Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Have Diabetes.

I've avoided the topic long enough, and have even alluded to it in a recent post of mine. Over the summer, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Let me take this time to remind you that I am only 19 years old. Needless to say, I'm scared, lost, and find it very difficult to keep up my blog. I'd like to, but I fear that I do little more to the movement, now that I'm unhealthy, than be another fat, unhealthy statistic. I know I've seen someone else on here with it, but if I recall correctly this person is definitely older than me. I feel like a failure, and hate it when people try and cheer me up by bringing up 30 year olds who have it. Yes, that is still a young age to become a diabetic, but to hear that that's the definition of young and diabetic, well, just makes me feel even worse. I'm certain there must be someone else on here who is in a similar situation, but I have yet to find them.

I guess there are a few main reasons for me posting this. 1. I feel like I can't be a part of the movement, especially since I have this constantly growing hatred within for not avoiding this, 2. I wanted to apologize for rarely posting, 3. I need some sort of support and I don't know where to go. I feel like if I go anywhere outside the fatosphere for advice then I'll get all the shame I've already given myself, such as "why the hell didn't you eat better?" and "go die already," etc. I just didn't think my somewhat bad eating habits (I don't even eat sweets much; but I do love pasta and rice. I didn't realize carbs=sugars because I'm an idiot) would catch up with me this young. I figured yeah, down the line, if I didn't eat better I'd be unhealthy. But I didn't even know that it runs on my mom's side of the family, and that you truly can get it at any age. I just need to find some advice or something that will make me feel less alone, less like a failure, and maybe even help me to keep from hating myself. Any advice, please post in the comments. If I take a while to respond, it's because I'm giving my boyfriend the password to this so he can delete any troll comments for me so that I don't have to see them. I mean, I lost it again upon reading this post on Cake Wrecks, where she makes some losing of a foot joke. I can't keep losing it at the drop of a hat, but that's why my boyfriend will be screening my comments first; to keep trolls out and to keep me from depressing myself further.

Anyway, sorry for my detached sounding post; needless to say, during most of that my eyes weren't very clear, nor was my mind. Meh.

Thanks for listening, and thanks in advance for any advice you care to give.

xxla

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

*hugs*

You don't need to feel guilty for getting sick.

You aren't stupid. You aren't a failure. You aren't a traitor to fat acceptance.

Rice and pasta actually are healthy, as much as you can actually categorize food as "healthy" or "unhealthy".

Correlation does not equal causation. You don't need to leap to the conclusion that you got diabetes because you're fat. Sometimes the Islet Amyloid Polypetide gene just swings the wrong way.

Having a disease doesn't make you a statistic. It doesn't make you living proof that fat is bad for you. It makes you human. You don't have to buy into this medical paranoia hype that if something goes wrong with your body, it must be because of teh evil fat cells.

You don't deserve blame or shame. You can't take personal accountability for whatever malfunctions the myriad complexity of human anatomy flings up.

Random internet fat-bashers are in no position to assess your health or lifestyle.

You've got a disease. That's bad. It is a treatable disease, and medical advancements in the area of treating it are being made every day.

If somebody says you've got only yourself to blame for diabtes, or that you deserve it, you should eat them.

"Rain falls on the righteous and unrighteous"
-paraphrased shinto saying

Lady Jaye said...

You can still be part of the fatosphere while taking good care of yourself. You have to focus on keeping the diabetes under control. That's the main point. And it is fairly easy nowadays to control it (doesn't mean that it doesn't suck, but it's not a death sentence either).

However, focus on your health, not your weight numbers. You might or might not lose any weight by following the prescribed diabetes diet (and here, I don't mean diet as in Weight Watchers but in terms of eating habits), but what matters (as I said above) is to control the diabetes.

Whether you lose or not any weight, you can still be supportive of fat people. Heck, remember that thin people can get diabetes too and that not every fat person will get diabetes.

As for trolls' comments, good move in asking your boyfriend to help you out with dealing with them. Keep us posted about your life with diabetes.

I wish you the best.

Shade said...

This is NOT YOUR FAULT. You didn't eat your way to Diabetes. Really truly. Check out this post at Junkfood Science: http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2007/10/gi-more-bad-carb-myths.html (sorry, my HTML-foo nis weak).

Diabetes just happens, my friend. You did nothing to deserve it!

Lindsay B. said...

I am also young, and I also have diabetes. Type II. You are not alone. You are not alone in your fears and worries and "what it means".

Diabetes is not a death sentence, fortunately. It means taking some control over your intake of carbs for a while, but you know that you didn't stuff your mouth with sweets before. There is no need to feel guilty about having been diagnosed as diabetic.

Reading your post tugged my heart in the worst way, because I went through the exact same thing; Why did I eat all those carbs? Why did I do this to myself? It's frightening, and worse, our culture even condones shaming those who are diabetic. It's implicit everywhere.

Again: You are NOT alone. You are still loved, you are still a human being, and you are still ALIVE. And diabetes does not mean death, or "losing a foot", or anything that's associated with it. You CAN control your diet, you CAN get the right medication to control the bloodsugar, and you WILL get through this.
I repeat: You WILL get through this.

Jae said...

(((hugs)))

I'm sorry to hear that you are dealing with such a difficult illness. I can't imagine how stressful that is in general, but then to add to it all these other feelings...I admire you for confronting it.

You are not to blame for getting sick and there is no shame in what you are going through. Illness is, sadly, part of the human condition, but people are afraid of that fact, so in order to reaasure themselves that these things could never happen to them, they have to come up with a reason why the individual dealing with these disease is to blame:

"Oh, you've got cancer? You didn't eat enough antioxidant rich veggies!"

"Oh, you've got an STD? It's your fault for being a slut."

"Heart disease? Maybe you should lay off the McDonalds!"

Just try to hang on to the fact that these thing are not true in any way shape or form and that you have a lot of support from people here. From everything I've seen on your blog, you're smart and capable and I'm sure you will take care of yourself in the best way you can.

And I imagine if you keep on speaking up, you will touch a lot of people who are dealing with the same thing.

Best of luck dear!

Shinobi42 said...

Hey XXLA,
A good friend of mine just got diagnosed as well. (much older than you, I know, not helpful) And it hurts me to see her beat up on herself the same way you are. She will not listen to me so I will say what I would like to say to her, to you. And maybe it will help.

I don't know a whole lot about Type 2 Diabetes. But I do know some statistics. Millions of people eat sugar their whole lives and don't get Type 2 Diabetes.

Seriously.

Let me repeat:

Millions of people eat sugar their whole lives and don't get Type 2 Diabetes.

You did not cause this, you are genetically pre disposed to get this disease. It is possible that you could have spent your whole life avoiding foods you loved and being miserable because of it and still have gotten type II diabetes. YOU DID NOT DO THIS TO YOURSELF, IT HAPPENED TO YOU.

Other people may say differently, but the honest truth is, they are wrong. If eating pasta was all it took to get Type II diabetes then the entire country of Italy would be on insulin.

So here are my recommendations:
1. Stop looking backwards. Stop looking at what you did, at why, stop finding ways to blame yourself. Every time you find yourself dwelling on what you COULD have done, try to change it and focus on what you WILL do. Look up healthy recipes, buy an adorable cooler to take snacks around so you can manage your sugar, go for a walk, look for yoga classes. Turn the energy that you are using to blame yourself into productive energy.

2. Create a positive thoughts only environment. Obviously you do not need help blaming yourself. So anyone, and I mean anyone, parents, friends, coworkers, your doctor, who blames you for what has happened to you needs to get a dose of STFU. Something like "I appreciate that you are concerned about me but I have already been down the self loathing road and I am trying to look forwards and be positive about what has happened to me and your attitude is hurting my progress." Don't be afraid to say it, don't be afraid to walk away from people until they can respect this boundary.

3. Live your life, you are young, you have so much ahead of you. ENJOY IT! Do things you love, be with your friends, LIVE! Do not sit around beating yourself up for getting a disease that you had basically NO CONTROL OVER.


HUG! You're going to be fine.

Anonymous said...

**Hugs** Finding out you have a chronic condition is almost always shocking and depressing. As others say above, you will get through this. First of all, THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. I'm in the middle of reading a great book about Diabetes Type 2, written by a doctor who also has Type 2. You can read the first few pages online:

http://www.amazon.com/First-Year-Type-Diabetes-Essential/dp/1569245460

The title of the very first chapter is "It's Not Your Fault". She also says, "It is possible that diabetes causes obesity" which is the exact opposite of obesity causing diabetes.

This book was at my library, so hopefully you can check it out for free and perhaps find some other resources you like. I think a local support group would be really helpful too; I doubt that everyone there is a fat-hating jerk. You might even meet some like-minded people.

I'm really glad that you have your boyfriend's support in this; perhaps he could go to a meeting with you? Good move on putting him on troll-patrol.

I also think that you are a wonderful part of the Fatosphere, and I would love for you to stay if you can (of course your mental health comes first).

It's a good thing that you found out now. Some people go for years without being diagnosed. They are no longer "young" diabetics when they find out, but their body has been suffering for years just the same. Being aware of the problem and being able to take care of yourself is a good thing.

I have celiac disease, and while it's occasionally inconvenient, it is nothing compared to the problems I was having when I didn't know. I am incredibly glad to have been diagnosed.

Take it easy, get informed, and remember that IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT (and even if it were, it wouldn't change my feelings on the subject one little bit -- we have to deal with bad things that happen whether it was our fault or not). Take good care of yourself and stick around if you would like too.

Christa said...

I'm not really feeling well enough to write a lengthy comment to you :( I want to let you know that it is not your fault and that I have a friend who found out she was Type II diabetic at 18 and she is still fine now. *hugs*

Deniselle said...

Please keep your blog and stay in the movement. It's not about proving that fat people don't get ill. We do. One fat person who gets diabetes doesn't prove that the haters are right. It doesn't make you a "bad fatty" or a stereotype. You're an individual with an individual genetic makeup, and that's most probably the reason you developed diabetes. Sugar doesn't cause diabetes anyway - someone already linked to Junkfood Science.

I think one of our messages is - or at least should be, maybe we don't talk about this enough - that there's nothing to be ashamed of in being sick, and there's no guilt in developing a disease, no matter what the reason. Prevention is one thing, but there's no use in looking back and going, "I ruined my health." Which isn't true anyway. It's not a contest of who stays the healthiest the longest, and you are not a loser for getting ill younger than some.

Maybe you'll even be a better FA blogger because of this - it'll give you perspective that some of us don't have. There might be many others who don't blog because they're sick and feel inferior because of it, and by continuing you can encourage them too. You can give a voice to fat people who did get ill, and who still continued to accept themselves.

Have you read Well-Rounded Type 2? She has type 2 diabetes. Maybe you're already familiar with it, but her blog is here:
http://weblog.xanga.com/wellroundedtype2/

Miriam Heddy said...

There are sixteen genes responsible for Type II diabetes.

There will be people who want to blame you, mostly because it makes people feel better to do so. The can say, "Oh, I know better than to get that disease. It won't happen to *me*."

Being diabetic isn't any more your fault than it's the fault of a person for having any other genetic disease that results in being unable to tolerate certain foods. You wouldn't say it's the fault of someone for being allergic to wheat, right?

Go easy on yourself.

The Rotund said...

Hey, hon. You are, first and foremost, not a bad person for having diabetes. It doesn't mean you failed somehow and it doesn't make you a "bad fatty" and it absolutely positively does not mean you can't be a vital and awesome part of FA. FA is for everyone.

Diabetes doesn't even mean you are "unhealthy" - though mainstream culture probably wants you to believe it makes you a weak and sad individual. Remember, HAES is an individual definition of health and if people want to give you crap for having an incredibly common disease (that also has a strong genetic component), you just tell them where they can shove it.

Take care of yourself, keep the diabetes under control (the losing a foot jokes are so gross because with proper med management, that is not anywhere even approaching common), and remember to treat yourself well.

puellapiscea said...

I can't give you much help on the young side of diabetes but if it helps with that whole fat/guilt thing my father has type II diabetes and he is as skinny as a rail (my mother's side is where my healthy size 18 frame comes from :)). He is 77 years old and one of the fittest and happiest and healthiest people I know . Not because he is thin but because he took his diabetes to heart, eats right (for his disease) and exercises. I understand your guilt about being fat and diabetic but as so many before me have mentioned there is no knowing why this happened. But it did happen and now you have the opportunity to show the world what a fat, healthy, happy 19 year old diabetic looks like. I feel for you since I know that is a challenge. There are lots of people ready to judge out there. But you are perfect exactly how you are. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Spend you time and energy taking care of yourself and managing you disease. Then when you are 80 years old you can go dance on the graves of those jerks who put you down. All kidding aside though. Most people who insult or belittle you do it because of something wrong on their end, not yours. So chin up darling. You can do this.

Sue in NJ said...

What were your blood sugar numbers?

I ask because up until a few eyars ago, when the pharmaceutical company pushed for and got the "normal values" lowered by 20 points, you didn't get a diagnosis of diabetes unless you had 2 or more fasting blood sugars of 140 or above. Normal values for non-diabetics was from 80 to 120.

Because of a family history of diabetes my sugars have been checked since I was a kid - I'm now 54. Ever since I was a kindergartener my sugars have been in that above mentioned range and every doctor I ever had was perfectly happy, telling me there's no trace of diabetes. In fact, my sugars tend to run low and I frequently have bouts of hypoglycemia when my glucose levels about an hour or 2 after eating drop down into the 60's.

Last month I had my yearly labwork done and my fasting sugar was 108. My doc was as happy as a pig in you-know-what. My husband had his labwork done 2 weeks ago and got his results yesterday. He, too, had a fasting sugar of 108. You know what? The same doc that praised my for having 108 told *him* he's pre-diabetic and should switch to a more low-carb food plan and lose weight, even though his BMI is in the average range and he's been this same weight since high-school (He's 57). And his A1C, a test that measures blood sugars over the past three months, was 5.1, and anything under 6 is normal.

So the same doctor, 2 different patients, same fasting glucose numbers, and one is perfect, the other pre-diabetic.

So take everything your doc says with a grain of salt, especially if your "diabetic" diagnosis was made based on one random blood sugar test and the number wasn't all that bad to begin with.

observer said...

Let me repeat:

YOU DID NOT 'GIVE' YOURSELF DIABETES!

Like me, you just got handed a lousy genetic "deck of cards". In short, welcome to the "Diabetic Lab Rat Society". Because that is what you will be from now on: Experimental subject by another name.

Your tasks are:

1.) Do your research and take what you can use from valid scientific and medical sources. Keep away from "self-help" groups and websites that are selling a product or service for $$$, even if a doctor runs the place.;

2.) Be skeptical of all you read and hear any, even from the doctors and scientific sources;

3.) Realize that so many of the suggested "management" hints and practices prescribed to diabetics are simply tradition and/or "what works for me" with little or no good science behind them at this time (insulin (diabetic HRT, really) is the one real exception);

4.) Be realistic about your future health and avoid over treatment in the name of "primary prevention": Nothing you do will prevent you from deteriorating over time (there is no cure and may never be one) so take care of what's really bothering you and let the rest "go" until it also bothers you [if it ever does].

There is a good reason for caution and it's not me being "Paranoid": Unwarranted treatments to TRY to prevent conditions you don't yet have and may never get CAN cause the very co-morbidities (conditions/illnesses) they are intended to prevent.

5.) Make the most of the time you have, even though you will be a "sick person" for the rest of your life. Who knows, you may be lucky enough to live long enough to be a real problem to your grandkids anyway... :)

pooklaroux said...

has anyone given you this link yet?

http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/14046739.php

from the fabulous bloodsugar 101 website?

http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/index.php

Jenny Ruhl is one of my heroes. Yes, the Diabetes community online has it's factions as well, and a lot of them fall into the toxic myths, and equate fatness with disease, etc etc, but there are those of us who are beginning to see that it's not a zero sum game.

Diabetes is NOT YOUR FAULT. You might be able to control it with diet, maybe exercise, but you might not. You might need medication, or even insulin,a nd if you do, you are still going to be OK. And in my opinion, you still belong in FA.

Fat Acceptance said...

Dear XXLA,

I would be extremely wary about a doctor who diagnoses you with diabetes. MANY fat women are told they have diabetes when they don't. I would certainly not readily begin medications without being sure, as they are not benign. Please take care!

Twistie said...

As everyone else has said, this is not your fault. It bears repeating: This Is Not Your Fault.

If bad knees or a tendancy to migraines ran in your family, would you blame yourself for those, too? Would you take credit for green eyes if they were common on your father's side of the family? This is the same thing. There's a genetic tendancy to a particular trait in your background. You did not cause this, you could not have prevented it, and you certainly are not a bad person for being unlucky enough to draw this particular health card in life.

On the up side, my husband and I have been living with his Type II diagnosis for some sixteen years now. I say we've been living with the diagnosis because we both are aware that the signals were there, had we only realized it at the time, that he'd been diabetic for a very long time. He's fine. He's had to be careful, and he has a strong tendancy to fight the sort of care he needs to take of himself. All the same, he's still fine. He even eats rice and pasta. He just needs to be aware of when it's time to stop eating them.

If anything, the biggest problem he has in taking care of himself is his tendancy to take a lot of stress on himself. Few people tell you this going in, but stress can affect your blood sugar, too. That would be plenty of reason to jettison the guilt ASAP, but also, really, it's just not justified.

I really hope that you don't let a diagnosis of diabetes convince you that the Fatosphere has no room for you. Not only is the room there, your voice can be helpful to all of us. FA isn't just for the healthy. Yes, we need the voices of the healthy fatties out there to combat the endless media shaming and public assumption that a BMI over 25 is somehow a death sentence. But we also need the voices of the ones facing chronic illness, eating disorders, disabilities, etc. We are all fat. We are all human beings deserving of respect. We should all be heard.

FA is about accepting our bodies as they are. That means accepting the fact that we come in as great a variety of health profiles as thin people do. Don't let a good voice be silenced because of one piece of bad news.

Whatever your ultimate decision regarding the blog, I do hope you'll understand that there's plenty of room at the table for all of us.

So have a good cry, shake your fist at the universe, and then do your best to let go of as much of the negativity as you can. Educate yourself about your condition, and don't be afraid to ask for a helping hand. Chances are, you'll find plenty waiting to help you.

You are not a failure. You are not a stupid person. You are not a bad person. You are a young woman who got hit with a pretty crappy obstacle in her course in life. Don't let the obstacle define your life, but rather let your definition be found in how you don't let the obstacle stop you from being precisely the person you are.

Oh, and being temporarily devestated by a huge change in how you have to deal with your body and how you have to deal with food doesn't make you bad, either. Again, it just makes you human. Human is a pretty good thing to be, all in all.

Now take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally, and don't forget to let us know when you need a little more hand-holding. We'll still be here.

And we'll be cheering you on.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kallipygia said...

*hugs!*

I doubt this can be said too many times:

YOU DID NOT GIVE YOURSELF DIABETES.

Here's an example of a young, thin (gasp!) diabetic:

I developed gestational diabetes at 17. And 18. And 20. And 26.

Or, to put it another way, at 125 lbs, 135 lbs, 145 lbs, and 150 lbs.

Yes, Virginia, thin people get diabetes, too. Of my several diabetic friends, the only two who actually require daily injections are very slender. The rest run the gamut of sizes and shapes. Fat does not cause diabetes, and fat people are not the only ones who get diabetes.

[steps back and carefully examines the preceding paragraph to make sure the point has been thoroughly bludgeoned into submission]

While I haven't developed Type II yet, the 20%-50% increased risk of doing so has been a fact of my life for 26 years. However, I have so many better things to do than stress over it. Eat yummy food. Ride my motorcycle. Enjoy my gestational-diabetes-inducing kids. ;) Work. Play. Study. Sing. Laugh. Cry. Live.

My advice: Make sure you have a fat-friendly doctor. Quit berating yourself for your numbers in Genetic Lotto. Give your BF an extra hug for taking troll patrol. Listen to all the other terrific advice people here are giving you. Remember that you are an amazing person and many people care about you.

Talespun said...

Hey sweetie!

Another voice added to the crowd here. It's not not not your fault. It's all about the genes. My family has been diabetic for over a century now. My grandfather got it when he was in his 30s and despite treatments less effective than what we've got now, he lived to a ripe old age.

My grandmother had diabetes too as an old lady but it didn't stop her at all.

My uncles all 4 of them have it, and most of them got it young. Three of them have taken care of it assiduously, two are only on pills one has been taking insulin for a long time and all three of them are living happily. The insulin one is in fact 70+ years old and goes on cruises with his wife on a regular basis all around the world.

The 4th one thought he knew how to regulate his blood sugar on his own. He lived for quite a long time all the same, but he did suffer some of the typical diabetes trouble... blindness the worst of it.

My mom has diabetes and controls it with pills.

Now for the funny part. With all of that diabetes thrown at my genes, you would think that I too would have it, but nope. My skinny husband got it.

My daughters are fat and thin. The fat one eats healthy meals and LOVES veggies, the thin one would only eat ramen noodles and Mountain Dew if we let her.

It's not about being fat or thin... it's just genes. If you've got the genes, you'll get the disease, but take heart in all my above family members! They've lived hugely full happy lives and all with diabetes and they're still going strong as older folk. My husband did so well with controlling his diabetes that he doesn't take any medication for it at all now. And he still has treats now and again, he's not cut off from the world of food, he's just careful.

Take heart... you can get through this and you will look back and say, "Oh you know that wasn't the end of the world after all." It just seems like it now, but you can do it. And please don't feel bad about yourself for it. You didn't do this to yourself... your ancestors did and they didn't 'mean' to either.

And yes do keep blogging and if you need a shoulder or a friendly ear, don't hesitate.

Talespun said...

And anonymous 2 posts above me.... please go crawl back under your rock. Daylight does not become you.

ciocia said...

Diabetes has a lot of risk factors. An important one is heredity. In my family, fat people get diabetes younger than skinny people, but many people get it. Don't worry about the movement, just get the information to take care of yourself. And don't waste your energy on self-blame. It goes nowhere.

Learn what you can about eating for diabetes, and find some physical activity that you like and will do on a regular basis, because being physically active is good for you. Find a diabetes support group in your town. Here's a place to start looking:
http://www.defeatdiabetes.org/support_groups.htm

Again, don't think about self-blame or defeat, think about your strategy. And good luck.

The Bald Soprano said...

I don't know what to say except what everyone has said above me (minus the trolls). *hugs*

If you want someone to spout at privately, feel free to email me.

herateleia said...

Hello dear girl --

You know what? Even if it's true that being Of Size 'caused' your diabetes, it doesn't change the fact that you are who you are and you have what you have. It also doesn't change the fact that there is very little we can do to change our genetic makeup. That some of us develop illnesses as part of our genetic makeup doesn't change that.

Even if you'd 'eaten right' and done all the other crap the thin world uses to stay thin, you would probably still be at your genetically determined weight, and might still have developed diabetes. Most people don't want to believe that, because it scares them to think they have that little control over their bodies, but it's true. Let your sadness be about being sick, because that truly sucks, not about being fat, which doesn't.

Then, just to piss off the people who want you to go away and die somewhere, take good care of yourself. Live well with your illness, and let that be your testament to self-acceptance.

Finally, let me just say that I (at 48) very much identify with your feelings of somehow being a 'traitor to the cause' by developing what the culture considers obesity-related illnesses. I have several health conditions that are correlated with obesity, and often feel that I am somehow 'not allowed' to be OK with my weight because of that. It's fine for those HEALTHY fat people to accept themselves, but not me. What I forget, of course, is that thin people get sick too. Some of them even develop diabetes, and other 'obesity-caused' illnesses, but we don't hear about them, because they scare people. They remind us that we are ALL vulnerable, and that we ALL have very limited control over what can happen to us, despite our best efforts.

Best wishes to you, take care of yourself.

Love, Hera

living400lbs said...

Offering support, *hugs*, and asking that you not hide away.

*hugs* again.

Kate Harding said...

Oh, honey, more hugs, and more of what everyone else has said. :(

wellroundedtype2 said...

Hi XXLA.
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the ripe old age of 25.
Here are some of the things that helped me right after I was diagnosed:
- One friend sent me roses.
- One friend came and stayed with me until I stopped crying.
- My doctor told me I would still be able to have kids someday.
- I didn't tell anyone who I didn't think I could handle knowing until I was ready.

There's no way anyone can give themselves diabetes. It's just not possible. It's a role of the genetic dice. The extent to which you manage it (and really, the best you can do in conjunction with a great health care provider) is really all that matters.

You are an amazing writer -- I've always loved reading your writing.

Knowing you have diabetes is a bummer right now, but ultimately, you may end up healthier than many of your friends because of how you live your life. And by that I mean managing stress, finding regular exercise that you love, having a regular connection with a (good) doctor.

If you are in L.A. -- here's a doctor I recommend -- Dr. Aliza Lifshitz. She's at Cedars-Sinai. She's the best.

You already have everything you need to meet this challenge inside of you, and there are plenty of good people who are here to help you through.

Feel free to contact me through my site. I'll email you so you can talk if you want to in a more, uh, private setting.

lilacsigil said...

I work in healthcare, and I see people of all ages and sizes with all different levels of diabetes. Family history is a massive indicator of your likelihood, but there are other conditions (like PCOS) that make it more likely, too. In the under-60s, it seems to be very little to do with your size and diet. I've seen 12-year-old girls with Type 2 diabetes (both skinny and fat) and 15-year-old boys. All of them feel guilty, as if they did something wrong.

Blame is a cruel and unrealistic burden to place on someone with a disease, and yet I've seen people do it for everything from diabetes to cancer to depression to stillbirths. It's a vain attempt by them to ward off bad luck - oh, she's fat and sick, *I'll* never get diabetes because I'm thin - when in fact everyone will either become ill and disabled at some time in their life, unless they die swiftly in an accident at a young age, which I hope isn't anyone's idea of a good time! Illness is *not your fault*. It's people, of all sizes and ages, running scared in ignorance and self-focused fear. They are selfish, rude and wrong.

*Hugs* to you - it's been 8 years for me since I had cancer, and only being in the fatosphere has helped me realise that it wasn't my fault. Please stick around, and I wish you the best of luck in living a great life while managing your specific condition.

wellroundedtype2 said...

Okay, so I realize based on your profile that you are not in L.A., you are in the midwest. But finding a good doctor is really important. A compassionate, friendly, thoughtful, caring doctor who will not make you feel guilty. You've done nothing wrong.

There's a study currently being conducted to determine how common type 2 diabetes is in young people. Here's the web site:
http://www.searchfordiabetes.org/public/patient/index.cfm

Also, you might be interested in information from the National Diabetes Education Program:
http://www.nih.ndep.gov

And you can email me from my web site and I'll be happy to listen or talk or just be a friendly non-judgemental person.

And, if you don't want to be referred to as diabetic, you don't have to. I prefer "person with diabetes."

(and above, when I wrote, it's the "role of the genetic dice" -- I meant "roll" -- it's the "role" too. Argh.)

Brian said...

Just for emphasis, having diabetes is NOT your fault. Diabetes is a genetic condition. Kinda like being fat. Not every fat person gets diabetes. Not every person with diabetes (yes, Type II) is fat. I think one of the major ways fat stigmatization fails fat people is by turning the diseases which do affect our community into moral failings. Fat people deserve to have our health needs addressed. Not used as a cudgle to berate us for having bodies which are deemed unacceptable.

There are resources out there for treating one's diabetes with a fat acceptance POV. I'd suggest checking out NAAFA and their mailing lists. You aren't alone and there is a lot of support out there. You did nothing wrong. Nothing you should be blaming yourself for. You are not what fat bigots are crying about. YOU are what fat acceptance is fighting for. YOU are the fat person who deserves respect and support, not shame and blame. I know other young people with diabetes (including some diagnosed well before their 30th birthday). You have nothing to feel ashamed about. I know its scary, but you aren't alone and there is support out there for you.

emmy said...

Pardon the intrusion, I'm not a regular commenter, just in from the fatosphere feed.

You know, a lot of the reason that 30 year olds are getting diagnosed with diabetes right now, is that 10 years ago, they would have never thought to test a 19 year old for it. I'm 28, and also just got my diagnosis, but I've had symptoms since I was about 17. So, who knows how long I've had it, and nobody ever thought to test my glucose until I knew enough to ask for it. So, really, you're not alone here.

And since I was a skinny little thing when I first started having symptoms, I can serve as a living example that you did not do this to yourself. I didn't do this to myself, genes from my father, my aunt, and two grandfathers did this.

Just because you have to check your blood sugar and pay a bit of attention to how food affects it doesn't mean you can't be the very picture of HAES. You can be a healthy person successfully managing a health condition. (Oh, and btw, paying attention to how foods affect you is not a diet, and not incompatible with intuitive eating, IMHO. It's just eating food that nourishes your particular body chemistry.)

Sandra McGechan said...

Others have already said what I wanted to say. Just wanted to remind you that the A in FA stands for ACCEPTANCE!

And with regards to the CakeWrecks post, I think that was her way of dealing with her own fears and worries as she mentioned she had been diagnosed as pre-diabetic (not sure if that's the correct phase?) - she's obviously not all that well informed about diabetes but I see some folks have been setting her straight in the comments!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I came off the fat feed list to give you a big hug and tell you not to feel guilty. Please don't blame yourself.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so now you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Please, before you delete this message, hear me out. I'm not a troll. I have been working in diabetes research for years and have read countless research, studies, etc. AND almost everyone, and I'm not even exagerating, on both my parent's sides have type 2 diabetes, including my parents. My father has developed coronary artery disease and my mother has peripheral artery disease. They have had type 2 diabetes since their 30s and are now 60.

Yes, you were predisposed due to genetics, but type 2 diabetes is about 20% genetics and 80% environment/habits. Please don't lose hope. You CAN control this disease by losing weight, eating well, and exercising. PLEASE PLEASE don't let FA tell you that that isn't the case. You'd be doing yourself a huge disservice to listen to them now. I know it's hard to separate yourself from a group who has seemed to be supportive and inclusive, but you have to help yourself and forget them.

There have been studies that shown that making the appropriate changes in diet and exercise has cause diabetes to go into a sort of "remission," although I'm not a doctor or scientist, I've worked closely with them. Your first stop is going to the American Diabetes Association Web site (www.diabetes.org). It has a ton of resources and answers to questions you may have. They are WONDERFUL, but they will be more on the "lose weight" side.

Type 2 diabetes is a very personal cause for me, and I only care about you, honestly. I don't know you, but I do care. Contact the American Diabetes Association asap. You'll feel a lot better and become more able to fight this disease. Don't sit there and be complacent because there's a lot you can do to ward off diabetes complications if you do it in time.

Anonymous said...

Hi, new commenter but I wanted to add my **hugs**.

I don't have diabetes, but I do have chronic depression. Am I depressed BECAUSE I'm overweight? If I lost weight would I "get better?" No, and No.

I have a problem with my body chemistry, and so do you. Mine's in my brain, yours has something to do with your pancreas. In neither case did we "cause" our disorders.

Does what I eat affect how I feel, both physically and emotionally? Yeah, sometimes. I'm learning what foods to be wary of. I take medication every day, and probably will for the rest of my life. It's a small trade-off.

You're not alone in any way, shape or form. You need time to adjust to this new information about yourself. I hope you can continue to share your life with us, when and if you feel ready to.

And *hugs* to the boyfriend for the troll-patrol. Both of you, take care of yourselves and each other!
-Pegkitty

XXLA's Boyfriend said...

Don't think I am going to delete the anon commet suggesting weight loss. While anti-FA, he is indeed not a troll.

I don't think "don't listen to all these nice FA people, you need to lose weight" is going to be an effective arugement in this case. Espcially when adressing people in the FA movement who ascrbie to some form of "Health at Every Size" lifestyle.

Richard said...

I am a troll according to many for not buying into the majority of these beliefs but as a human being you should not be kicked while you are down and you should seek the support of your boyfriend and those that truly love you.

Follow your doctor's advice and take an unbiased look at your health. Beating yourself up will not accomplish anything other than making yourself more depressed. You have enough of that already. Learn from your life choices and decide what is best for you because no matter what other's agendas are, its your body.

Science, logic, and facts are far better than rantings and silly manifestos.

Take care

Richard Mullen

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fat Acceptance said...

I wouldn't worry about the losing a foot thing. If you ever got close to that point they now make special diabetic shoes that increase circulation and prevent that sort of thing. The are even covered by insurance.

Anonymous said...

XXLA, please be kind to yourself. As so many others have pointed out, genetics is a tremendous factor here.

For someone to have diabetes as young as you, it usually means they have a beta cell issue going on.....meaning your pancreas has something wrong with it and cannot produce all the insulin it needs to keep up with your body's needs. That's NOT your fault.

Fat can inhibit the body's ability to use its insulin optimally, that's true to some extent, but excess insulin can also cause your body to gain fat. It can become a vicious circle. Then if your pancreas has difficulty producing enough insulin (or insulin your body can use effectively), it then can become impossible for it to keep up with your body's needs, and voila, you get diabetes.

The blessing here is that you've discovered it early and can get treatment right away. I know it doesn't feel like a blessing, but it is. It's the untreated high blood sugar and high insulin levels for years that cause so much of the damage that some diabetics experience. You've caught yours early and now you can prevent that damage. That's good news....it doesn't feel like it, but truly it is good you know early.

Fat Acceptance doesn't mean lying around on the couch and not taking care of your health. Being part of the HAES/FA community doesn't mean you don't take care of your diabetes. On the contrary, likely you take care of your diabetes more effectively than outside the HAES community. You will have to experiment and find a style of eating that works for you, and exercise is an absolute CORNERSTONE to keeping your blood sugars reasonable and helping your body use optimally the insulin it does have. Perhaps as you work on your eating and exercise, you will lose weight, perhaps not. That's not the goal....the goal is to get your blood sugar under control and to be as healthy as possible. Focus on your blood sugar and other parameters and don't let the docs put the focus on your weight. Be aggressive about finding a doctor who is size-friendly and won't make this all about wt loss.

I hope you will check out this classic article on diabetes and FA from Radiance Magazine. I think it will help you see that FA and managing your diabetes do not have to be mutually exclusive things.

http://www.radiancemagazine.com/issues/1995/diabetes.html

Finally, remember that depression and emotional upset are a NORMAL part of being diagnosed with a major illness. If you were diagnosed with cancer, you'd be "allowed" to be upset and angry at the genetic roll of the dice that you got. Well, guess what...you get to feel that way with diabetes too. It sucks and it's totally not fair that you got it. You're totally allowed to be upset about that!! And please know that the things you are feeling now are very very normal.

So allow yourself your normal feelings and give yourself a break for them. But in the meantime, also start researching how you can deal as proactively as possible with this diagnosis, and know that FA and HAES can *absolutely* still be part of your life.

Many people will be diagnosed with diabetes at some point in their lives, including some in the FA community. Think of the good you can do, blogging about your journey with diabetes, the things that worked for you, your dialogue with the medical community (both pro and con)......think someday of a newly diagnosed young person, like yourself, beating up on herself emotionally, and looking for good information about dealing with her diabetes without having to resort to WLS. Imagine her finding your blog and being able to use it for inspiration. You have a MISSION here.

I think it's vital for you to KEEP blogging about this journey, both for your own sake, and for the sake of others to come. Please stay.

In the meantime, hang in there, my dear. You'll get through this, you really will. Start doing everything you can to inform yourself about diabetes and start taking baby steps towards taking care of it. You can do this and still have a good life, truly.

XXLA's Boyfriend said...

I delted a friendly comment in an attempt to delete a troll comment (I have never used Blogger before, those garbage can icons are tricky). I apolgoize to the person whose comment was deleted by mistake

richie79 said...

Just a long-time lurker echoing what everyone else said (other than the weight loss guy - long-term weight loss is impossible, remember?!) and sending good thoughts your way. Whilst it's entirely your decision, I hope you keep this excellent blog going and use it to show how fat acceptance can be for everyone, irrespective of whether they're considered 'healthy' or not.

Lee said...

Disease is not a punishment it's an occurance. Everyone has something they have to deal with, diabetes is a burden you must learn to carry not comment on your life-style or intellegence. Be good to yourself and believe in the affection and support you are offered. We'll be here when you are ready.

Susan said...

Just a long-time lurker echoing what everyone else said (other than the weight loss guy - long-term weight loss is impossible, remember?!)

Geez! Why do you people keep promoting this BS? Long-term weight loss is *not* impossible! The best thing XXLA can do for her health is control her diabetes through diet, exercise and - gasp! - weight loss. My mother has Type 2 and this approach is working for her.

As the "weight loss guy" said "Science, logic, and facts are far better than rantings and silly manifestos".

Best wishes XXLA!

wellroundedtype2 said...

Here's my advice re: weight loss.

Don't focus on it.

That doesn't mean that a person recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes might not want to make some changes to diet and exercise that might result in a change in body composition and/or weight, but that there are other things to focus on. Size and weight may adjust to these changes, and that can be a somewhat neutral thing. You can be pro-fat acceptance no matter what size you are.

You can be healthy, fit and control blood glucose levels whether weight is lost or not. That is a fact.

emmy said...

XXLA's boyfriend, I think that may have been my second one that you deleted. Not to worry, no offense taken. I was pretty much saying the same thing wellroundedtype2 just said. That XXLA needs only to worry about her own health and wellbeing, not how anyone will judge her for it, or what size it makes her pants turn out to be.

What a nice guy you are to stand guard. Having a good support network like you seem to represent is so valuable for someone dealing with medical troubles.

The Rotund said...

You know what's funny here? And by funny I mean predictable yet really sad. Everyone from FA is telling you not to blame yourself, but to take care of yourself, that HAES is for everyone and that you should focus on getting things under control and living your life. Meanwhile, the nonFA folks, well-intentioned as they may be, are ignoring the HAES stuff and yelling that you need to lose weight. Never mind that no one has denied that diabetes can be handled by getting more active and figuring out how your body responds to certain foods. In fact, that is what HAES would suggest as the most logical course! But since we don't throw, ZOMG LOSE WEIGHT into the advice, you're supposed to forget all about FA.

Hon, you are a smart, talented woman. I said it before, I'll say it again - you should not feel any guilt about this diagnosis and you absolutely SHOULD take care of yourself. Obsessing over weight loss as a (false) indicator of health isn't going to do anything other than continue to make you feel bad. Screw that! You have so much awesome stuff to do and diabetes isn't going to prevent you from doing any of it.

Talespun said...

Also some of the diabetes medications help you gain weight as my mother was unhappy to find. Should she ramp up her exercise to 24/7 and starve herself in order to lose regular weight with additional medically added weight even though she's controlling her diabetes fine in every other way? I don't think so.

I don't think people are spouting a "silly" manifesto when they are advocating not fixating on the weight. However by suggesting that acceptance posts are rants and silly manifestos the posters aim to trivialize every argument that doesn't contain "ZOMG LOSE TEH FATZ!" in it. One has to wonder what these 'well-meaning' folk are so scared of by people accepting fat instead of cursing it as if it were the black plague. There may be some manifestos at work there... but I don't think fat acceptance is it.

Anyway I stand by the position that you, miss, shall step along smartly along this detour in life's long road. And I believe that you can do it with head held high and without shame. You're not a foul loathsome beast rising up out of a tarpit... you're a swell human female and fat, skinny, tall, short, sick or well that ain't anything you should be ashamed of!

Don't let those bastages tell you otherwise or make you feel less human by their parrot-squawking.

Susan said...

I don't think people are spouting a "silly" manifesto when they are advocating not fixating on the weight. However by suggesting that acceptance posts are rants and silly manifestos the posters aim to trivialize every argument that doesn't contain "ZOMG LOSE TEH FATZ!" in it. One has to wonder what these 'well-meaning' folk are so scared of by people accepting fat instead of cursing it as if it were the black plague. There may be some manifestos at work there... but I don't think fat acceptance is it.

At the risk of pointing out the blindingly obvious, the FA and HAES manifestos haven't served XXLA very well up until now, have they?

Brian said...

Its obviously much better to treat someone with a genetic condition as a moral failure, Susan. I guess I'm just not enlightened enough to seek out people who are diagnosed with an illness to taunt them for it.

Fat acceptance is not reserved only for certain fat people with no health concerns. Health at Every Size does not require that we use the limiting standards of "health" of those who use the term as a cudgel. EVERY person can be as health as they can be. What that is will be different for everyone. There are diseases that effect fat people more than thin people. Just like there are the reverse. That doesn't demand a "treatment" which still has never been shown safe or effective. It demands a weight-neutral approach which concerns itself with the disease. Not with shaming the person who has it. That may not be in the "bash fat manifesto". Its just common sense.

Susan said...

Its obviously much better to treat someone with a genetic condition as a moral failure, Susan. I guess I'm just not enlightened enough to seek out people who are diagnosed with an illness to taunt them for it.

Brian, I didn't "seek out" XXLA to "taunt" her for her illness. I feel very sorry for her, partly because she has diabetes at such a young age, but largely because she still adheres to a movement which is partly responsible for her diagnosis.

I know there's a genetic predisposition to diabetes (just as there's a predisposition to being overweight) but as XXLA herself has indicated ("I just didn't think my somewhat bad eating habits... would catch up with me this young") her adherence to FA and HAES has contributed to her current situation.

For me, the saddest thing about XXLA's post is the words "I fear that I do little more to the movement, now that I'm unhealthy, than be another fat, unhealthy statistic."

The best thing she can do for herself now is seek out and follow professional medical advice and screw the movement.

Brian said...

Susan, I'm sure you know that diabetes predates fat acceptance and HAES. The political movement and health philosophy are a response. A response to a legacy of failure that our culture has formed in treating the health needs of fat people. A system which rather than address those health needs, prefers to bleat out insistence for failed treatments and blame fat people for any way in which their health is not perfect. They point to any deviation from perfection as a moral failing. A standard few thin people would be able to be held to.

You have taken XXLA's fears in this difficult time and have gleefully tried to confirm them. You tell her that she's to blame. You pretend to know why she developed diabetes because you want to use her diagnosis to beat her. You tell her she's just another fat, unhealthy statistic.

Well, she isn't. She's another fat person being told to blame themselves instead of being offered treatment. She's another person being pressured into "treatments" which have been shown to fail upwards of 95% of time. She isn't a failure of FA or HAES. She is why these things exist. You come here to tell her she's to blame. Well, I come here to tell she has friends and support, now more than ever.

Susan said...

Brian - could you please post a direct quote where I said any of those things?

I agree that, right now, XXLA needs support. I just don't think that those who spout FA rhetoric are the best people to give her that support.

Susan said...

Also, I should add that the oft-quoted "statistic" that 95% of diets fail has been shown to be a myth. I'm at work now and can't post a link, but there's a post about it at myfatspouse.com

Susan said...

Unfortunately, the link to the article "95% Regain Lost Weight. Or Do They?" in the New York Times which debunks the "95% failure" myth I referred to above is too long to post.

But here's a quote:

''That 95 percent figure has become clinical lore,'' said Dr. Thomas Wadden, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. There is no basis for it, he said, ''but it's part of the mythology of obesity.''

Dr. Kelly D. Brownell, the director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, said the number was first suggested in a 1959 clinical study of only 100 people. The finding was repeated so often that it came to be regarded as fact, he said."

The article goes on to say:

"The study [where the 95% figures comes from] has little relevance to the current understanding of how to control weight, said Dr. Stunkard, who specializes in the treatment of obesity and eating disorders. The 100 patients in the study were ''just given a diet and sent on their way,'' he said.

''That was state of the art in 1959,'' he added. ''I've been sort of surprised that people keep citing it; I know we do better these days.''

The intervening years have brought significant changes to the treatment of obesity, the most important of which, Dr. Stunkard said, has been the introduction of behavior modification techniques."

In any case, it's pointless to keep parroting that "95% of all diets fail" line to dissuade XXLA (or anyone else for that matter) from losing weight.

Brian said...

Wow. Really, there is a post about it at myfatspouse.com? A notorious anti-fat troll site that was founded to allow people to post pictures of loved ones so they could me taunted and insulted. Well, I don't know how I can argue with that.

The funny thing is that all the efforts to discredit the failure rate of diets don't actually provide evidence that diets work. Because there isn't any. Because every time weight loss has been studied, it hasn't been found to be achievable. So maybe diets don't fail 95% of time. Maybe they fail 99% of the time. The fact remains, Susan, that you are parroting the necessity of dieting without any proof that it is safe or achievable. And using a rather uniquely disgusting troll site as your citation, no less.

Every fat person, XXLA most certainly included, deserves better than the casual hate and bigotry directed at fat people through sites like that. We deserve better than to be blamed for our health under standards no thin person is subject to. We deserve better than being told over and over to do something which hasn't never been shown to be achievable. Losing weight hasn't only not been shown to be realistically possible, IF attained it hasn't even been proven to improve health. Fat people deserve better than the be constantly be beaten about with the club of "common sense" backed up be precisely nothing. ALL fat people deserve better. We are ALL in this together.

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brian said...

A site I don't like? That's something of an understatement. Its a hate site.

You pounce on a young woman in a difficult time because you want nothing more than to revel in her difficulties. You put on the thin facade of the "concern troll" as you do nothing but blame. Blame her for her disease. Accuse a civil rights activism movement of making her sick. And then you have the gall to back up your attacks with a hate site. A site founded, by its creators own admission, to discuss how disgusting fat people are. Its a hate support site. Its morphed from merely posting images to encourage taunts into a full-service bigotry enablement emporium. Simply put, it is a hate site which has managed to get even more depraved. That you would bring up a hate site like this and act like its no big deal exposes the depths of your prejudices. Repeating your same, tired blame-gaming that fat people have heard for decades does nothing to obscure the fact that you are a troll. A disgusting hate site like that has no place in this discussion. Shame on you for responding such a heartfelt post with that kind of bigoted garbage.

Talespun said...

At the risk of continuing a fairly offensive conversation, I can't help but quote Susan...

At the risk of pointing out the blindingly obvious, the FA and HAES manifestos haven't served XXLA very well up until now, have they?

A question for you, Susan. It sounds very much as if you're stating quite emphatically that our intrepid poster would never have gotten diabetes if she A) didn't read the trash that is FA--to you, and B) wasn't a fatty in the first place because of FA encouraging her to stay fat and (ahem) grotesquely abnormal.

How exactly is that being supportive of her? You claim you didn't come here to blame her vis: Brian, I didn't "seek out" XXLA to "taunt" her for her illness. I feel very sorry for her, partly because she has diabetes at such a young age, but largely because she still adheres to a movement which is partly responsible for her diagnosis.
And yet you blame her with every word and the harshness of your tone. If your intention is not to point fingers, act entirely self-righteous and appallingly rude, then perhaps you might want to take a moment and re-read the posts here.

What gets me is that no one in the Fatosphere has encouraged the: Is this the same movement that encourages people to overeat, to remain obese, argue that sustained weight loss is impossible... I have never seen a post telling folk to get out there and simply GORGE themselves to bursting.

What I've seen in the Fatosphere are people who are willing to accept people as they are. People who are ready to believe it's more than just fat that defines you as a person. And people who KNOW because they've been there that a lot of people are not fat because they over-eat. Many of us eat much less than thin people do and yet we stay chubby. What FA has done is pointed out this is NOT a failing inherent in us as people as so many thin people and thin activists seem to believe.

We are not subhuman freaks. Fat or thin we all deserve to have our illnesses treated with respect instead of being subjected to prejudice, toss-away diagnoses and wrong-headed concern.

I put this to you, Susan. Say for hypothesis you are an average person, fit and you appear at the hospital with a raging temperature of 104 and you are unable to breathe. Would you expect the staff to promptly test you and find the cause of the breathing trouble?

What if they took one look at you, decided you looked "fit" and set you in a chair for a few hours and then sent you home?

Prejudicial doctoring can cut both ways you see. The above situation was a real scenario as witnessed by myself (and no it was not me, a self-professed fatty). Thankfully the patient did recover, but not from any help from the people whose job it is to deal with such things.

If you sit back and allow doctors to flippantly say, "oh he's got diabetes cuz he's teh fatty," next step along the slippery slope is "Oh she ain't havin' no heart attack cuz she is skinny and healthy looking." Next thing you know they're sticking leeches on you to let your blood breathe in the nice healthy air. Heh.

Personally, fat or thin, this is not the kind of doctor *I* would like to meet in the emergency room, how about you?

The Hippocratic oath reads in part: "To practice and prescribe to the best of my ability for the good of my patients, and to try to avoid harming them." And "Never to do deliberate harm to anyone for anyone else's interest." (Big Pharmaceuticals anyone? Insurance companies? Government agendas?) And lastly, "To keep the good of the patient as the highest priority."

Doctors can and do do these things every day. If fat is in fact the root of a problem how is it helping the patient to bellow "Lose weight now!"? Does it not serve the patient better to find the cause if there is one? Many have had their fatness mishandled for years and years because of the assumption that they were fat because they ate too much and not because their thyroid was malfunctioning or their metabolism was messed up, or god forbid their abdomen was one great tumor.

Wouldn't the world be a better place if instead of jumping onto a wagon of prejudice and hate, doctors actually looked to see what patient's situation is, both physically and mentally before hastily waving symptoms off as simply caused by fat?

I leave you with a last anecdote even as I apologize to XXL and her steadfast boyfriend for such a lengthy diatribe.

My mother for many years had an extremely physical job which included pushing a heavy piece of equipment around and chopping old lines off the road with a hatchet. She also fell off a horse as a kid and broke her collarbone and fell off a ladder and seriously hurt her neck (probably fractured it, but it was the 40s... and well she didn't want to make a "fuss" when there was other fish to fry.)

Now at 60+ years old... she has very bad arthritis another happy disease handed down the genes. But each joint where her arthritis is attacking is where she injured herself in her early life rather than every joint disintegrating by simply being 'caused by fat.' Her knees for instance are strong and fine and talking to any "Caused by fat" doctor you can find, they'd tell you that was near as to be impossible. All that weight... compressing those knees... yadda yadda yadda. Her shoulders are worst, from pushing and pulling the equipment and banging a hatchet on pavement (they don't allow that job to be done that way anymore in fact.)

Since her doctor isn't one of those kinds, she was and is able to treat my mother with exemplary care.

So what I'm trying to say here is that it's extremely easy to say "oh you're fat and you've done this to yourself, so now you go get yourself out (maybe with the help of some 'support' group that will whip you and shame you once a week), and aren't you ashamed!?" But to paraphrase a now-familiar saying, There will eventually come a time when we all will have to make a choice about what is right and what is easy.

I personally don't see it ever being right to apportion blame without facts or to kick a person when they're down. And I think this is at the root of Fat Acceptance as well.

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tara said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Julia said...

I've been reading the comments here and wanting to say something, but not exactly sure how to put it.

First, like everyone is saying, take care of yourself. Many people live long and happy lives with this diagnosis.

Second, my advice, for now, is to forget about the politics of fat acceptance. I don't mean that you should abandon the idea of loving yourself or trying to be healthy without punishing yourself, but don't base any of your decisions based on what is 'right' or 'acceptable' according to those in the movement.

I absolutely believe that everyone who has commented here from a fat acceptance perspective has your best interests in mind, but it's like going to a group of pro-life activists when you accidentally get pregnant. The advice you're getting is all going to reflect their political beliefs and the full range of possible actions will not be included.

Susan may herself be pushing an anti-fa agenda, but she's right that the old 95% of diets fail statistic is wrong. Lots of people lose weight. And when it comes to diabetes, even a little bit of weight loss can have drastic effects on your future health. And weight loss doesn't have to entail starvation or insane workout regimens.

I'm not saying you have to lose weight though. The decisions about how to manage your illness are only yours to make, but don't make those decisions only through the lens of a political movement that has a vested interest in some approaches being doomed to fail.

vesta44 said...

Coming out of lurkerland to say one of the best help websites I've found is called fa-diab (fat acceptance diabetes), http://eight.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/fa-diab gives subscription information. I joined it when I married DH 2 years ago so I could be informed about his type 2 diabetes. There are a lot of good people on the list who are willing to help with any questions you may have. One of the things they preach is to use your meter and test, test, test to see how different foods affect your blood sugar. They also say YMMV, because what works wonderfully well for one person may not work so well (or at all) for another. Diabetes is a disease that can vary widely from person to person, so you have to do what works for you.

Susan said...

Susan may herself be pushing an anti-fa agenda, but she's right that the old 95% of diets fail statistic is wrong. Lots of people lose weight. And when it comes to diabetes, even a little bit of weight loss can have drastic effects on your future health. And weight loss doesn't have to entail starvation or insane workout regimens.

Gee, support from an unexpected source. Thanks Julia! I will admit that I have a bee in my bonnet about FA, particularly when I read remarks like "95% of diets fail", "long term weight loss is impossible", "you can't make a fat person permanently thin," etc etc.

I was overweight or obese from childhood, then lost 90 pounds when I was in my mid-40s (and menopausal). That was five years ago, so I am living proof that that weight loss is in fact possible. And there was no starvation involved.

As I mentioned upthread, my mother has Type 2 diabetes. When she was diagnosed, she was advised to lose weight; the weight loss helped to stabilize her blood sugar levels, and she feels a lot better.

But I guess this comment (and maybe Julia's too) will get deleted.

XXLA's boyfriend It's very sweet of you to go on troll patrol, but perhaps you should leave some of the anti-FA comments in, so XXLA can get both viewpoints and make up her own mind?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brian said...

Julia, if you want to say diets work, provide some proof. Show me proof that diets work reliably and consistently. That means that weight loss is maintained for longer than 5 years and is achieve by the vast majority of individuals. If you want to say that lots of people lose weight, show your work.

As the saying goes, losing weight is as easy as holding your breath. Keeping it off is as easy as continuing to hold your breath. You try to act impartial, but you're not. Walking away from FA is just as political an act as being a part of the community. You aren't counseling that she stay out of politics. You're advocating for the politics you believe in. You just want to pretend that's not what you're doing. You'll note that no one from FA is blaming her or shunning her. Because all of us care about the health and well-being, mental and physical, of ALL fat people. Stigmatizing some fat people is not acceptable. Make Fat Acceptance off limits for some fat people is not acceptable. No one in FA does that. But a lot of people outside of it seem to want to draw those barriers in for us.

Julia said...

Wait, so I say that the oft-quoted '95% of all diets fail' statistic is wrong and that lots of people do lose weight and keep it off and then you demand that I show you a single diet plan that has a very high success rate? Way to move the goalposts.

FTR, I think the vast majority of diet plans on the market today are crap. Losing weight is not simple or easy for most people and any person/plan that promises different is a scam. That doesn't mean that losing weight is nearly as impossible as anyone in FA makes it out to be.

The national weight control registry has a record of some 5,500 people who've lost weight and kept it off an average of 5.5 years. What's interesting and germane to this discussion is that almost half of the people in the registry did not use a commercial diet plan. So if we presume that we can take these findings as indicative of a larger trend, a fairly large portion of people who lose weight and keep it off do it in a way that, previously, has not been studied. So the fact that up to 2/3rds (I'm being generous and using the largest supported figure I could find) of people in most diet studies regain weight is not the whole story. It would be like studying the effectiveness of the nicotine patch and using that figure alone to figure out the success rate for people who quit smoking.

And honestly, anyone in FA asking me to 'show my work' amuses me when I've never seen any reliable sources for: 95% of diets fail, fat people eat the same amount that thin people do, the laws of energy input/output don't work in human bodies etc...

As for your second paragraph, I'm not pretending to be neutral here. Nor am I interested in drawing barriers in fat acceptance. But you're acting as if I'm the one creating barriers when every word you write makes it clear that anyone who disagrees with the party line is presumed to be outside of and hostile to the movement. Can xxla feel free to see if healthy weight loss is something that can work for her? Could she say that she's trying a lifestyle change with an eye toward lowering her body fat without being bombarded by links to junkfood science and lectures that she's absolutely doomed to failure..95%!!!!!? Not only does FA employ lots of barriers, but they are often enforced with shoddy science and, sometimes, outright falsehoods.

My advice to her is to consider sources outside the movement's approved list. I said that losing weight doesn't have to be an act of self-hatred, not that it was super duper easy and would solve all her problems. My advice, if it wasn't clear the first time, is to not worry what anyone in the online fa movement thinks of her and to not make any decisions based on what they would approve of. You're trying to twist the fact that most people in the movement wouldn't be ok with some of xxla's possible decisions into my trying to draw barriers.

Susan said...

Very well put Julia! [Applause]

I mentioned the National Weight Control Registry (of which I am a member) in one of my earlier comments which has been deleted. Apparently XXLA's boyfriend considered it troll-talk.

Krissi said...

Hi honey

While being told you have diabetes is hard, especially at your age, it doesn't mean the end of anything. It will be hard, but the right diet can improve if not ridd you of the disease. And I'm not talking of diet like "get ridd of fat" I'm talking diet like healthy.

I like to take personal blows and hindrances as challanges and signs of change. It doesn't mean that I'm always successfull but it means I'm ready for change.

Please don't burry youself in this.
Take the challenge.

Health comes in every size baby...

purplegirl said...

I've been checking back every week or so since you wrote this, hoping you'll post an update on how you're doing. I hope you're feeling better, and that you keep blogging--as so many before me have said, you shouldn't feel ashamed for being ill, it isn't your fault.

Calfy said...

I just want to offer some support, because your post was so sad. I can't believe there would be people who would judge you so harshly on diabetes, and I hope that there aren't any in your life. These bullies are worthless in comparison to you. Don't give the time of day to anyone in your life who isn't gonna be supportive or caring, because you don't need them!

Spencer said...

The comments about whether or not weight-loss diets work or whether or not people can keep off weight are ultimately irrelevant and distracting.


Fat Acceptance members are not giving reams of bad advice. They are saying "eat well and exercise."

Fat Acceptance is not responsible for diabetes cases unless the members have been practicing a very fine-tuned form of black magic.

What we need is some classical logic.

1. Many skinny people have diabetes.
2. Many fat people do not have diabetes.
3. Therefor, we can conclude that fat does not cause diabetes.

What if you knew somebody who was skinny as a rake and got diabetes? Would you recommend that they lose weight?

Weight loss is not a panacea. Even if we assume that fat causes diabetes, can you be sure that losing weight would cure it? Will those complicated little cell structures which have given up and died or been altered beyond repair perk up as soon as the poster can fit into a size 4? I doubt it.


To anybody who recommends weight loss to the original poster.

Are you psychic? Have you ever been exposed to nuclear radiation? Do you have extra-sensory perception?

No?

Then how do you manage to presume that, without having access to any of her medical records, without going over her blood tests, without cross-checking her symptoms against the myriad list of diabetes varieties, you somehow instantly know how to fix the problem? Why would anybody bother going to a doctor if all it took was a rough association with statistics to know that a life-long medical disorder can be cured by losing weight?

If you really mean well, then don't say "lose some weight".

If you really mean well, and have some common sense, don't say "stop listening to FA".

Saying that advice from Fat Acceptance will make diabetes worse is like saying that taking part in the civil rights movement causes sickle cell anemia.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Hannah im 21 and I have diabetes. My whole like I have been dieting and exercising so when I found out I was very very very shocked that someone like me young and skinny has DIABETES!!!! Nobody in my family has it either. My question is how did this happen???

 
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