One year ago today I got the call that would change my life forever.
“You have Type 2 Diabetes.”
As it turns out, my body had been screaming for me to pay attention to it since I was raped 12 years ago, and this was the first time I heard its screams. My body had packed on nearly 50+ lbs of protective weight and was holding on to it for dear life when I didn’t go to the hospital, police, or seek professional help after surviving the sexual assault.
After that call, I snapped out of a 12+ year funk and got to WORK. Armed with a new system to measure my life, this quadrant of factors that affect my blood sugar, suddenly, I was VERY in tune with my body. This started on my first thru-hike of the #TransCatalinaTrail and continued for the 9 months after between ending that trip and the diagnosis.
It was a gestation period, of sorts. If my healing was “conceived” on the trail the first time, the nine months that followed was a series of exercises to get me 100% comfortable in my own skin before this diagnosis. I had been pretty athletic between gymnastics, school sports, competitive cheerleading, rowing at the University of Kansas (@kansasrowing) and competitive skydiving, but when I set foot on the trail the first time I was the biggest I had ever been. So by the time my diagnosis rolled around, I was LOVING this body and it was like I had been training myself to receive this diagnosis and RUN.
I started walking 30 minutes a day, cleaned up my diet, took my medicine, and kept asking questions about how I got here. Kept doing the work. As I healed old trauma, the weight melted off.
Within a few months of my diagnosis, my A1C levels were in the healthy range. Stress still needed to come down. By May, I had quit two jobs and found myself on the trail again. Which led to this new chapter with #hikingmyfeelings.
Diabetes is the greatest gift my body has ever given me. This disease was exactly what I needed to understand that the choice is MINE in everything I do, and enables me to choose love for myself every single day.
It’s a new year. A new me.
Buckle up, because I’m just getting started.