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Diabetes and Food – A Fine Balance

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Some nights ago, I ate an entire hot jam donut at the movies without feeling guilty and I was proud of myself. 

Since diabetes entered my life, I became increasingly conscious of foods I eat. Right after my diagnosis, I severely restricted my diet. I was desperate to get my sugars within range as I was terrified of living with diabetes and what that meant. I thought perhaps if I eliminated all carbs, my diabetes would go away.

I know a lot better now what a load of rubbish that is and how miserable life without carbs can get.

Food is a big part of life. I now believe that even with diabetes, I can enjoy any food “in moderation”. Yep, its that wanky word dietitians and doctors love. But for me, eating in moderation has taught me to be more mindful and appreciative over every mouthful. You don’t drink a glass of good wine in a single gulp, so why do the same with food?

Over the years I’ve learned to shift my focus from the amount of carbohydrates I eat a day, to listening to my body and enjoying food sensibly. There are still times where anxiety kicks in if I go over a certain amount of carbs a day. And it’s never easy after an overnight hypo binge when you realise how many carbs you’ve already eaten before the day has started.

When I catch myself being too bogged down by these numbers, I try to take a break from logging and remind myself that life is more than numbers. I change my focus onto less detailed things about my eating such as drinking more water.

Balancing food and diabetes is challenging. It’s difficult to slacken the reins of the diabetes monster from time to time without the guilt or fear of complications. But life is too short to say no to a hot jam donut after a long week.

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Pancreatically challenged, diabetes advocate, PhD student and dietitian - working to positive changes within the diabetes community and healthcare setting. Although diagnosed at age of 19 with T2DM, the type of diabetes I have is under constant debate. Finally pumping as of March 2014.

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  1. Great advice for parents of children with diabetes too! Balance and realism – thanks for a great read! I still want to go and make that salted caramel sauce of yours!


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