“Carb” is Not a 4-Letter Word

The last time I visited my CDE, she looked at my 65/35 basal/bolus ratio and said, “You must eat a pretty low-carb diet.”

This surprised me, because I don’t feel like I eat any kind of “-carb” diet. Instead, I eat what I eat, and I try to cover for carbs as accurately as I can. Maybe I’m doing a poor job, or maybe, as she put it, my basal and bolus needs are simply different from most people’s.

The way I see it, the flexibility that my insulin pump — and insulin itself — afford me is one of the few advantages of having Type 1 diabetes instead of Type 2. When people ask me about it, I probably exaggerate a little much.

“So, do you have to watch what you eat?”, they’ll ask.

Bread is not evil. But this little girl probably is.

“Oh, no,” I’ll insist. “I could eat, like, a whole entire cake, and as long as I figure out how much insulin I need, I’m fine.” (I’ve never actually tested this theory.)

I think it was the Atkins craze of a few years ago that really put everything into perspective for me. Here were perfectly healthy people with precisely functioning pancreases, forgoing their God-given right to enjoy the most important food group of all. It drove me nuts. I watched friends and acquaintances gnaw glassy-eyed on beef jerky and shellfish and bacon and eggs, and push away foods like baked potatoes, rolls — even brown rice. On the outside, I was silent, but on the inside, I was screaming, “Eat it! Eat it because YOU CAN!”

Whether or not my diet is low-carb, medium-carb, or a-little-on-the-high-side-carb, I just try to eat as best as I can — without sacrificing the foods that I really, really love. Ultimately, I think that having a normal, healthy relationship to food is just as important as maintaining a kick-ass A1C. Potatoes, pasta, popcorn, bagels, cereal and granola bars are my friends. Diabetes is tough enough without having to give them up.