I wish I could write this really health-conscious post about how exercising helps me manage my blood sugars better. Or about how a lower body fat percentage and a higher muscle mass ratio helps me to use less total insulin throughout the day. Or how the exercise endorphins make me want to transform into a happy dolphin so I can jump through waves, smiling and shouting "I love exercise!!"
Not the case. I exercise because without it, my body becomes very frumpy. I'm not sure if it's my genetics or the way I need to manage food as a result of diabetes, or maybe a combination of the two, but without regular exercise, I hate the way my body looks. I'm self-conscious enough to know that when I feel embarrassed about my physical appearance, my mental health takes a hit. And when my mental health is suffering, my overall diabetes health suffers, too.
When I was in Washington, DC for the JDRF Government Day(s), I ended up in the hotel gym. Normally when I travel, I bring sneakers and a sports bra in hopes of working out, but usually I'm so exhausted that I collapse in bed, instead. But this time, I had some of my fellow PWD to work out with. Scott, Kelly, Cherise, Kim, and myself. We rocked a #sweatbetes session at 10:30 pm, doing cardio, weights, and a few of them even attempted following Scott in pursuit of the perfect Turkish Get-Up. We worked out hard, and even though there were some lows and some beeping CGMs and pump tubing hanging out all over the place, we rocked that gym.
(Which is precisely why we celebrated with ice cream and wine at the bar afterward. What??)
I exercise because I want to eat ice cream without feeling guilty. (Don't get me started on the food guilt. I would need a whole new blog. Called Food Guilt, written under a nom de plume like "She Of Many Cheesecakes.") I want to enjoy the meals I'm eating without needing to upgrade my wardrobe to a bigger size a few weeks later. I want to sleep better at night (exercising does help with that) and I want to look in the mirror and feel proud of what I've accomplished with this so-called compromised body.
I want to continue to be healthy to be kicking around in this skin for a long, long time. So fine: I'll do the 10:30 pm sweatabetes. I'll use the ellipmachine at midnight, once the baby is completely settled and not bothered by her budding teeth. I'll jump rope on the back deck. I'll use the wimpy little weights at the gym while my wrists build back up to the heavier ones.
I'll take my daughter for long stroller walks in our neighborhood to keep her mama health and to show her the world.
This post is my March entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/march-dsma-blog-carnival !