ve felt physically, mentally, and emotionally, removing the burden so they too could enjoy life without diabetes getting in the way.