If you’ve seen me in the last few months you’ll have noticed I’ve lost some weight. I know you’ve noticed because you’ve all remarked upon it and I have probably completely failed to be even slightly gracious about what, I am sure, was intended as a sincere compliment.
The thing is, my weightloss is the outward sign of the fact that I have a chronic condition that is, in part, managed through a strict diet and exercise regime. There is quite a lot of stress and grief associated with such a diagnosis and I don’t always relish the reminder. My changing form isn’t a bonus, a silver lining, or something to be envied. I don’t feel better, because I never felt unwell (all this effort is about staving off future damage), and I was perfectly content with the way I looked. Ironically, if my diabetes was left untreated for long enough, it would also have caused me to lose weight.
I’ve won a lot of kudos for the effort I’ve put into following my diet plan and exercising regularly but, this too, is double edged. The parts of my psyche that keep me on track are not the best parts. My twin demons of anxiety and perfectionism are having a wonderful time with this. With some effort I’m mostly keeping everything in balance but, given enough food, those bastards can take me to some very dark places.
Learning to manage my diabetes is an ongoing and, frankly, exhausting process. The best way you can help is to make it as small an issue as you can. Please share a joke, notice my work, compliment my remarkable intellect, but leave my waist measurement out of it.