Food … friend or foe?

“Any T1’s relationship with food is not like non-diabetics and it is rough.”

I was helping a friend who is a mentor with JDRF, and in turn asked another good friend who is a parent to a teenage T1 a question about raising a teen with diabetes, and dealing with rebellion, etc. That was one of her comments above – “Any T1’s relationship with food is not like non-diabetics and it is rough.” – Suzanne

Those words really hit me. And seems like the understatement of the year. In my 22+ years living with diabetes, I’d never really thought until recently how much my relationship with food is different than other people’s. I mean, of course I know I have to account for every bite of food I put in my mouth. But other things have been surfacing lately.

A couple of weeks ago, my family was sitting down to eat dinner and I told my husband that I would love to be able to just sit down with them and not do the last minute blood sugar check, math problems to calculate carbs, and punch numbers into my pump. (I do not typically pre-bolus, although I know many people do. YDMV.) It seems like they are always waiting on me to take their first bite (I live with all boys, so we are teaching them to be polite and not eat until mommy has sat down and taken her first bite.)

We had some baked goods sitting in the break room of my office this week and every time I walked by it, I felt a resentment feeling .. not sure if that’s even the right word. But I recognized it and I didn’t like it. I felt a twinge of “I would love to eat a piece of that. But is it worth it? How much insulin do I have left in my pump? Is it going to break down weirdly and cause me to be high later?” When everyone else just walked in and ate a piece without a care in the world, other than the occasional “I don’t really need these extra calories.”

For the record, I did eat it. Was it “worth it”? Not sure. But it tasted good in the moment. 🙂


About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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4 Responses to Food … friend or foe?

  1. Scott E says:

    Though I’ve heard others talk about it, I never really understood the concept of a “relationship with food” — that is, until a discussion that I was involved in this past weekend. I’ve been contemplating writing a blog on it (if I can find the time before I run out of motivation) …. so you’ll have to wait to find out what I’m thinking!

    But at its core, I think it involves more than just the prerequisites and conditions associated with eating.

  2. GeorgieP says:

    Our relationship with food is screwed – mine was before diagnosis and now it’s worse haha.
    Fundamentally, I think it would just be nice to see food as food, not something that can make you sick later on. x

  3. I was diagnosed when I was 13. The age when eating anything and everything should be acceptable, I was instead “dieting” of sorts to count carbs, etc. Although my food relationship may not always be about losing weight, I’ve realized that diabetes has created a kind of “dieting mentality” that at times can be extremely degrading.

  4. juliewisor says:

    I understand! I was diagnosed at age 26 and I’ve often wondered if I’m glad I had 26 years of carefree eating or if I wish I would never had known what that was like. Either way, I never appreciated my fully functioning body enough. A healthy pancreas is miraculous!

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