My name is Jen and I was first diagnosed with gestational diabetes in 2010. I was insulin dependent. After giving birth to my son, my bg numbers returned to normal. In 2013, when going in for routine surgery, it was discovered that my diabetes had returned, as Type 2. I immediately learned all I could about this disease, made gradual changes in my diet and started taking Metformin. I also sold my car and started riding my bicycle and walking everywhere. After 3 months, my A1c had gone from 8.1 to 5.6. My doctor took me off Metformin and I have maintained A1c levels between 5.4 – 5.6, using only diet and exercise. Many times when I tell people that I have Type 2, they express surprise due to the fact that I am “so young and thin.”

What is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about your diabetes, and how did you respond?
Friend: “I ordered a gluten-free pizza because you can’t eat that stuff, right?”

Me: “No, I eat whatever I want, only in moderation and I try to stay under a set amount of carbs per meal.”

How do you inspire others?
I try to model healthier eating habits while still enjoying delicious foods, and I model the possibility of living an active lifestyle without needing a gym membership.

How has diabetes contributed to forming you into the person you are today? Mentally, physically, or emotionally?
Because of diabetes, I am much more grateful for the little things in life and I don’t sweat the everyday stresses that plague so many people who aren’t fighting a chronic illness. Exercising daily and taking care of myself have given me a healthier self-esteem, on top of a healthier body.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 regular sized ducks?
One horse sized duck, for sure. One and done!

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