Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dear 16-year-old me

It was a good year, but there are storm clouds brewing. You finally figured out how to get around your parents' strict food restrictions, and you're spending your lunch money on glazed doughnuts in the morning at school, and bingeing on $1.00 worth of candy bars (20 bars!) whenever you get your allowance money. Oh, my, that stuff tastes SO good!

But you're not eating very well -- your picky eating is preventing you from getting the nutrition available in many fruits and vegetables, and you have no idea how to circumvent that, because the only way your mother knows how to make vegetables is overcooked and mushy, which you can't stand. But you do love your mashed potatoes with lots of butter, and bread and butter!

So you don't know it, but you're setting yourself up for carb addiction, and when the diabetes hits, you will NOT be in a good place either nutritionally or emotionally. The very first thing the CDEs will do is send you to a dietitian, who will place you on a meal plan that you will absolutely abhor, and not be able to follow. So you will throw it to the wind, and you will NOT be doing your diabetes any good.

So I'd like to suggest that you try food, a little at a time, and when you're on your own, do more investigating about nutrition and work on body image and sense of self. This is hard to do without any support, and I don't know if you can find the support, but at least try. Don't be so hard into denial of your food issues, even before diabetes. It's a hard road, and you may have to travel it alone, but try.

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