Saturday, September 15, 2012

Body Image

I was going to send this private to a certain lovely young lady, but then I decided to post it so everyone could read it. Just like there are stereotypes of all T2's being fat, there are also stereotypes of all T1s being thin (and diagnosed during childhood). None of these is true. While most (but NOT all!) T1s probably WERE skinny at diagnosis, due to the fact that the diabetes had been eating away at their bodies for quite some time before diagnosis, once they went on insulin, their natural body metabolism took over, and they once again were on track to be the size their genetics determined they should be, assuming normal and healthy food intake.

It's bad enough that MOST women buy into this idea that we should ALL be thin and pear-shaped, but for a woman with T1 diabetes, it's even more damaging, because weight loss is so easily achievable (although at a tremendous cost). If truly NORMAL women have a wide variety of body shapes, why shouldn't we? We're no different from them, except for having uncooperative pancreata!

And while I may sound like I'm preaching from on high, this is EXACTLY the issue I myself am struggling with. I was never fat, but I'm built like a barrel, with no waistline. And my family has called me fat ever since I was a child, only because my sister was skin and bones thin. And they threatened me with diabetes (my grandmother had it) if I ate things they didn't approve of. What a load of crap to put onto a child! And if it's crap for a child, it's certainly crap for the rest of us as well. 

I already know that the vast majority of women don't look like air-brushed, anorexic models, but who ever said they should? The women I know and love ARE physically beautiful just as they are, and I want them to take care of their physical and mental health as best as they can (although there are always bumps in the road), and devote their lives to the causes that are important to them. Aren't you a worthwhile person who is contributing to the world, a lovable person, and a beautiful person? So who cares what those artificial, arbitrarily made-up BMI tables say, anyway?


  1. I think the stereotype that all Type 1s were skinny was from back in the early days when people ate a more rigid diet and weren't able to eat "goodies" and adjust insulin to do that. Now we eat normal diets like other women do and face the same weight issues that they do.

    You are right, we don't need to look like some anorexic model to be worthwhile & lovable. I have curves and I would rather keep my curves than be some anorexic model!

  2. Thanks for writing such a great article that highlights some of the challenges we face as diabetics