Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guest Post:Turning Over A new Leaf. . . .

Karen from Bitter-Sweet Diabetes is today's guest "Host." Karen is the brains and the beauty behind the fantastically successful Diabetes Blog Week that happened bak in May. Did I mention the fact that SHE AlSO ROCKS?!
I first became familiar with Karen when we started commenting on each others blogs way back when. Then we found out we both were attending 2008's Diabetes 2.0 in NYC and decided to meet up. Karen emailed me and told me to look for a woman holding knitting needles & partially knitted green sock! Oh yeah- she's also incredibly bad ass with textiles & knitting needles!
Anyway, when we found each other ( and a bevy of other D-bloggers) at the buffet table, all types of diabetes revelry hit the fan!
Karen makes me laugh and smile, and she continually encourages & inspires every single person in Dblogville!!
If you've never checked out her blog, you need to - like now!

Turning over a new leaf . . .

They say hate is a very strong word, and one that should not be tossed around lightly. I am inclined to agree. So you can believe me when I say . . . . I hate exercise.

I have a feeling I'm just lazy by nature. A perfect day for me would involve lounging on the couch watching movies, knitting, and eating delicious food that has practically no nutritional value at all. Don't worry, I don't actually have days like that, but it's nice to dream.
As much as I hate exercise, I absolutely understand the value of it. For everyone but especially for people with diabetes. So I try. I have a treadmill, I have hand weights, I have a bunch of workout DVDs, and I have a Wii and some of the exercise disks to go along with it. When I'm putting these tools to use instead of letting them collect dust, I can feel how great exercise is for me. I really do have more energy and sleep better at night. I absolutely see a huge difference in my blood sugars. And I feel so much better in general. That's quite an incentive to keep going, right? Well, you would think so, but inevitably my workouts begin to get side-tracked. I'm busy one day. I'm not feeling well the next. I didn't sleep very well the night before. And next thing I know, I'm not exercising at all.

Surprisingly (and thankfully) I keep trying to turn over a new leaf. Every few months I decide have another go at a regular workout routine. I don't want to jinx myself, but right now it's going really well. My husband and I are about half way through the Couch to 5K program ñ and I'm flabbergasted at how much I'm enjoying it. We've even committed to getting up earlier a few days a week to get the runs in before he goes off to work. No one is more surprised than I am that we are both willing to get up early for exercise. And I'm shocked to find that I'm also doing regular strength training as well. I don't ever remember feeling this great about exercising or this committed to keeping it up.

That's not to say there haven't been snags. One night last week I woke up around midnight with a blood sugar of 38 ñ which was particularly odd because I had been running high at night. It was one of those lows that made me want to eat everything I could get my hands on. I treated with a juice box and then also caved to the call of a packet of fruit snacks. I bolused conservatively, hoping to neither go too high or too low. Unfortunately, I woke up to a fasting blood sugar of 190. I took a partial correction and hoped our run would do the rest of the work to bring me back into range. And then, I went on the crappiest run ever!!! My limbs felt like they were made of cement. My breathing had a heavy wheeze to it. I walked through quite a bit of the run segments. I was discouraged about my (lack of) performance, even though I knew the extreme low and following high were probably to blame.

After a workout like that, it would be likely for me to find any excuses I could to put off my next workout. But I didn't. I went out for my next run a couple of days later, and it felt great. Sure, it was still hard, but I didn't feel like my legs were made of lead. And I made it through all of the run segments. I can see how important it is not to let one setback make me give up. I learned I can do more than I believe I can.

And I think that goes for all of us. Not only in exercise, but in every area of diabetes management that may be giving us trouble. We need to keep turning over that new leaf. If you're not testing your blood sugar as often as you should, aim to add in a few more tests each day. Or maybe you need to pull out that scale and those measuring cups and start doing better at tallying your carbs. Perhaps make an effort to hold back from over treating those lows. Tackle whatever aspect of diabetes management you hate and struggle with, and try to make it a part of your routine. Sure, you may have some false starts and soon go back to your old bad habits. But don't let it keep you from trying again. Like me, you may just find it suddenly clicks!!


Cindy said...

Oh, I can relate to this post so well! I hate working out, even though I know it makes me feel better. I'm hoping to do the Couch to 5K program in time for the Step Out for the Cure in September. If I can just find the motivation to start.......

Great post and way to go on the continuing exercise!

Tristan said...

Very well said, Karen. Balancing exercise and diabetes is not easy. It's harder to get started than anything else. But once I do I feel great and like you said the blood sugars are better.

Keep up your hard work with the Couch to 5K program. That's awesome.

Michael Hoskins said...

Thanks so much, Karen and Kelly. You've motivated me (again) to tackle one of those issues that I struggle with the most, and I consider it on now. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully, with the success you're seeing so far on exercising! Good luck!

Brenda W said...

My trouble area is carb counting! I swag a TON!!!! Good job on all your hard work Karen! You are going to kick that 5k's ass!

Katie said...

Great post, Karen! You're doing an awesome job with the workout routine!

Scott K. Johnson said...

I'm so impressed with you Karen! WAY TO GO!!!

When I try to work out when my blood sugar is too high or too low, it often sucks like there is no worse suckage. If you get a workout where you are around 150 mg/dl, and can stay close to that - watch, you'll feel like you could run/walk forever!

Keep moving Karen (and Pete!)! w00t!

k2 said...

Well said and well put!
Figuring out the delicate dance between working out, temporary basal rates, horrific lows & the fact that diabetes is never the same beast two days in a row is a constant struggle!
Thanks for Guest Hosting on my blog Karen - I'm so glad you said yes!
Kelly K