​​​Miriam E.Tucker

The Story of a "Bad" Girl
(Diabetes Forecast, April 1997)

I thought I was bad. 
I had been diagnosed with diabetes when I was 9, and as a teen I ate what I liked and ran my blood sugars high on purpose so I wouldn't gain weight.  
I would do things like wait till my mom left the room, then eat everything in sight.  Then I'd lie and say I didn't eat a thing. 
Of course, every day I would decide to be "good," to eat nothing but vegetables and maybe an apple.  And when I slipped--which I did almost every day--I felt horrible, worthless, "bad."
Now I'm 32.  I'm starting to have complications in my eyes and my kidneys.  And now, believe me, I'm really trying to be "good."  I listen to my doctor, test my blood sugar four to six times a day, and take enough insulin to cover what I eat. 
And I keep telling myself that gaining weight is not worse than going blind or losing my kidneys.  (I didn't think much about that when I was a teen.)
I know now that you are not a "bad" person if you want to eat a candy bar--or many candy bars.  You are a human person.  
I also know that if you are struggling with diabetes, food, and negative feelings about your body, you deserve a round of applause just for trying.  
You also deserve love--from yourself as well as from others.  So praise yourself when you succeed; forgive yourself when you fail.  
Don't ask for perfection from yourself.  
And please believe that the way you treat your body now will affect your health and happiness in the future.  I know.  
Please believe, too, that you--yes YOU--are a good person who deserves to be happy and healthy.  So take care of yourself.  Now.  ###