Editor's note: I received this message last week from a reader I'll call Karen. I responded to her directly but would appreciate my readers' input. Please comment if you have any suggestions or recommendations for Karen.
Hi, Dr. Stacey - I was introduced to your blog through a link on Disordered Times. I love the blog for a lot of reasons - but one of them is just knowing that I'm not alone in my struggles with eating and how I feel about it and even how to do it.
I'd be very interested on your opinion, if you ever have cause to give it, on how folks like me, who have a medical condition that requires an "abnormal" relationship with food, can work to be at peace.
I'm currently really ambivalent about calorie restriction, food logging, dieting in any way - the fatosphere has given me the confidence to say, hey, why should this take up so much of my time and energy, but the social reality of having lost some weight, and the impact of years of negative thinking about my body and all of that argue against giving up the diet I'm currently on. (I'm not supposed to call it a diet - but I think anytime you're restricting or changing your food intake based on some external, artificial measurement, it's a diet, and call a spade a spade!)
But, even if I do manage to kick the diet habit - I still have to write down and be conscious of every goldanged thing I put in my mouth, because I have Type 1 diabetes, and I have to play my own pancreas here, and if I don't know how many carbohydrates something has in it, I can't take my insulin appropriately, and my blood sugar will be screwed up. (It gets screwed up enough even when I do know, or think I know!)
I think for me, it might never be possible to have a comfortable relationship with food for that reason. I know a lot of us feel the same. I'm currently looking for ways to make my peace with that and to find a healthy way to be a food logger and carb counter (if not carb-restrictor). But I wonder - is it even possible? And, if it isn't, if disordered eating is always going to be a part of our lives, why isn't it part of a standard treatment plan for diabetics? I meet with a nutritionist - a very weight-nonjudgmental one, I must say - but no one ever talked to me about how this could affect my life and my psyche. I engaged in "diabulimia" off and on for years and years - I still battle it often - to control my weight and never knew I wasn't the only one until just recently. I'd love for there to be some kind of plan for diabetics to work with therapists or social workers on the impact of how their relationship with food and eating will be impacted.
Sorry this is a bit rambling. Just wanted to say thanks for the blog, and mention something that might be of interest on a slow blog day. :)