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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Social Media is helping me lose weight

Scott Benner

I have never been a thin person. I have at times considered myself fat, overweight, in shape, not too bad and an entire slew of other body and health terms. I put on weight for the first time in my life around age six and didn't return to a healthy weight until about ninth grade. That dance has continued throughout my life. My weight hit an all time high around 1998. That was the first time that I took a drastic measure to reduce my size. The diet worked great and before I knew it I looked the best that I ever had! Then we had Cole and I put half of it back on. I've been up and down ever since. I never get so heavy that I feel unhealthy but somehow I always feel better when I take off a few pounds so I know that the weight effects me poorly.

Intellectually I know that I should be leaner and I wish that I looked better but these things never seems to be enough incentive for me to maintain a constant weight. The truly odd thing about me being overweight is that I am not a food person. I don't have cravings or even get hungry very often. It took me a long time to realize that my issue was two-fold: I don't eat enough food or water (often I joke that my body thinks that we are shipwrecked and is conserving fat) and when I do eat, I put no effort into eating well (though my kids are fed very well). Even after coming to that understanding about myself... I still haven't addressed it. I did however eat two batches of Christmas cookies, one at a time, over an 18 day period last month.

I needed help but I know that I wouldn't have sought it out on my own.

About a week ago one of our friends posted on FaceBook that he needed to lose weight. In minutes the idea of a competition was suggested and a week later forty people were signed up for a weight loss contest. Everyone threw in twenty-five dollars and the 'biggest loser' will take home a cool grand. Nice idea and my wife was doing it so I joined in as well. I wasn't all that enthusiastic until I saw something happen, something that was very familiar to me because of diabetes and the DOC.

Along with the competition came a private FaceBook group. To keep things on the up and up everyone had to post a video of their initial weigh in. No one was too pleased and people spoke of dropping out to avoid making their weight public but a few intrepid souls went first and then the greatest thing happened...

People stopped feeling alone, isolated, embarrassed and the weigh in videos began to appear one after the other. Where had I seen this before? In the diabetes online community of course. It's the power of social media. Which is just a new way of saying that people need people. It's community, friendship, support, or as we love to say in the type I world... the knowledge that others are living with and surviving the same things that you are struggling with. Somehow, some wonderful somehow, once you understand that you aren't alone, everything magically gets easier.

I'm watching people that didn't know each other a week ago share things that I know they are embarrassed by. They are offering encouragement, recipes and a lot of needed contact. All of this is supporting and motivating the group. I wish that everyone could experience such community. Up until last week I thought that I would only ever feel like this when I was around the people in the DOC.

This is just another way that social media is helping me. Please share how social media and online relationships have helped you, your post may be their introduction to a much needed life change.