I'm not unusual. I'm like anyone. Anyone who has ever been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. 

I was originally diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in November of 1990, at the age of eight. To say that, since that day, my life has been a struggle – that would be an understatement, and I say that for many reasons.

When I was diagnosed, Diabetes was not the epidemic that it is today. At the time, most people didn’t even know what he word meant. If you were a third-grader with the disease, as I was, you didn’t have Diabetes – you had “cooties”. That meant that none of my classmates or potential friends wanted to get near me – it wasn’t communicable, but you see, all they thought was, they might catch it. Needless to say, it was a lonely and friendless year.

The next year, my family moved, and I was enrolled at a new school. I was excited at the prospect of having a fresh start and meeting new people. Once again, I was the new girl with that strange disease, and even more depressing, my new teacher refused to let me into her class.
Can you imagine?

Meanwhile, as the years progressed, it became increasingly difficult for me to regulate my eating habits and my blood sugar level, so I began to gain weight. My two older brothers teased me mercilessly, and my own father taunted me with no regard for my feelings.

As a young girl, I had nowhere where I felt safe from ridicule. However, one summer, I was afforded the opportunity to go to a summer camp for diabetics. I was so excited – I thought that finally I would be around peers who “got it” – who understood. And with whom I’d be able to share my struggles and triumphs.

Upon my arrival, I found that I was again viewed as the outcast, simply because of my weight. I wasn’t their fellow diabetic – I was just the fat kid. Those peers I’d longed for, who were supposed to empathize, had turned on me, because I was overweight.
Picture what a terrible blow this was. But then, my entire life, I’d been teased, belittled, and apparently destined to be in a solitary struggle. My senior year in high school, I was at my heaviest – two hundred pounds – and naturally, went to prom… alone.

After graduation, I continued to struggle with both my weight and my confidence. Before the age of twenty-one, I
had been homeless, an alcoholic, and addicted to cocaine and methamphetamine. I had hit rock-bottom.

I finally decided that I was not going to suffer and live this kind of life anymore. I sobered up, got healthy again. Even so, it was years before I was able to lose that last thirty pounds.

It’s those last pounds that are the hardest. Yes, I see you smiling. Some of you know.

Well, I ‘m here to tell you today that ever since starting the EverReady system, I have noticed that I smile, giggle, breath deeper, and enjoy life more and more each day. I have lost 21.6 Lbs. in just 32 days. Not yet at my goal weight but I have already regained so much more than just my confidence, MY LIFE! I no longer spend time in the morning trying to find what fits but now what looks cutest! I have perfect strangers complimenting me in public.

I could go on and on about how I look but the most important aspect of The EverReady system is how I feel. My endocrinologist has never been more satisfied with my blood work or blood sugar readings. We were a little apprehensive about the 500 calorie count but he had already had me on an 800 calorie diet with no result. With his approval and help I set out on this journey.

I now wake up at 5:00 a.m. without an alarm, whereas before I would need to set at least four alarms to get me out of bed on the weekend before 10:00 a.m., getting ready in the morning takes less time since I have less square footage to clean and shave, dressing for work and dates is more fun since I’m not worried about what I need to keep covered, my bosses have taken notice of my new found energy and confidence which shows in my work (time to ask for a raise ;o) ), my appetite is no longer the ravenous monster that used to control my life, My joints are less stiff…

Listen I could keep listing ways that EverReady has changed MY life but I think it is time for YOU to put the system to the test! I challenge YOU to become READY, EVER READY!!!

Kristin Strecker