Why twitter chats are awesome and why I’d encourage you to take part? Yes, a ramble I feel I need to have. I hold myself in a lot on this blog but in other places online I’m really quite the rambler. Some would say this is ironic given I have social anxiety but hey often I find when I CAN talk when anxious I ramble. So there.
Anyway. I take part in a couple of regular diabetes tweet chats online. It sounds weird. I mean, twitter isn’t exactly a discussion platform right? Wrong. You might need a few tweets or you might get your ramble into a shorter point. It is fast and easily connects many people though. If you are new you can observe before jumping in. If you feel alone there is instant responce. If you feel a blog is too daunting an idea it is easy. If you have a question, people are often there quickly with half an answer at least. I blog a lot and I see traffic but I don’t get a high number of comments but I interact a lot on twitter. I love that.
The tweet chats, as they are known, are held by various groups but the ones I’ve been involved in so far focus on diabetes. Each one usually has a sub topic to go with the diabetes. Today it was weight loss and gain. This can be a taboo subject in the circles I frequent as a feminist as ‘health at any size’ is a big deal right now but for diabetics, not so much. Overweight diabetics and obese diabetics tend to find themself facing the nastier of complications and there is no running away from that. Underweight diabetics also really struggle with their diabetic health. As someone who has been, underweight, overweight and then on a diet and had such a sucess on it, it was a fabulous change to have that seen in a positive light.
I found it fascinating to see how other diabetics felt and how they had tackled the issue. Some felt exercise was the way and others diet. Some hadn’t found a way that worked and others had not tried. Personally, I make no secret of the fact that I was overweight. When I was getting towards the BMI being obese I took action. I wasn’t that big, a UK size 14/16 maybe, but I have large and heavy breasts and they influenced the scales. More importantly, the more weight I gained the worse my diabetes got and the harder it was to haul myself around. I took action to feel and be healthier. That was the aim for me. In the end I lost two and a half stone using Scottish Slimmers. The diet thought I should lose more but my breasts are so large and heavy that my back would fail to support it so I stopped where I am.
I’m a size 10/12. I have naturally wide hips and large breasts. Some clothes hang on me but so what? Some cling and so what to that too? I can’t shrink my pelvis. It is sort of made of bone, you know?
Personally, the way that worked for me was watching calories. I still watch them now I’m in target and probably will for life but I’m ok with that. My insulin is so sensitive to weight that I don’t want to battle changes over a couple of pounds when there are so many other battles with diabetes to be fought. It felt good to share my experiences in losing with people, to see their frustrations, to talk about how some things work for some and not for others. I’m a feminist so in those arenas diets have a bad name and for a good reason in many cases but for mine it is all about health. My body is already pissed off and breaking down and I don’t want to give it reason to give up further. Some people go running, to the gym, or do activities and some count calories and some just ‘watch what they eat’ in the meaning that fits them and all of those reasons are ok as long as accept that others might do different things. Just because one weight loss/gain/maintain regime doesn’t work doesn’t mean all won’t work, you know? Don’t shame those that seek to change their bodies for health reasons. Diabetics have seen the results of obesity and diabetes and screw anyone that thinks badly of us for trying to combat that. Screw anyone that thinks badly of us for NOT doing anything to combat that. I don’t know every diabetic.I don’t know how their diabeties, calorie counting, exercise or whatever impacts their health or life. I have NO RIGHT to judge them. For years I did nothing about my weight because my docs just wanted me STABLE at any weight. Sometimes attempting to change weights impacts diabetes in a bad way. It can lead to highs, lows, and unpredictable things that we don’t want to deal with or have jobs and can’t deal with while keeping them. No one has the right to judge us for that. I found a gap I could take action for me in but I was lucky. I won’t judge anyone who can’t.
Having a place where someone can be open and honest in their experiences whether they good or bad it a positive thing. With those diabetic chats it is not about judging but about learning from one another’s experiences and helping one another. I love that. I feel safe and not judged. I challenge my social anxiety to by talking. Hell tonight I even offered to run a chat. That is a huge deal for me but one that I feel is possible because people don’t judge me on those chats. Everyone has their ups and their downs but we’re tying. That is what matters.
Twitter and health chats can be such a boost and community for someone and if there is one out there for your health topic, have a peek. If you don’t like it cool, but it might be your thing so have that peek before you write it off. If there isn’t one for your topic, why not set one up? Create a hash tag, contact those well known in that area. All it takes is one person to make something grow. I never thought I would offer to host a chat and yet here I am so why not you?