Weight Management with T1 Diabetes

It’s that time of year again. You guessed it. Everyone is after that elusive “summer body”, talking about eating leaves and fantasising over abnormal coloured drinks. Oh and don’t forget repeating that they should take up another sport. Yeah, I am guilty of having all of these ideas too. However, I only just finished my Easter eggs thank you very much!

In all seriousness, trying to manage weight is very difficult. I don’t think anyone can dispute that. But try throwing in some insulin here and there, hypo treatments all over the place and difficulty exercising because you almost have to consume the amount of calories you’re trying to burn in hypo-preventing snacks throughout the day. It’s certainly a challenge. 

The thing is, the majority of diabetics spend a lot of time telling and educating others on how T1 is nothing to do with diet, weight or eating too much sugar which is absolutely true. However, it has a huge element of it that is about food and exercise. I know some will disagree with me because diabetes is NOT caused by lifestyle, but you have to admit a large portion of T1 is about food. 

We spend our lives counting carbohydrates, adjusting insulin with exercise, avoiding extremely high sugar food when you have high blood sugars (well, sometimes……), treating hypos with lucozade and of course still having to see all the media attention that lifestyle causing diabetes still sadly gets, despite it being a misconception. 

So who can blame me that I think about weight a lot when I’m having to think about food so much? Problem is, it is RIDICULOUSLY hard to manage weight gain and loss with T1. Its just part of it. It doesn’t not make life easy. It’s so hard knowing that every time I’m sat there with a biscuit in my hand that my friend who also has a biscuit will find it much easier to burn those extra calories. I know that since about the age of 10 my weight has been climbing (naturally not excessively) but it’s not gone down. The number on the scales doesn’t seem to budge, up or down! It’s very odd. I only put two and two together when I started eating a shed of salad and cut down on sweet things about a year ago when no matter how hard I tried my weight remained constant, even when I binge ate for a few days getting frustrated it hadn’t moved. I don’t know how many people find this but it’s getting increasingly frustrating. I’m damn sure it’s to do with being on insulin (currently a lot of it too). 

On top of this, when I do try and burn off the snacks that keep me going during a long revision stint, sometimes I have to consume more calories after exercising than I burnt  during, trying to combat hypos! Burn 500 for instance, then consume 600 in lucozade half an hour later! 

So T1 and weight management are not friends. Not in my life. And it can be so hard, because my life is about numbers with blood sugars, carbohydrates and insulin doses that I don’t want to be counting calories or minutes exercise too! But you can’t do the easy gradual weight loss stuff with slight diet changes, because it simply doesn’t happen.

There’s perservereing and beating your challenges with everything with diabetes, but this is one that I can’t figure out right now. And I don’t have the time in my life to dedicate lots of thought and effort into it either. But there we go. You can’t win everything. 

If you have experienced similar issues or feelings please feel free to like, comment or share!

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