Success Story: Sarah Boison

This image shows Sarah's weight loss progress, from her heaviest to 15 pounds lost, and now 20 pounds lost.

This image shows Sarah’s weight loss progress, from her heaviest, to 15 pounds lost, and now 20 pounds lost.

Name: Sarah Boison, age 25
Location: Washington, D.C.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes on Dec. 5, 2012. I felt sick the month before, but I thought it was stress from my graduate classes at Georgetown University. I showed all the signs at the time—thirst, feeling tired, frequent bathroom trips—but I wasn’t informed, so I didn’t know it was diabetes. I went to the doctor and found out my blood glucose was in the mid-300s and my A1C (a measure of average blood glucose control for the past 2 to 3 months) was 10.7.

When they told me I had type 2 diabetes, I was scared and my family was worried. My grandma had diabetes and eventually passed away last year because of complications. But it opened up a family dialogue, because I discovered all of my family members were working hard to keep their blood glucose at normal levels. Although they don’t need medication at this time, at some point they all were considered to have prediabetes.

I went through stages of grief. Initially, I was in denial about my diet and figured I could still “push it” and eat whatever I wanted. But I found out the hard way when the food made me feel horrible. So I made a huge change by altering my diet and slowly adding exercise. It was hard to go from eating a lot of junk food and carbohydrates to only eating whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies. I started cooking more at home, eating five or six times a day and only drinking water. I had to change the way I looked at food, as I was an emotional eater and enjoyed eating for entertainment. Now, I look at it as fuel and try to eat foods that will give me energy throughout the day and during my workouts.

I bought products from the American Diabetes Association, like the portion-control plate and measuring cups, which help me out daily. I also exercise five or six times a week now. It was tough at first, but I built up endurance and can now run on the treadmill and lift 50- to 70-pound weights. I’ve lost 20 pounds since I started working out in December!

My family, friends and colleagues are very supportive, but I really had to take ownership of the situation. At 24 years old, everyone wants to go out and drink, party and eat fattening food after 8 p.m., and I really had to discipline myself. I decided to give up alcohol on my own and when I go out with friends I make sure they hold me accountable. I plan ahead by working the meal into my schedule or eating lunch or dinner in advance.

I found a ton of resources for older people with type 2, but not a lot of information or ways to cope with type 2 when you’re in your 20s. But I also learned that more young people are now being diagnosed with type 2 than in the past. None of my friends knew anyone with diabetes before I was diagnosed; I find that as I’m learning more about diabetes, I’m educating them as well.

When you’re young with type 2, it’s very easy to feel ashamed, alone or like I can only blame myself. Adopting the right attitude, taking accountability and having support have been pivotal to my success thus far. I was able to get my fasting blood glucose down from the mid-300s to less than 99 in two weeks. Now my blood glucose consistently sits in the normal range, and my doctor has lowered my metformin dosage. Not to mention, I still have an active social life! When I eat out, I make choices that will help keep my blood glucose down and help me meet my fitness goals.

I’d really like to help young people out there between the ages of 18 and 35, especially those in their 20s, because it’s such a huge transitional time period. My schedule isn’t consistent right now because I work so early and get home so late after my classes. I really had to think outside of the box to make my situation work. It’s easy to tell someone to cook dinner if they get home at 6 or 7 p.m., but what if a student doesn’t get home until midnight? Or what if a 20-something doesn’t know how to cook or is a picky eater? It would be great for young people in their 20s to start speaking up about having type 2 and give tips for coping with it at this age.

Do you know your risk for type 2 diabetes? March 26 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day®, so get ready to take the Diabetes Risk Test and share it with everyone you know. You will find this free test on Facebook, on stopdiabetes.com or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).

 

 

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16 Responses to Success Story: Sarah Boison

  1. Rama says:

    I can totally relate to this article. I got diagnosed in 2005 and was giving pills to take that had side effects. One day I had a moment of holy s*** something has to change or I will be forever ill till death. I love reading stories of others who much like me had similar issues. I hate to say this but it’s nice to know that I am not along in my fight and daily struggle.

    • Sarah Boison says:

      Rama, I definitely understand about the pills. When I started the Metfomin it was rough, but now that the dosage is lower its not too bad. I too am glad to know that we’re all fighting this together. 🙂

      Sarah

  2. Lynda Brown says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at the age of 18. I am now 21 and having been effectively managing my diabetes and I work everyday to improve my health. I would love to connect with you and share your goal of reaching people our age affected by this diease.

    • Sarah Boison says:

      Hi Lynda!

      Definitely, lets connect! I’d love to hear your story as well. If you have twitter, feel free to add me and let’s go from there! @Mocha_Bee

      Sarah

  3. David A Mc Culloch says:

    Sarah,,,,Am proud of You…..am from Belize…in our country we have so much people afflicted…am a type 2 diabetic….but its more than a year and half, I have not taken any medications to control. For me its the way my food is prepared and have realized we needs the sugars for energy and so if we cant process the sugars then we have major probs….so I eats in portions …..and goes with less salts….and I make sure I gets enough water…then I go to the proteins…..even the milk I take is non fat……during the day.
    People would say that they have diabetes when they are diagnosed with it ….but looking back at this good health I am enjoying…all the complications and suffering …physical and spiritual…………has gone….but to keep this good health …as you mentioned …we needs to have control….to insure a good health, even with diabetes..My A1c was 12.7 am now 5.14… Thanks for the share
    David

  4. crystal says:

    Thank u sarah for your story. Im twenty nine yrs old and my doctor told me im pre diabetic. I just hope it doesnt go into full blown type 2 diabetes. Im trying to do what i can to get it into the normal range.

  5. crystal says:

    Thanks

  6. Mike Durbin says:

    Great post, Sarah! I’m 29, and was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and Congestive Heart Failure in December 2008. I was 24 at the time. I blog about what it’s like to live with both at http://www.mydiabeticheart.com . You love for you to check out the blog and reach out.

    All the best.
    Mike Durbin.

  7. Monique White says:

    I was just told I have type 2 diabetes and I’m 50. I know I was feeling stressed and going to the rest room but, just thought OMG this is what 50 is. I need to change my eating habits, work out and get my life on track. I will NOT let this take over my life. Reading all the stories really help. I would love to connect with someone in my area (Laurel, MD) We all need support.
    Thank you all for sharing. It helped so much!!

  8. Nix Chen says:

    Hi! I have recently been diagnosed with type 2 also. My BG is around 140-200 and I am really getting depressed about this. I feel scared and alone because usually you just see people with type2 when they are at 40’s or 50’s. I’m in a big emotional slump… Like, can I have kids? Can I still get better? Will I die in my 40’s or 50’s? 🙁

  9. santanu says:

    Hi… I,m jst 29yrs n hve diabetes type 2…jst getting emotionally broken.pls help me.my ppbs is 300,fasting is 190.pls help me…i,m jst crying n crying.. A good life jst shattered in a while…could i live more dan 50 or else…pls give sme enthusiasm.

  10. Bruce says:

    Hi Santanu, I got dxed with D at 27. My fasting was around 350 and a1c of 13. AFter an year now I get good reading I have an A1c of 5.6 pretty much in the normal range. Yes you could have a good life. But I understanding your problem. I also have depression because of the guilt trying to over hold. Just hang in there buddy you are not alone.

  11. Megan Metallic says:

    I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but like you felt like I could still push the limits and eat what I wanted. I am in the hospital right now from feeling sick all the time, I have been constantly having these attacks where I feel faint , dizzy weak shaky anxiety and ready to pass out. I thought I was losing my mind, I guess my sugars were always used to being so high that when they were in the acceptable 100-165 range my body felt like it was hypoglycemic so I would have a these attacks. I have been in the hospital for a week on a low carb diet, my body cannot handle metformin well it makes me dry heave. So until I see an endocrinologist I hAve to do it diet and exercise. I am only 29 and its scary as hell my suggestion to anyone is don’t feel like you could push the limit of this disease I’m scared as hell at the moment and trying hard to educate myself more about this disease

  12. Lorey says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I was diagnosed with Type 2 a few weeks ago and I have yet to find anyone near my age or under 40 that has it and I can ask questions. There are so many things that really only a person near my age would care about that I want to ask about. Someone needs to write a book, make an fb page, something!

  13. Niken says:

    Hi,I just heard about the SU2C show tonight with Taylor Swift siinngg Ronan. I know that I’m late (year) and words can and will never fully express. I had a son that was born with neuroblastoma, we actually went in the hospital for something totally unrelated to this. It was happened upon when they did the sonogram. So I can definitely relate and sympathize with you. I understand all the emotions because I had them as well, especially in the beginning. He has been cancer free for 4 years now, they say that 10 years is when you are considered out of the woods. I’ve read your blogs and I have to say that YOU are my hero! I don’t know how, what or where I would be if things did not turn out the way they did with my son. I will be watching tonight and I will say a prayer for you, I know your son is smiling down on you guys. God has him in His arms right now as we speak. You don’t know me, we are connected because although my son hasn’t passed, we’ve experienced the same thing with our sons. I would love to keep in contact with you! I just want to be apart of promoting awareness for Neuroblastoma. My son is your son!!Take care and May God Bless You and Your Family,Nakela PrudeDallas, TX

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