THE STORY OF ONE FAMILY'S JOURNEY WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES AND CELIAC DISEASE.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

The Yellow Shirt.


There used to be this girl I know.

She had a positive energy and always smiled.  She was confident, personable, and enjoyed helping others. She could wear anything in her closet and feel good about it. Despite her daughter's Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis, she slept pretty well at night and didn't spend every minute of the day feeling as though she could fall asleep on command. She spent her days playing with her children around town, instead of worrying about what to make for dinner. She had a career that kept her mind alert, made her feel useful, and, quite frankly, one she was really good at.

Something happened to her 2 - 3 years ago.  

It started subtly after celiac entered her world.  She went from being carefree to feeling stuck.  And from stuck to feeling resentful.  When she would have been taking her children to the library or the park, she now felt compelled to stand in her kitchen for hours pleading with gluten free flour to make the perfect loaf of bread ... pizza crust ... biscuits ... cookies ... muffins ... pancakes ...  She cried over carb counts and squirmed when her daughter's blood sugars were obvious that she had gotten it wrong.  She spent almost every minute obsessing over the next gluten free replacement she needed to figure out.  When her own celiac diagnosis entered the picture a few months later, she hardly had time to digest it.  There was no time to think of herself, her own health, her own needs...she had a family to care for, a child with diabetes to manage, and a gluten free kitchen to keep.

Around this time, that girl I knew was entering her late 30's.  She also stopped nursing her last baby, which marked the end of an era -- you see, she had been nursing one child or another for SIX years straight!

The trifecta:

Celiac.
Age.
Weaning.

Let's face it.

It's easier to maintain your weight when your not absorbing food due to the internal damage that years of gluten has caused.

It's easier to maintain your weight before that "slow metabolism" sets in.

It's easier to maintain your weight when your body uses the excess calories to nourish your babies.

But let's be HONEST too.

It's easier to maintain your weight when you aren't feeding your sweet tooth.

It's easier to maintain your weight when you don't reach for comfort carbs, especially when you know you aren't hungry.

It's easier to maintain your weight when you don't eat at all hours of the night.

That girl has tried a lot of things.  Diets, pills, and exercise.  She gives up on herself pretty easily and, inevitably, she'll end up drowning the pain of failure in Cheetos.

She was determined to keep this part of her life hidden.

But you can't hide fat.

So, she's coming clean.

She needs to lose 50 lbs.

This week, she's embarking on an 8 week journey to get started.

She's not sure she can do it.  To be honest, there are some people very close to her heart who aren't sure she can do it either.  Then someone gave her this yellow shirt as a reminder that she's worth the effort.

The message resonates deep.

So, she'll try....even though she's been feeling defeated, deflated, and disengaged lately.

The next few weeks will bring a transparent, honest look deep inside the road ahead.

It's going to take all the strength she has to crawl to her first class on Wednesday evening.

Will she be standing tall at the end?

That remains to be seen.


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17 comments:

  1. Go Wendy, go!!! I'm cheering loudly for you!!! You can do this!!!

    You are inspiring me to get my own move on!

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  2. You can do it Wendy! I am in the same place...Adam's diagnosis led me down a road of self pity and stuffing my feelings with food. January found me 25 lbs. heavier when I already had 20 to lose...I've been working hard and have lost 17, but still have more to go. It's hard to put ourselves first! ((hugs))

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  3. I SOOOO hear you on the nursing. You GO girl You are worth it, and you can DO it.

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  4. Just watch Bob the Builder over and over and it will sink in... "Can we fix it? Yes we can!"

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  5. LOVE THIS POST. I, too, did the same road of self pity after Casper's celiac diagnosis and have AT LEAST 50 lbs. to lose. After my surgery heals, I'll be at the gym right there with you. I'd love to meet up at class this summer since our kids are all the same age. You inspire me, once again!!!

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  6. Good for you!! I need to do something like that too. Afterall, my clothes aren't magically getting smaller...so it must be me and all those cookies!

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  7. You can do it mama!! Youre so awesome to put this out there. Dxs have done a number to my weight as well. I worked out last night and youve inspred to me to keep going!

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  8. Ive been drowning my sorrows (and sweet tooth!) in food too for awhile now. My trigger was many things the same as you mention...exhaustion, fatigue, depression, feeling bad about the person I am/am not...and mostly...my kids growing up. Its scary. It makes me feel alone. It makes me feel worthless because all I have done with my life is sacrifice for them. No career, no sense of "self." Im in confession right with you my friend!! Ive gained many pounds since we lost our house, all because eating is comfort. :(

    You arent alone. The only thing that stops me from eating MORE of the "bad stuff" that I over indulge in is my Diabetes....and fear of using too much insulin in a crazy rage bolus! TERRIBLE!! ((HUGS))

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  9. You can do this, baby! I hear you... I knew a girl once who could wear anything... who slept at night... who didn't eat emotionally... But that was BEFORE. I am so proud of you! I know you can do it! And you are inspiring me to kick it in gear, too! LOVE YOU!

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  10. I have chills b/c I know this is the BEGINNING of the END of this "cycle" for you. You CAN do this. You WILL do this. You are INSPIRED. You are SUPPORTED by us...your friends, your family....and you are YOU. You will succeed. Love you.

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  11. I needed to read this tonight! thank you for being transparent with us. I have atleast 50 pds to lose too, we put so much time and effort into our little ones, we get lost ourselfs. I look forward to reading your updates. I too gained alot after our 5 yr old was dx with Type 1, 2 years ago..it's hard! you took the biggest step so far..no turning back now! :)
    Tracy S

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  12. Sweet Wendy! You can do it! I'm so proud of you for trying something difficult. I know losing 60 pounds has been such a blessing to me AND my family. It's a good step - and one worth taking. Love to you!!

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  13. I know! I recently stopped nursing Rasmus, and that ended ten straight years of nursing. If you'd like any of my reliable gluten free (and vegan) recipes, please email me! Maybe it will help a little. :)

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  14. SO PROUD OF YOU!! You can do this...You ARE worth it!

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  15. I hear ya and am right there with you! I was determined to make 'something' work a while back and after a few short weeks extra night BG checks took over. I'm at a place where I need to figure out how to get back to something, anything and you have inspired me to JUST DO IT!

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  16. YEAH! Bravo - I can't wait to hear how it goes, enjoy all that sweaty fun of getting your body back :) What an awesome shirt, too!

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  17. Oh I'm so proud of you!!!! You can do this! You can! And I'm right there with you - I have 7 pounds gone, 33 left to go. I'm seriously doubting myself too, but reading your words make me feel stronger too.

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While I'm happy to share our experiences with what works, and what doesn't work, for the management of Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in our house, please do not mistake anything you read here for medical advice. Decisions regarding your/your child's health care should be made only with the assistance of your medical care team. Use any information from this blog at your own risk.