Saturday, October 25, 2008

Full Disclosure, Part 3

I guess I'll make it a trilogy. And then I'll go back and digitally add Jabba the Hutt to the first entry. Because I'm evil like that.

Dealing with the whole pregnancy and breastfeeding thing forced me to take a good look at a lot of my eating habits. I became much more aware of excessive thinness as a problem rather than something that was just fine. Unfortunately, this led to me hitting the opposite end of the spectrum at times. I'd cycle through a month or two of restrictive eating, followed by a panicked month of overeating because I was afraid of becoming too thin. Then I'd be okay for the better part of a year before the cycle randomly started again. I didn't really see this as a problem at the time. It's only looking back now and actually putting it in writing that makes me think "hmm, I was messed up."

Then, about a month before my 21st birthday, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I spent a lot of time wondering "why me?" I wasn't overweight-I had been a fairly "normal" weight by medical standards before my pancreas quit, and then lost even more weight when that happened. I had an active, healthy lifestyle, and I couldn't understand why this would happen. Of course, looking back now I would suspect that my lifetime of messed-up eating and the like probably contributed to my "latent adult-onset pancreatic failure," as the doctors called it when I pressed them for details. I'll never know for sure what really triggered it. Was my pancreas just a ticking time bomb my whole life? Did going on Depo-Provera a few months prior to my diagnosis have anything to do with it? Would I be okay now if I had eaten normally as a child? In any case, this gives me a whole new set of challenges.

For a while after my diagnosis, I was as okay as can be expected. I did well with the eating thing, at least. For a few years, I ate more normally and healthfully than I had most of my life. Then, not too long ago, I became a complete mess again. I had been through hell with an abusive relationship before getting my shit together and ending up with Chris. Work had fallen completely apart. My whole life seemed out of control, and I was gaining weight like mad. So what did I do? Jeopardized my health and my relationship by setting all kinds of absurd food restrictions, using my diabetes as an excuse. Sure, I need to eat healthfully, and I shouldn't put a whole lot of crap in my body. But does that mean I should refuse to allow white bread or pasta in my house? That I should put my partner down when he doesn't follow the same stringent rules I do? Honestly, obsessing about food was taking up ridiculous amounts of my time a few months ago. And I was eating about 1100 calories a day because nothing was "good enough" to put in my body. Lots of fresh fruit and veggies, paired with whole grains and lean meats-that's great. But when I couldn't get my hands on "good" food, I just wouldn't eat at all. And if I had a "hypo" and had to have some quick sugar? That would be quickly chased with a Lorazepam to stop the panic attacks that were caused by eating something "bad." And really, there's only so much fiber-rich, tasteless junk you can cram into your belly. That's why it makes such a good weight loss diet-you eat a lot less. 1100 calories. I figured it out a few times, and that ended up being pretty much my daily average. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but typically I was eating about 1100 calories a day. That kind of restriction, and panic attacks from eating life-saving glucose? That's a very slippery slope. Thank Deity I had that nervous breakdown-it forced me to take a good look at my life, and to not allow those habits to continue for more than a couple of months. The other day I asked Chris why he hadn't said anything when I got obsessive and scary like that. He said that he had believed me when I said it was "a diabetes thing." He wanted me to be healthy, and I had convinced him that starving myself was what that would take.

I'm sorry I've lied to everyone my whole life. I feel like a terrible person.

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