Oh Eff You, Exercise.
The desire to exercise is just as cyclical as diabetes burnout, for me. There are months when I'm all YES, EXERCISE, LET'S ALL DO THAT NOW! and then there are months when I can't even find the caps button at all. sure let's exercise if we have to ... snooooooozefest.
During my months of deep diabetes burnout, I didn't go to the gym without literally dragging myself there. (Literally. Like tying myself to the bumper of the car and putting a brick on the gas peddle, eeking myself down the road until I had couriered myself into the parking lot.) I went, but not with excitement or vigor or any kind of desire to do anything other than plod around on the treadmill and hit the 33 minute mark so I could put the mental gold star on my chart.
Finding the motivation to exercise can be as challenging as the motivation to stay tuned in to diabetes. I think it's because there isn't an instant payoff - walking out of the gym after one cardio session and I don't feel like I can pick things up and put them down. Similar to how a week of intense diabetes monitoring doesn't immediately drop my A1C. It's a slow burn, and not seeing the immediate results of hard work makes sticking with the program a little tricky. (Versus the consumption of delicious cheeseburgers equaling instant and delicious gratification. Cruelly unfair.)
Before the baby arrived, Chris and I would go to the gym together. His dedication to a consistent(ly annoying, sometimes) gym schedule has always impressed me, because I'm very easily distracted by things and would oftentimes wander off to check on ... hey, something shiny! But when it was just the two of us, heading to the gym was something we did together, and something we did almost every day.
Then pregnancy. And baby. And that whole "ugh, I feel a bit strange in this new post-baby body." And then the "Wait, I want to shed the rest of this weight and be done with it." But I relied too much on Chris's schedule before, and since going anywhere alone together (oxymoron much?) requires wrangling in a babysitter, I needed to find my own inspiration, my own reasons, my own routine.
A way of feeling good about exercise, instead of always muttering "Oh, eff you, exercise," in my head.
So, even though it feels scattered and even though my head isn't always "in it," I'm back to regularly exercising. At least four times a week, I'm either at the gym doing a cardio workout (with a nice, long cool down where I take 20 minutes and read a book, which is the only time I ever have to read) or in our basement, using the ellipmachine and catching up on episodes of Uncle Stephen.
It feels relaxing. It's nice to have an hour to myself, where I sweat and keep an eyeball the Dexcom graph and let my mind go blank for a little while. And even if the effects aren't immediately obvious in my A1C or my level of fitness, my mental health is already benefitting. Like I said, small steps. Focusing on the emotional and psycho-social stuff. For me, that's the only way to reclaim my health.
That, and it's the only way I'll ever finish reading a book again.