Hey guys! So i wanted to apologize again for not posting sooner, but my classes have been KILLING me for the last few weeks, but guess what?! They're almost over! This is my last week and I'll be 1/2 way done with my Spring semester!
So with keeping up with my resolution of posting more, i decided it would be easier if i just did SMALLER posts more often! Duhhhhh kiah! I can't believe it. I'm certified GENIUS.
So i think you'll really enjoy this post. I'm going to warn you, it WILL be a LONGGG one, but I promise you it's worth it, stick with me here, okay?. I want to truly explain to you how I became the person that i am today. It's not just a typical story & I feel it worth sharing.
Hmm lets see......where do i start???
When i was five years old, i was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Easter Sunday to be exact, and i remember that day, obviously not only because i spent the next three days in the hospital, but because when my mother said that we were going for a "ride" i got SO excited. For the first time in WEEKS, I was excited.
A couple of weeks previous to that car ride, I had been feeling absolutely awful. I was lazy, I rarely got off of the couch--I skipped a few beautiful days outside for gloomy ones on the couch; I wet the bed almost every night. I even went to the American Girl place with a few of my really good friends in Chicago, and had to go to the bathroom just about every 1/2 hour the whole way there. I literally felt sick the whole way there--I didn't know what was wrong--I WAS FIVE, for crying out loud. I could only imagine how my parents felt. They had to stand by and watch me deteriorate for weeks. (or what felt like weeks, I don't remember exactly what time.)
I continued to be excited about the car ride, I watched out the windows & wondered where it was that we were going.
The rest of that ride was pretty much a blur. I don't remember how i ended up in the ER getting my finger poked, but there i was. Crying & some guy was holding out my hand and stabbing me with a GINORMOUS needle. (just kidding, it wasn't that big)
And before i knew it, i was on a stretcher & everyone was running. Running running running, i can't keep up with it in my mind. I was asked who i wanted to ride with me in the stretcher, and i said my dad, so there we were: me laying on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance & my dad sitting right next to me handing me a sprite (another perk).
Then another blur happened and i'm laying in a hospital bed, hooked up to so many machines with all of these cords attached to my arms. I remembered screaming bloody murder when they had to put the IV in my arm--they put those REALLY far!! And i also screamed bloody murder when i had to take my "shot" for the first time. By "shot" i mean, the first of several THOUSAND shots of insulin that i would have to take in my lifetime.
And before i knew it, i was back at home sitting at my kitchen table testing my blood sugar.
As a side note: I have to test my blood sugar on a minimum 4 times a day, and there is NO maximum if i'm not feeling 100%. My target blood sugar is about 80-120mg/dl (medical terminology--don't ask me what it stands for).
So that's the way i grew up. From age 5 till now I have had to test my blood sugars daily, remember to give myself insulin BEFORE i ate my food, and well basically not let myself pass out. Ahaha, no i'm just kidding. But it really got in the way, you know? If i wanted to go to my best friends house when we were younger, I had to remember to bring extra test strips, because if i forgot then i couldn't test my blood sugar & then i couldn't bolus with the correct numbers, then i could face going severely low & passing out or going high & feeling like....gross. I had to bring extra pump supplies because i couldn't go without insulin or my BG (blood glucose, blood sugars) would get high again. I had to remember to test my blood sugar all the time.
Entering the teen years was really difficult. I mean, i never let my diabetes overcome me & become something that i couldn't handle--I NEVER wanted that, & i NEVER will--but, aren't the teen years difficult for just about everyone? So many pressures! Pressures to be popular, pressures to be the best athlete, pressures to look good, pressures to get a boyfriend...anything!
Well, like any teenage girl, i became aware of my weight. I wasn't a BIG girl, by any means--i'm 5'2" and weighed around 110-120 lbs, maybe? Anyways, I seriously felt like i could see it. I could see the weight being put on as i went through my days as a typical freshman. I NEVER suffered from an eating dissorder or anything like that--they scared me--but i slowly became obsessed with what i looked like.
I was also an avid softball player. I dreamed of being the BEST pitcher that our school had ever had. Or at least very close to it! I pitched regularly, but nothing--as far as training goes--that set me apart from the others. Well one weeknight, at a basketball game, my training changed. A very close friend of mine's FATHER came up to me & asked me about pitching & how i've been doing. I responded accordingly & then he said "Well we really need to get you on a weight program! Bulk up a little bit!" ....Safe to say, i was scarred. I thought that after all of my efforts, he would notice me for trying my hardest & see that i've improved. Nope--instead he tore me down for the ONE thing that i wasn't doing.
So the next school year, i started powerlifting. & i am SO glad that i did. I was stronger & I visibly looked better. My pitches WERE faster, much to my dismay that my friend's dad was right. I set records for my school in my weight class & i began setting records in softball too! (that didn't really happen until my senior year, but it still happened.) I wanted other girls to be interested in it too, so i convinced a lot of softball girls to join the team & it was SO amazing. We bonded & became a stronger team because of it. I was even able to care a little less about my weight because i was lifting! I was getting bulkier & obviously the scale was gonna show that. I weighed probably 135-145 lbs throughout the rest of high school.
I did P90X the summer after my sophomore year, and i toned up & lost 8 lbs! I was so proud of myself. I felt great & i knew that i looked great too! & besides, what junior could say that they completed P90X? Prolly not many! Guys were even interested in me! & believe me, for a junior without a lot of confidence in herself, that's pretty exciting!
Well this girl should have had a little bit more confidence in herself.
When i was a junior, i let someone completely tear me down emotionally. After that, it was really hard to find myself again. I was wearing clothes that i didn't actually like & i was hanging out with friends that i didn't agree with & truthfully? I didn't know who i was anymore. That should NEVER be something that a person should feel. So guess what? I disconnected. I stopped talking to people. I continued to train hard & be the athlete that i always wanted to be, but i didn't really do anything outside of that.
Then my life changed. By ONE person's influence. One of the few friends that i talked to told me that a boy liked me. & i know that this story sounds ridiculous because, heck, why would a girl's life change because of a BOY? Clicheeeeeee. But it's the honest truth. I didn't really know who he was, but i knew OF him. But that story is for a different day.
My amazing boyfriend completely changed my life. He taught me that you know, it's OK to be who you are. If you don't want to talk to people, then DONT! If you aren't the person that you truly want to be, then what are you doing? You don't have to prove anything to anyone. You don't have to BE anyone that you don't want to be. I wasn't a crazy beyotch. So you know what we did? We defied odds. We battled catty rumors from girls that i used to talk to. We walked & talked & smiled all day long. & We did it TOGETHER.
And ever since then, I've never forgotten who I was. I am a beautiful person that knows what she wants in life. I am driven. I am determined. I am an inspiration.
So when i was a senior, we had to do a senior project & within that project we had to do a job shadow. I did one at a raw vegan cafe in IL. & at that point, i was NOT raw, much less vegan. But it was amazing! I saw people literally eat & order ALL of the food in an Appetizer, Entree & Dessert! Pasta made with zucchini; nacho cheese made with cashews; the most AMAZING brownie i have ever tasted made with cashews.
& while i was there literally realizing my life's dream: a woman that was working there said something to me. She had noticed that i was diabetic because of my insulin pump & so we began talking about it & how her son was one as well. She mentioned that her son watched this documentary film called "Simply Raw--Reversing Diabetes in 30 days." I couldn't believe it. Eating RAW food could CURE diabetes? WHAT?!?!?!?!?! There's no way!
So I began learning about veganism & watching LOTS of documentary films. & then one day at lunch my senior year, i decided to take the plunge. I stole a tortilla chip off of my friend's tray & then looked at it in horror. I was having a "fat" day & felt like that tortilla chip was going to add about 50000 lb to my figure if i ate it. I texted my mom & said "you know what? I'm sick of this! I'm sick of fat days! I think i'm gonna do it. I'm vegan!" & my mom was the most amazing person; she said: "You go, Kiah!" & from then on out, i have been a vegan. (and i still ate that tortilla chip, BTW).
Sure, being a DIABETIC vegan is difficult, sometimes. But I wouldn't have it any other way. My boyfriend is SO supportive with anything that i have to say about veganism & my mother decided that she would go vegan right along with me. My dad & brother, not so much, but i don't get tooooo much grief from either of them. I have learned so much about food & the way that the body uses it. I've learned WHERE diabetes actually comes from (which is also another story for another day). I've learned about the welfare of ANIMALS. I've learned about SO many vegan restaurants in my area. I've learned to respect myself for WHO i AM & not who i was.
My diabetes HAS definitely improved, for those of you who were wondering. My HBa1c (average of BG's in 3 months) has gone down from 8.9 (september-october-ish when i was making the transition to being a college kid) to 8.2, which is INCREDIBLY significant. Yeahhhhh partayyyyy kiah! :) & hopefully when i have my next check-up mid march, it will have declined more still!
I can never see myself going back to eating animal products; the thought of it is actually vomit-provoking. But i can TRULY & HONESTLY say to you ALL right now, that i feel SO much better as far as my health goes & as far as being a person goes.
I want to thank you ALL who have stuck around & kept up with me for my blog. It truly means a lot. Please feel free to share & like it! I'm on a mission to touch & change as many lives as i possibly can, & any help from you is MUCH appreciated.
& BTW. thank you SO much for letting me share my story!