17 Responses

  1. Bernard Farrell
    Bernard Farrell January 22, 2013 at 6:07 am | | Reply

    Mike, I’m right there with you. In the early days of diabetes we had to eat to cover our fixed insulin regimes. That alone is a guarantee of a screwed up relationship with food.

    Pump enables easy eating, I’ve done this far too many times. I’d said it’s a daily/weekly struggle.

    I found David Kessler’s book The End of Overeating was useful in at least one way. He did a good job explaining how treats can quickly become habitual. Like getting an ice cream when I fill the car with gas, versus stopping at a gas station to get an ice cream. I was doing that while reading the book and then light dawned…

    This is hard stuff. Thank you for sharing and letting us know about Ginger and Lee Ann’s work. They are both DOC forces that move the universe. Once I get through Gingers My Diabetes Science Experiment book, I’ll have to get the new one.

  2. Tim Steinert
    Tim Steinert January 22, 2013 at 9:47 am | | Reply

    One thing I have noticed for myself is that I still have a sweet tooth, but fooling it is the best plan. When I get a craving for something sweet, I have a diet soda. Splenda does not make my BG go up and that Pepsi MAX is awesome (it really tastes like regular Pepsi)! So what I do is I have something that’s okay to eat (wheat crackers and cheese or peanut butter) washed down with a glass of Pepsi MAX or another favorite– Crystal Light Fruit Punch. It feeds my sweet tooth but ALSO gives me a decent snack.

    I have also found myself putting on a little weight, but I realize the cause of it. When I was first diagnosed about 3 1/2 years ago, I had lost 20 pounds before I realized I was diabetic, so my nutritionist took this into account in my daily carb totals. I haven’t changed my carb totals AT ALL since I was diagnosed, so my diet is set up for weight gain. Unfortunately, I’m doing a study right now that requires me to use consistent amounts of insulin, so I can’t change my food intake. As soon as the study’s over, I’m dropping 15g from lunch and dinner to aid in weight loss.

  3. Scott E
    Scott E January 22, 2013 at 10:00 am | | Reply

    Mike, I’m sure it took a lot of courage to write and publish this article. Like you said, it’s just not a “guy thing” to admit. And I totally get what you mean about the dangers of new-found pump freedom. I was on a rigid diet for as long as I could remember (as a regular/NPH user and before that under my parents’ control), and I quickly found out how abandoning a strict diet could easily lead to an abandonment of control altogether

  4. ria
    ria January 22, 2013 at 11:03 am | | Reply

    This topic is sooo needed , thanks for your honesty.
    Being diabetic almost forces us to have a love/hate relationship with food.
    And, as in Any relationship we must learn to set boundaries.
    Some of us are better at doing that than others.
    You are NOT alone in your struggles.

  5. AmyT
    AmyT January 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm | | Reply

    Hi All – I just learned that the Behavioral Diabetes Institute in San Diego is starting a program called MAKING PEACE WITH FOOD — good stuff.

    For info, click on the link below and scroll down about halfway through the page:

  6. anonymous
    anonymous January 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm | | Reply

    When I was in college, I had a very messed up relationship with food. I was still on injections, so no pump vacation was going to save me.

    What it boiled down to was a battle of will power, and too much deprivation. I ate low fat/no fat foods all of the time. I stuck to the rules. Until 9 pm or after. I’d get the munchies that never stopped.

    Over the years, after growing up and settling down, I’ve grown leaps and bounds. I’ve learned that deprivation makes me a binge eater.

    If I have to cut sugar – which I do – my a1c is a lot happier low carb, then I absolutely cannot cut fat. You need to have something satisfying in your meal, and if you don’t, you are more likely to graze or binge later.

    I eat bacon, cheese, nuts, burgers – anything that doesn’t has carbs is a free food that I don’t think twice about. Carbs are what I count and limit.

    I am now only on the rare occasion a comfort eater I’m proud to say.

    And… I weigh less.

    All those no-fat diet years did not make me lose weight; it was just the opposite. Now that I actually eat real, satisfying, and tasty high-fat food? The weight just came right off.

    It’s not an overnight change. It’s an evolution. I’m thankful for a healthy eating spouse who wouldn’t put up with low fat food lol.

  7. Lee Ann Thill
    Lee Ann Thill January 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm | | Reply

    First, thank you so much for sharing VIAL Project with DM readers. I encourage anyone with type 1 and food and body-related concerns to join and participate. I’m hopeful that the website is going to provide new insights into the experience of people with type 1 and food-body concerns. There is so much to learn so PWD can be better supported, and participation will be key to learning more about this complicated problem.

    I would like to add that I know type 2′s can also have complicated relationships with food, and I hope to open the site up to a broader audience for all PWD in the future, but since this is a research project, it was necessary to narrow the focus due to the differences between the two diagnoses.

    Secondly, thank you for sharing your own struggles, Mike. There is a stigma against men sharing when they have food and body concerns, and the only way to reduce that stigma, and get more people talking. Your openness about it will not only help you, but others.

  8. andy
    andy January 22, 2013 at 10:32 pm | | Reply

    AmyT Its gona help lots of people suffering from diabetes.

  9. Scott K. Johnson
    Scott K. Johnson January 23, 2013 at 8:44 am | | Reply

    Glad that you’re shining the light on these resources, Mike.

    I too struggle with a messed up relationship with food, and I, like Bernard, put some blame on eating for the old insulins. We had to be disconnected from our actual hunger signals – which was very fertile ground for creating a bad relationship with food.

  10. Marielaina Perrone
    Marielaina Perrone January 23, 2013 at 11:46 am | | Reply

    Great Post. I have quite a few patients with diabetes who ask how to get around the emotion of eating. It is not an easy thing to get around for many reasons. I appreciate you sharing your personal story.

  11. Natalie Sera
    Natalie Sera January 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm | | Reply

    I think it’s common for T1s to struggle with food, although for many it doesn’t actually get to the point of actually having an eating disorder. But some of the stuff you said DOES sound like an eating disorder. Up til now, almost all the focus has been on young girls who omit insulin and then binge and feel good about losing weight (and cover up the symptoms of high BGs and ketones), but the fact is that it’s a MUCH wider world than that. It’s not just young girls: I just finished a program for eating disorders and I’m almost 65 years old. While it’s true that the bingeing started long before my diabetes diagnosis, the diabetes made it just that much more complicated. I’m positive there are men out there with similar problems; maybe they don’t express themselves in quite the same way, but still. I am hoping that the eating-disorder treatment community will open up and start studying those who haven’t been studied before, and I hope you will find a way to deal with your own issues. I sure do understand them, and am still working on my own issues, so here is my helping hand: \|||| :-)

  12. Eve Bennett
    Eve Bennett January 31, 2013 at 2:30 pm | | Reply


    Thanks SO MUCH FOR YOUR HONESTY and putting your (and so many of us out here in the vast Diabetes Universe) struggle in black cyber print for us to see, ponder, and gain courage from. I wish to put my voice out there for type 2′s also needing to have resources regarding the complicated relationships we have with food and eating. Hooray for and thank you to, the creative innovators who are addressing these issues.

  13. Jennifer Vijay
    Jennifer Vijay February 13, 2013 at 6:32 am | | Reply

    This topic is so desirable. Mike, You tell this story in a very gorgeous way. Many people suffer this eating disorder and search to get its treatment. I like your story. Its not only helpful fore you but others also. Every one should set boundaries before eating. Always be moderate with food.

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