Body positivity is a journey and there’s no doubt that it can be tough at times. There are so many influences in the outside world that tell us our bodies aren’t the way they should be. People with diabetes often struggle with the relationship they have with their body. But is it possible to love you diabody? You bet!
We spoke to Edie, who is fierce, fabulous, and creative. She also happens to live with type 1 diabetes. Edie is passionate about body positivity and is an amazing advocate for loving the skin you’re in. To find out more about her journey to body lovin’ keep on reading…
What does the term ‘body positivity’ mean to you?
For me, it's learning to understand that every single body on this planet does not need to change in order to be perfect and empowered. It's our mindsets towards bodies that need to change. It’s embracing what you are born with and spreading the message that there is no “ideal” shape, size, color, etc. We are all unique and the things we deem as “insecurities” are the very things that make us beautiful and powerful.
How does your diabetes affect how you feel about your body?
For years, I hid my pump and my CGM. I have skin conditions that have occurred due to my diabetes and all sorts of marks from site changes and needle injections. After realizing that my body wouldn't work without any of these diabetes devices, it made me realize how magical they are, and to stop disguising them and to start decorating and embracing them. And in reality, most people won't notice these things. If they do, they are probably just curious. Trying not to get upset is hard, but important to remember. Diabetes can be very hard on the body, so the sooner you realize that all these marks show strength, a story, and how far you’ve come, they are like battle scars. I think this has helped me be kinder to myself and practice self love.
How do you practice body positivity?
Admittedly lockdown hasn't helped with my body positivity, which I’m sure many people can relate to. For me, finding clothing that is both comfortable and colourful allows me to be myself and enjoy the body I am in. I practice affirmations and gratitude daily. Writing down and drawing things that my body does on a daily basis for me, such as walk, stretch, dance, smile, some things that I am grateful for. Talking to myself in the mirror in a confidence building way, such as complimenting myself (I know it can sound crazy but it works!). I also love dancing in my living room to 80s music, I find it the best way to just be free and enjoy myself.
What are some of the obstacles you’ve faced throughout your journey to body positivity?
Comparing yourself to others is something that tends to hold me back in my journey, I've found with lockdown and being on my phone more, it’s easy to start thinking “maybe I should look like that” or “why do I not look like them?”- It's easy to do but you have to remember that these thoughts are normal, everyone gets them and you should try to challenge them.
How did you overcome these obstacles?
Logging off social media is easier said than done, especially with the way the world is right now, but it can really ease the mind. Try writing down what you’re self-conscious of, that you often compare to others, and challenge it. I find this helpful when I’m trying to understand why I feel a certain way. Remember, body positivity isn't only external, it's internal too, so to look after yourself inside as well as outside. Go for a walk, breathe some fresh air, watch a new TV show, talk to a friend. These thoughts will pass, and I can assure you, you are not alone.
Also, it's important to note that many images we see on social media are photoshopped or altered, so try not to get upset if you don’t look like the people you are comparing yourself to. They may not even look like that in real life!
What advice would you give to other people with diabetes that may be struggling with their body image?
I like to remember that just like living with diabetes, body image is different for each individual. Not everyone’s experience is the same. So only worry about what feels right for you, and what works for you.
Diabetes is a life changing condition, both physically and mentally, so if you have come this far already I am extremely proud and you should be too. Be kind to your body! Even if you find it hard to be, try and thank it for working with you when it does, listen to it when it doesn't and remember that you are BEAUTIFUL, injection sites included!
Everything takes time ESPECIALLY self love and body positivity. Making small changes that work for you is best. Putting on clothes you like, wearing makeup, or not wearing makeup, complimenting yourself and dancing in your living room are all things you can do that, over time, will pay off in such a confidence building way!
If you want to change something about your body, such as size, that's perfectly ok as long as you’re only doing it for you and for good reasons. Don't change for anyone but yourself, and only if it will make you a happier and healthier person. Speak to your doctor before doing anything super invasive beforehand and stay safe! :)
The mySugr website does not provide medical or legal advice. mySugr blog articles are not scientific articles, but intended for informational purposes only.
Medical or nutritional information on the mySugr website is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult a physician or health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.