Healthy eating wasn't something I really cared much about as a kid/teenager. I never weighed more than I should and didn't get sick that much, so it was never something I thought about. I was a vegetarian in high school, but for me, that mainly meant I ate french fries instead of chicken nuggets.
On our first date, Ben told me he had type 1 diabetes. The short of it is this: type 1 diabetes (aka juvenile diabetes) is a chronic and incurable, autoimmune disease. Ben's body does not make insulin, so he must inject himself with two types of insulin multiple times a day, and check his blood glucose levels multiple times a day. Without insulin, he would die. Not enough insulin translates into high blood glucose levels. Amazingly, injectable insulin has only been available since 1982, and thank God for that. On the other side of the spectrum, with too much insulin (low blood glucose levels), he would go into a coma, and without treatment: die. Insulin is an awesome and life-saving treatment, but it is only that, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes and the complications with varying blood glucose levels can lead to a long list of other issues.
Because of this, Ben has to think about food all the time. Everything that goes into his body besides water, has the potential to effect him in any number of ways. Food is complicated. We regular folk just don't see it as such, since the effects of what we're eating don't show up as fast as in someone with diabetes. When we first started dating, I didn't think much about that. But I do now. After 5+ years of marriage, I am now very aware of food and what it does, not only to Ben, but to myself and our kids. And thanks to Ben becoming more open about his diabetes (he wasn't always) I can now tell just by speaking and looking at him if his blood glucose (aka blood sugar) is low. It used to keep me up at night thinking about everything that could go wrong. And God really broke my heart when it came to how much Ben has to think about and deal with. But we're in a good place right now. There have been only a few horrifying instances with Ben's diabetes, but it is something that we both deal with now.
So thus began our love affair with eating healthy. Stay tuned for the next part of the series: Going Vegan.