Question #4: Would you change anything you have done to this point? What and why?
I don’t live with a lot of regrets. In fact, I don’t really believe in regrets. I can’t stand hearing, “If only…” or “I should have…”, etc. If I can’t get it back, I don’t want to dwell on it.
However, diabetes-wise, there’s one time period I would do over (except, of course, that I would not choose to go back in time), and that is the college years. I really struggled with food in college. I gained a lot of weight my first year, then got a little obsessive and took it off during the summer before and beginning of sophomore year. That year I truly experienced the “sophomore slump.” I had no idea what I was going to do with my life, I felt disconnected and pretty lost. My eating habits kind of got lost too.
I ate a lot of donuts and nachos in college. Eating in a cafeteria lent itself to overeating. Everyone knows that college life centers around food (and alcohol, but luckily I wasn’t a big drinker in college). My friends and I enjoyed many Domino’s Pizzas, and I spent much money at the vending machines (affectionately called “Vend-o-Land”).
My mother had warned me before I left for college that a former student of hers (she was a third grade teacher) had an older sister who ate candy bars in college and went blind. Don’t you think that went through my mind every time I visited the vending machine? Yes. But it didn’t stop me. The worst part was how I felt in the morning after eating too much junk the night before. We often joke about a “food hangover,” but it really is true. I remember suffering through early classes, desperate to go back to bed; thinking of my dad, who was a college professor, and vowing to never fall asleep in class.
I did start walking in college. And I never stopped taking insulin (although I didn’t check my blood glucose all that much). Still, if I could change one thing, it would be how I treated my body in college. Too much junk and not enough sleep. To all the about-to-go-to-college people out there, I hope you will have more respect for your bodies than I did. Take the time to walk or be active in some way most days. Eat some fruits and vegetables and cut down on the pizza and nachos. Be careful with alcoholic beverages and get enough sleep!!