Managing an invisible illness like diabetes can be such an isolating experience especially given the lack of awareness about what diabetes is, and the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas no longer produces any insulin. Synthetic insulin is an effective treatment but there is currently no cure. Since November is National Diabetes Awareness Month I would like to share a little bit about my journey so far.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in January 2000 at the age of 16. Today, 16 years later I am the healthiest I have ever been since my diagnosis. When I started at CrossFit Maricopa nearly 6 months ago I was in a rut. I was not taking the best care of myself; leading a mostly sedentary lifestyle and not fueling my body the way I knew I should. After I became a mom, I knew that I needed to make changes to avoid long term complications and to have a better quality of life overall.
When I started CrossFit my HbA1c (a lab test that shows your blood sugar average over the last 3 months) was at 7.5%; today it is at 5.8%. For reference, a healthy non-diabetic would be below 5.6%. By achieving near non-diabetic blood glucose control, I have more energy than ever before and my confidence has soared. For the first time in my life I feel like I am prioritizing ME and it feels great!
The support at CrossFit Maricopa has been nothing short of amazing. I am inspired by the coaches and athletes I interact with every day and I am encouraged not only by my progress but by the achievements of others! Today I have decided to embrace the challenges that come with this disease in order to keep me energized as I tackle the goals I continue set for myself.
I cannot wait to see where I will be another 6 months from now!
Dominique Lafleur Constantino