In this post guest blogger Jessica Morris, Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Personal Trainer, explains her journey of being diagnosed and living with diabetes.
“Your child has Type 1 Diabetes,” my doctor proclaimed as I watched tears roll down my mother's face. Being diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 11 meant nothing to me, as I was unfamiliar with the disease. Little did I know, I was about to embark on an entirely new life routine that consisted of multiple blood sugar tests, insulin injections and learning everything there was to know about the effects of food in relation to blood sugar levels.
As soon as I was diagnosed, I was put on a very strict meal plan that was based around the Canadian Food Guide, circa year 2000. If you don’t recall what that was, allow me to enlighten you: it was heavily based around dairy and grain products. I was consuming 3 glasses of milk per day and 6-8 servings of grains per day. If my blood sugar dropped, I was instructed to eat candy, juice or cake icing. I remember sleeping with a tube of cake icing beside my bed for years, thinking it was normal, because my dietician told me to eat it if my blood sugar dropped in the middle of the night. Needless to say, it didn’t take me very long to feel the awful effects of this meal plan on my mood, energy levels and body composition. I gained weight and felt depressed and very helpless. I knew this wasn’t the right meal plan for me.
I made it a priority in my life to do as much research as possible to learn more about the effects of different foods on the body. I spent many hours at the bookstore and online, taking the information I learned and testing different diets out on myself. Seeing and feeling the ways different foods affected my body and mind made me fascinated with nutrition and natural supplements.
After years of personal research and self-experimentation, I completely changed my meal plan from a diet high in carbs and dairy, to one that focused on quality grass-fed/antibiotic-free meats, organic vegetables and gluten-free complex carbohydrates. Not only did I feel better, I became stronger in the gym and my digestion and mood improved dramatically. I truly believe that a clean, quality diet and supplement program will improve most ailments, because as Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
My journey as an 11 year old child being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, to what I am now, a full-time Nutritionist and Personal Trainer, has taught me many important life lessons. My favourite quote to illustrate what I have learned throughout the last 15 years is one I came across at the age of 14:
“When something bad happens, you have 3 choices: you can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”
Being diagnosed with Diabetes (or any disease) is an opportunity to learn as much as you can about the body, food, supplements and staying strong and positive. There is no doubt that I had days where I thought to myself “Why me? This isn’t fair.”
Fair or not, things happen in life that are out of our control and it is our responsibility to take that control back. Instead of letting this disease define or destroy me (which it can easily do), I allow it to empower me. I don’t allow Diabetes to run my life. I continue to participate in all the activities I want to; I just need to be more aware and conscious about how it will affect my diabetes.
I intend to live my most authentic life and hope to empower and motivate anyone living with this (or any other) disease. Life truly is what you make of it, so I encourage you to choose a positive attitude and stay strong!
To learn more about how to naturally treat diabetes through diet and lifestyle, sign up for Goodness Me!’s 10 week healthy living course, Lifewatchers. You will learn how to live a healthy lifestyle and cook delicious meals that are suited for diabetics and non-diabetics alike. Learn more here! And sign up for our email newsletter to get more great health info and product deals! By: Jessica Morris www.jessicamorrishealth.com T: @jessicamhealth IG: @jessicamorrishealth FB: facebook.com/jessicamhealth