Recent studies are showing that people living with type 1 diabetes are more likely to have body image problems (Click here to read the study if you are interested!).
This post will briefly explain why this might be the case, and how to help yourself feel more body confident!
Factors implicating body image
Insulin injections can cause weight gain, especially when people are first diagnosed. This largely depends on the type of insulin, how much is injected and individuality. It may not cause weight gain for some people, but others may really struggle with this.
Weight can fluctuate very quickly when blood glucose is not controlled. Having to count carbohydrates and calories can contribute towards obsession and restriction. It can cause people living with diabetes to ‘care’ more about the way they look, rather than diabetes management.
Wearing diabetes technology can also draw unwanted attention to the body, all of these factors together can cause some body image problems.
How to feel more body confident
1. Go back to basics – rather than overcomplicating health and cutting things out, focus on eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated and sleeping enough. Focus on one point at a time, for example ‘this week I will start eating 6 portions of fruit and veg everyday’. Slowly making changes makes it more likely you’ll stick to them!
2. Get movement in – Movement is vital for all aspects of health and gives us a sense of accomplishment. Make time to move your body, in whatever way you like!
3. Start a journal – Reflection is a very useful tool. Write down how you feel everyday and think about why you are feeling negatively about your body. Once you find why, you can make changes to support yourself.
4. Watch what you follow on social media – Social media can have such a big impact on mental health. It is vital that you only follow accounts that bring you positivity. Unfollow accounts that make you feel negative about the way you look. – This applies IRL too!
5. Speak to someone you trust – Someone else’s perspective will likely make you feel better and more confident. Problems seem a lot more manageable once we say them out loud!
6. Do more of what makes you feel good – Make time to get your hair cut, go to your favourite coffee shop, whatever it is that instantly makes you feel good. When we put time aside for ourselves we gain a more positive outlook on life.
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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Diabulimia 101! and Lumpy skin from insulin injections? Here’s what you need to know!