Guest Post, Sally Marchini, Dietitian
Today is my 48th birthday. That means it’ll be my 36th diaversary this year! Reflecting on my life with diabetes always amazes me, especially the way that I’ve ended up as a health professional *and* still have excellent health despite living with diabetes.
I think the *most important* influencing factor over my life has been the constant support and good examples set my wonderful Mum. Being the Mum of a type 1 adolescent is a very difficult thing, especially when the child concerned doesn’t want to know anything about this terrible disease they’ve ended up with. At least, that’s what I was like.
I think my Mum was ahead of her time when I was growing up. She had travelled the world as an air hostess with Qantas and stayed in top hotels across Europe and Asia as a resulting bonus of the job. This gave her an appreciation for delicious food and she worked hard for her four children to teach us about the wonderful varieties of fresh foods that are available to us. I also remember when she turned 40 that she told me she was going to exercise every day of the rest of her life to keep herself fit and in good shape. She used to encourage me to go jogging with her, and we always had active holidays (tennis, swimming, walking, skiing, horse riding, canoeing, bike riding and lots more).
That was just so many years before the 2013 version of the Australian Dietary Guidelines was released that lists as Guideline No. 1 “To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs.” She really was ahead of her time 🙂
Now, all these years later and now being a Mum myself, I can better appreciate just how important that kind of example setting is for the children. My three brothers and I all take an interest in maintaining our own good health, even though we had ‘difficult’ years along the way. That idea of healthy living has always brought us back and for that I am very grateful.
Since I’ve gone on to study and become an Accredited Practising Dietitian, I feel privileged to help those who may not have had such a fortunate upbringing but who are interested in improving their wellbeing to do just that.
I would also like to take this opportunity to applaud those parents/carers of children who have type 1 diabetes, and to encourage them to keep on setting those good examples because it’s a tough job and you need to keep the long-term in sight when the short-term looks difficult.
I encourage you to look to someone you admire who sets examples in their lifestyle for you be guided by. Whether it’s your Mum, another relative, a friend, a mentor of some kind, or even other people who also live with diabetes.
Of course, it makes sense for us all to do our best to set good examples for others and that can be a great inspiration to help us to stay on track ourselves.
Thanks for listening, and please join me in trying to make a difference for the lives of others with diabetes, like my lovely Mum has been doing for the last 36 years 🙂
Sally is owner of her private practice (Marchini Nutrition), and has had type 1 diabetes for close to 40 years and coeliac disease for many years too.