Making Your Diabetes Fit

Posted by natalie on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 15:06 in

One of the challenges about living with diabetes is that as soon as you have one part of it figured out, your life or situation changes and you have a whole new set of circumstances to consider. This ever-flowing change is the only constant in this life with diabetes! Although this can lead to a lot of frustration, it can also be kind of fun. Yep, I said it. It can be fun getting your diabetes into a new situation and figuring out how to make it fit.

Wedding Dress Shopping with Diabetes


The bride-to-be modeling a wedding dress (not Nat’s actual wedding dress – that’s classified!)

Though my days on The Amazing Race are behind me, I recently found myself in another event that required endurance, a keen eye, patience and the support of a strong team of women: wedding dress shopping!

To someone who doesn’t live with diabetes, shopping for a wedding dress (or anything else for that matter) may not seem like something that can affect our health. But to those of us with diabetes experience, we know better. Let’s go into the experience a bit.

Preparing for Certain Situations with Diabetes

First of all, shopping can lead to stress and excitement; both of which can affect blood glucose levels. Then you have to consider the physical effort. Yes – especially when you are at a wedding dress sample sale in Los Angeles and you are running up and down the aisles like a crazy woman grabbing dresses that feel like they are made of lead! Getting in and out of those things is equivalent to a tough spin class in my mind.

Missing meals is also a hazard. When I showed up to the boutique for this wedding dress sale, I had no idea that I would have to wait outside on the rainy sidewalk for over three hours! But wait I did - and so did my amazing girlfriends. By the time we got into the boutique, it was well past the time of day that I usually eat.

Managing Your Diabetes While Shopping

Like anything else with diabetes, wedding dress shopping requires planning, a sense of humor and some great friends. Here are the tips I learned from that day for managing my diabetes:

  1. Always make sure you have more than enough glucose on you. You never know when the wait is going to be three hours or when you have unexpected physical activity like trying on gigantic wedding gowns!
  2. Pay attention to your insulin delivery. This could be a situation that results in prolonged pump detachment (I’m lucky to be on the Omnipod so I didn’t have to take my pump off during the dress fittings). Also, check whatever pump site you have after trying on dresses – just to make sure your system is still intact.
  3. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends how things affect you. As I mentioned earlier, most people wouldn’t even think about how wedding dress shopping would affect diabetes management. I think it’s always wise to bring up how situations affect your diabetes so that your support system is on the same page as you are.

In the end, I had a great experience and I even found the absolute PERFECT wedding dress! Now I just have to find a seamstress that will put in some well-hidden pockets for glucose stashing and I’ll be set!