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Diabetes - Type 1 Community
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Avatar universal

diabetes and inability to lose weight

i have been dieting for almost two years now, and even though i had some good success when i first set out in spring of '04 to lose the weight i'd gained since i was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it's like i have completely LOST whatever it was that first "clicked" that made me lose over 40lbs a year ago. since early 2005, i have stopped steadily losing like i first was, and have instead been simply "maintaining" my weight by forcing myself to lose 5-10lbs through crash dieting and excessive exercise for a few weeks at a time, to gaining those 5-10lbs right back from bingeing for a few weeks to follow. and now it's like even THAT yo-yo dieting technique has lost its effectiveness, as i've now finally gained back a good sum of the weight i originally lost.

i honestly don't know what else to do and am at my wit's end! i have the motivation and the drive to exercise and eat healthy; i can go for days at a time with eating as clean and healthy a diet as even the most trained and knowledgable doctor, nutritionist, and personal trainer could prescribe; i'm at the gym 4-5 days a week; i'm fanatical about watching my GI intake; i've done HOURS of reading from health and nutrition texts, educating myself as much as possible and following instructions, but no matter WHAT i do, NOTHING IS WORKING!!! the pattern seems to be, i do really well for anywhere from 6-15 days at a time, but then i ALWAYS lose my momentum and progress when my BG drops for whatever reason, and that ALWAYS triggers my next binge... and then the horrible cycle starts ALL over again! PLEASE HELP ME!
5 Responses
Avatar universal
I am not a physician, but volunteer and the mom of a type 1 diabetic.
One of the reasons that you originally did well, is that when you were first diagnosed you were probably in the "honeymoon" phase. This is when your pancreas is still producing some insulin, making it easier to loose the weight.  

I would suggest doing 2 things; the first is talking with your doctor to see if your insulin dosage can be adjusted to help make it easier to loose weight. (DO NOT adjust on your own) Some times a minor adjustment can help and make it easier to be successful at dieting.  The second is   seeing a nutritionist that can help you with a meal plan so when you work out in the gym, you would eat differently then non gym days. Remember that if you work out and do not loose weight you could be building muscle and loosing inches. This happened to me when I lost about 25 ponds then stopped losing Weight, but my clothes fit differently and I lost inches instead of pounds.

I hope this helps. Please let me know how it goes.
Avatar universal
It seems like you already know what you need to do from the point of view of nutrition and exercise, it is the binging behavior you need to learn to stop. Might it help to talk to a therapist for a time-limited set of sessions focusing on ways to change your behavior? For instance, ways to distract yourself when you are about to binge, ways to stop once you have started (instead of feeling like you've already broken your diet so you might as well keep eating), etc.

Just a thought. Good luck.
Avatar universal
I can relate to your dilemma.  I have been Type 1 for 24 years and in my late teens and twenties I was bulimec.  I binged and got disgusted with myself and had to purge.  It was a horrible vicious cycle.  I knew, as you do, that this was bad, but kept right on with it.  The suggestion about seeing a therepist sounds good.  I did and wish I would have really tried to be honest, but kind of kept my real feelings to myself.  
I was thin when I was younger, then chubby where I looked like I could lose 10-20 pounds.  Nothing horrible-but I wanted to be thinner and feel better.  It took me a long time to get rid of my bad hapbits, and even now I still think about binging-but I remind myself how cruddy I will feel even thougth I want to eat, eat, eat!  I can't exactly pin-point what made me stop-but I do know that I started walking with two girlfriends 5x per week.  We motivated each other to walk even if we were tired or crabby.  Talk about your problems-find a willing listener-vent get it out and off your chest-if a therapist works-do it.  You can do anything you want to do!  I am thinner and look better now than in my twenties-I like how I look now-I have had two children-gained and lost 45 lbs with both.  I walk and eat pretty good and get anger out while on my treadmill now-it is my therapy.  
Avatar universal
Hi, I just want to add to the original message.  I've also had issues with binge eating since I was about 17 years of age since discovered the gym and diets (Diets are DESTRUCTIVE!) I have to say if none of us ever went on diets we would keep our weight much closer to a healthy, natural weight.  The diet mentality gets you obsessed with food and it becomes all you can think about because with diets and obsessive exercise/slim mentality etc. we restrict foods so our mind naturally wants exactly what we are restricting. Common sense in hindsight I guess.  I am now 32 years of age and have been affected on and off since 17 with this awful cycle of bingeing, losing weight, overeating etc. etc.  I'm there again now and it is affecting my normal experience of life totally! I no longer choose to throw up and due to low iron and digestive issues and fluctuating sugar levels I dont have massive amounts of energy to exercise either so just get fatter. It is a deeply held sub-conscious tape that keeps running even though my health and life depends on not overreating and getting well. I've seen therapists about it and am also at my wits end.  I truly do want to live and be normal and eat when hungry, stop when had enough. I used to be able to do that, until the diet/exercise obsession began.  For any young people out there contemplating diets etc.. PLEASE.. DONT!!! Its not worth it.  I'm facing some very scary health issues due to this problem and I would almost give anything to have my normal brain function back again around food.  I'm determined to work this out.. will let you know when I have success!  Good luck and try to remember how amazing you all are whether you are thin or not so thin.. (:
Avatar universal
I've been type I for 11 years, and never thought about weight loss until recently.  I was always really active (normally excercising for 1-2 hours, 5 days a week), but always a bit on the plump side.  Recently I joined weight watchers, i know it might sound a bit silly, i think i rolled my eyes a few times at myself when i first joined, BUT I ended up losing a lot of weight (about 3-8 lbs/month).  And it actually helped my ha1c.  I also added weight lifting to my gym routine, which seems to help enourmously.  I think it is a little more difficult to loose weight while keeping up a good ha1c, and I'm sure their are varied reasons for this.  I normally drink gatorade when I get low (and when I joined weight watchers and started going to the gym, my bs got low much more than it had previously) and at the end of the month I had made my way through an entire carton of gatorade from costco, calories I would never have had w/out the betes.  I calculated the calories, and I think I had drunk 2 lbs worth in that one month alone!!!  However, I had made wise decisions in every other part of my life and diet, and ended up loosing 5 or 6lbs that month.  I can't stress how gratifying it was to join a supportive program and follow something very structured on the one hand, but with incredible flexibiliy on the other and to have it work out well.  The best part about the program is that it is very focused on eating foods with a lot of fiber and good glycemic indexes, but also that it has enough flexibility to allow you to eat desssert if you want it on a regular basis w/out feeling guilty.
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