Chronically Beautiful - Samantha

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This September marks my 20th year living with Type 1 diabetes. I was 8 years old, it was Labor Day weekend, spending time with my cousins, when I just felt so thirsty and constantly weak. All I wanted was to drink Big Red and could not explain why. I didn't want to eat and anything that I tried to eat, I couldn't keep down. With my mom's intuition, she suggested to have my blood sugar checked. It was way over the normal and decided to rush me to the hospital. The next two weeks I was learning that my life had changed forever; I was scared, overwhelmed, and confused. However, I knew at that point that I was given a second chance and believed that it was given to me to serve as an advocate for Type 1 Diabetes and help others with this condition manage it.

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Today, I am a Clinical Specialist/Dietitian at a Diabetes company that creates insulin pump therapy tools, such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGM), that I also wear. I reach out to users of these products and follow up with them and their management to ensure that they are getting the best performance of the product to guide them to achieving good standards in diabetes health. Today I am also my healthiest with Type 1; I use two medical devices (the reason I call myself the Bionic woman) to manage good glycemic control, I workout almost 5 days a week in Barre and Pole Fitness, and I have a balanced diet with some room for cheat foods (PSL for life).

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This past year I have struggled to be positive about my image since my body has changed after adding another medical device to my body, achieving better blood sugar control, and gaining muscle tone from pole fitness. When I first glanced at these pictures, all I could think was "Wow. Is that me?" After realizing that it was definitely me, the negative feelings toward my body image had disappeared and I now feel that I am a sexy, powerful, and fearless woman. From now on, with these pictures, I will never forget that. Whenever I am feeling down or lacking self confidence, I will look at these pictures and think "DAMN...that's me, a sexy, powerful, and fearless woman".

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