Diabetes without obesity

Diabetes without obesity

My sister Lindsay is not overweight. She eats healthy, does not have a “gut”, and she runs a minimum of 5 miles per day. Her cholesterol and blood pressure are perfect. She looks fit, athletic, healthy. What you don’t know about Lindsay when you look at her is that she has diabetes and has for almost 30 years.



Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Auto-immune diseases are highly genetic. She was ‘doomed’ at birth as my family is riddled with auto-immune diseases. She happened to get Type I diabetes. Type I diabetes, other wise known as “juvenile diabetes” can strike at any age. She got diabetes at age 3.  Type I Diabetes shows it’s signs once your your antibodies start attacking the islet cells in your pancreas. If your body doesn’t have islet cells, your body cannot produce insulin. Without insulin you cannot breakdown sugar. Type 1 diabetics do not CHOOSE to become diabetics. Obesity does not cause type 1 diabetes and it is NOT reversible. It needs to be managed and treated, but can never be reversed.

Type 2 diabetes is a different story. It is frequently (though not always) caused by obesity. You gain too much weight and your body can’t produce enough insulin to regulate your blood sugars. The more you weigh, the more insulin you need.

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that is almost always reversible via diet, nutrition, and exercise to lose the weight. For more information about treating type 2 diabetes via diet and nutrition look HERE.

Type I Diabetes and exercise.  When you have type I diabetes it is important to work with a doctor closely on insulin adjustments. Depending on the type of workout, blood sugar can become dangerously low or spike exceedingly high.

Those spikes can lead to long term damage such as retinopathy, kidney damage, blindness, etc.  It is also critical that you eat properly before your workout and have fast acting “sugar” such as glucose tablets with you at all time in-case you hit that unexpected low blood sugar mid-workout

Life Obstacle or obstacle course? Type I Diabetes can create some obstacles. Workout routines can sometimes feel like a scientific formula more than a workout. Blood sugar is impacted by exercise.

When lifting weights, your body produces more cortisol (a hormone that effects blood sugar) which can cause blood sugars to spike. When you do cardio, it has the opposite effect which can cause your blood sugar to dip.

For instance, you can start a run with a higher blood sugar and as soon as 10 minutes in, your blood sugar can dip much lower.  Type I diabetics always need to stay a few steps ahead. The constant planning can get frustrating, but there is no choice.

Sometimes you may want to push yourself really hard but you simply can’t. Do not let this stop you from reaching your goals. Look at your diabetes the same way you would face any physical challenge. It is critical that you learn to manage your weight via diet. My sister always says “Every time I get to the next level I look back and thank my diabetes for teaching me the discipline I need to keep moving forward.”

Natalie Jill

Excuses or Solutions…YOU Decide!

-Natalie Jill

Special thanks to my type I diabetic sister Lindsay for her help on this article. For a weight loss plan safe for diabetics and similar to how Lindsay eats to stay lean, look HERE




Natalie Jill

Natalie Jill is a leading Fat Loss Expert and high-performance coach. She helps you change the conversation around age, potential, pain and possibility. She does this through a SIMPLE and FUN unique method that you can find in her best-selling books, top-rated podcasts, interactive programs and coaching sessions. As a 50-year-old female, she KNOWS the struggles and pain that can come with aging! She takes the guesswork away and help you kill the F.A.T. (False Assumed Truths) holding you back from achieving your goals. To know more about Natalie Jill, you can visit her Facebook Profile, Tiktok, and Instagram.