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Glucology's 'Finding Your Community' Campaign is all about encouraging people to talk about how they found and connected with like-minded people who supported them and helped them in their journey
Clo wants to focus in on body image with her talk in finding her community, and how her people helped her come to terms with weight loss and gain as a person living with diabetes.
Clo was diagnosed in 2019 and she experienced a lot of weight loss in the initial stages. She lost 15kg in 6-7 weeks without doing much, which she now looks back at and realises that there was definitely something unusual going on (as she struggled with her weight for a long time). Because of this experience with her weight, Clo actually liked that she was suddenly effortlessly losing weight and didn't care too much that her body was actually showing symptoms of feeling fatigued or going to the bathrooms a lot.
Fast forward, Clo finds herself in hospital with her new diagnosis where she started taking insulin to save her life. She got told that taking insulin will result in her also gaining back weight. (As a disclaimer, Clo would like to share that when you gain weight back from taking insulin, it's not necessarily entirely 'weight' that you're gaining back but muscles!).
As Clo started to gain back muscles she also found herself gaining back what she had previously struggled with: her weight. This put a toll on Clo and she found herself in a spot where she was blaming herself and the insulin for everything that was happening. Even to this day, she transparently shared with us that she sometimes gets a voice that tells her:
... which she admits is not a nice thing to feel or say.
About a year into her diagnosis, Clo decided to start her current diabetes instagram @clot1diabetes. this journey helped her come to terms that she was not as crazy as she thought and that her feelings and thoughts were completely valid. Connecting with other people in a similar situation helped normalise the entire conversation for Clo and led her to start separating her identity from her diagnosis.
Another subject Clo touched on was the general negative weight connotations diabetes usually has and how she strongly believes this connotation needs to stop. If there is a quick advice she wants to share, it is to remember to never make assumptions about anyone with diabetes.
These experiences all made it very clear to Clo how important it is to use social media to talk to people from different countries, body sizes and ages who are living with diabetes. These connections and conversations have all given Clo a huge level of comfort knowing that she's not alone and that you do have control over diabetes.
Clo's advice: Don't keep your thoughts in. Talk to like-minded people. Reach out to someone. Reach out to her! And if she doesn't know what you have gone through, her and anyone else in the community will find someone who will understand your situation. Everyone in the community is very opened so reach out, you can become friends with Clo!
By taking these initial steps and consulting with your healthcare provider, you can establish a solid foundation for managing your diabetes during your travels. It's essential to proactively address any concerns or adjustments to your diabetes management plan to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.