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Posts tagged ‘diabetes and exercise’

The One About the Gym.

UUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHH the one about the gym.

Dude, I wanted to start this post with a story about how hard it’s been to regain traction with losing the baby weight and then end with a BAM I NO LONGER WANT TO BURN MY SHAPEWEAR IN A BONFIRE.  But no.  That is sadly not the case.

The road to my last pregnancy was paved with fertility drugs, miscarriage, depression, and other terrible crap.  Ends eventually justified the means and I was beyond grateful to find out I was pregnant after such a journey.  (The little Guy is my favorite guy.)  My son was born eight months ago and he is exactly who we had been waiting for.

Table all the parental happies for a minute, though, because this post is not about infertility.  Or the little Guy.  It’s about the tarnish that’s settled onto the word “just” in the sentence, “I’ve just had a baby.”

No.  I did not just have a baby.  I had a baby eight months ago.  And I still feel like I’m trapped in the postpartum schlubby chub club.

So I joined a gym.

I used to go to the gym a lot.  It was kind of a family thing and while I never sculpted a physique that would stop traffic (unless a vehicle actually hit me), I was stronger and healthier and slimmer than I am now.  I didn’t feel ashamed of my shape and I wasn’t avoiding my closet in favor of athleisure wear.

Oh yeah.  “Doing absolutely nothing in my active wear” has been a theme these last eight months.

Postpartum anxiety didn’t help (better now, though) and neither did the c-section recovery.  I didn’t feel great after my first c-section and, despite rumors I’d heard that the second one is easier, I did not find that to be true.  Add in some wrist and hand issues (I ended up with breastfeeding injuries, which feels silly as eff to type but is actually a thing) and my body felt like something I was renting out instead of taking ownership of.

That did not feel good.  I want change.  Can’t wait around for change, though.  Have to chase change.  Change is exhausting.  So is this paragraph.

So about a month ago, I joined a gym.  It wasn’t a cheap decision, but the gym feels low pressure, has great hours, and also provides childcare for small baby people, so I have no excuse NOT to go.  Also, something about paying for it makes me less likely to NOT go because I hate throwing money away.  So I’ve been going.  Despite feeling shy (is exercise timidity a thing?) and despite feeling flumpy, I’ve been going.  I use the treadmill and the free weights and I’m debating a class or two if I can find some glasses and a fake mustache to wear while participating.  I’m trying not to weigh myself but instead using a particular pair of pants as my barometer for progress.

I hope to see some progress soon but I’m trying to find small victories in the steadier blood sugars and increase of energy.  And also in the “hey, I left my house and didn’t spend the entire day juggling kid requirements only.”

Hopefully, in time, I’ll schedule my shapewear bonfire, but in the meantime, I’ll try and find some pride in taking small steps now.  Especially wearing these mad cool glasses and this fake mustache.

Mommy’s Little Pack Mule.

Running alone brings out the Spibelt, and I cram it full of my on-the-move necessities:  glucose tabs, Dexcom receiver, keys, and phone.  Even though it’s reasonably streamlined and doesn’t bother me too much to tote around all that stuff, it’s a bulkier system than, oh, I don’t know … making my own insulin.

But lo!  The child rides a bike!  And insisted on having a bicycle basket!  To which I said, “Yes!  Excellent idea and can you please carry all my shit, too?” only I did not cuss at the child!

The miles might be logged a little slower than when I’m by myself, but there’s nothing more convenient than making use of her bike basket to carry all my diabetes stuff, and I love sharing some outside play moments with my daughter.

And she likes being in charge of such important things, since she is a “big girl” and can “carry the glucose tabs because then if I want a very, very, very small bite of a glucose tabs, I can just reach in and have one, right, Mawm?”

“Sure.  But only if you make sure you slow down if I need a glucose tab, okay?”

Bartering with my happy little helper of a diabetes pack mule.

Pell Bridge Run.

When my friend Liz asked me to do a race with her in November, I was more concerned about whether or not I was home to participate instead of concerning myself with the specifics of the race itself.

“November 10th?  Sure, I’m home that weekend.”

And then I looked at the details:  it was a a 4.2 mile race over the Pell Bridge in Newport, RI.  At 6.30 in the morning.  On a Sunday.

A Facebook message to my friend:  “Liz, I finally followed directions and signed up. But this shit starts at 6.30 in the morning? Blargh.”

But what sounded like the absolute suck was a really amazing experience, watching the sun rise as several thousand runners crested over the bridge, moving towards a common goal.


Performance-wise, I struggled, but that’s okay.   Lots of rookie mistakes in play:  a terrible night’s sleep (< 4 hours), a new infusion set put in morning of, a fasting blood sugar of 298 mg/dL that required an aggressive correction bolus (so that I would come down in time to not have the desire to pee on the peak of the bridge), and too much insulin on board (IOB) when I met the rest of the racers at the starting line.  Thankfully, I reduced my basal rate at 4 am when I woke up, so I didn’t have my normal dawn phenomenon rate in play.

CGM check 20 minutes before the race:  158 mg/dL with an arrow pointing straight down
Meter check for confirmation:  139 mg/dL.
Bananarama:  Ate a banana without bolusing for it, and chewed a Shot Blok to get some carbs coursing through my system before setting off.
Packing heat:  And I had my Spibelt with two sleeves of Shot Bloks, my Dexcom receiver, and my meter.  I was ready for anything.

At 6.25 am, five minutes before the starting gun, I was 108 mg/dL on the Dexcom with an arrow pointing due east, so I hoped the banana/Shot Blok combo was enough to see me through.  But as the gun fired and runners started up the bridge, I felt that telltale heat washing over my body in waves of oncoming hypoglycemia.  I popped another shot blok, but shaky hands told me I needed to consult my CGM, so 3/4 of a mile into the race, I acknowledged the 50 mg/dL  and the down arrow winking back at me.

“You can go screw,” I thought.

I had to slow my pace down to fuss through the low, but after a few minutes (and thanks, in part, to the adrenaline that surely helped spike me closer to range), the down arrow disappeared and was soon replaced by a gently sloping northeast arrow on my Dexcom graph.  I continued down the bridge, and then through downtown Newport, towards the finish line.

It was early, it hurt, I was a little sluggish post-low, but my legs responded to my requests, and I kept going.

Thoughts of “I can’t do this,” were replaced by, “Oh hell yes I can.”

I’m not a fast runner.   Not a graceful one, either (more of a plodder).  But I get there.  And even though diabetes was a bit to blame for delaying my sprint across the finish line, it is fully to blame for bringing me to the starting line.

(And this run gave me a great Big Blue Test to log – 139 mg/dL at the outset, 158 mg/dL at the close, after 4.2 miles, 44 minutes, and about 40 grams of carbs.  Exercise for the freaking WIN!)

Summiting the Everglades.

Seb is a patient man, as well as an elite athlete.  And in August, he and I will be co-hosting the Greatest Awards Show in Diabetes as part of next North American Conference on Diabetes and Exercise, hosted by the incredible team at Insulindependence.

For more on how to enter to win the 2013 Athletic Achievement Award, check out the details here.  And if you are wondering, “Can I still submit, even though my achievements aren’t that ‘extreme,‘” don’t fret.  There’s an FAQ page you can read through for even more details.

But, for the record, you don’t have to summit Everest to be eligible.  Or the Everglades (which would be a bit easier to summit, I’d imagine – watch the video for the joke).  You don’t have to be participating in elite races or trot your little self across the Sahara desert in order to consider your athleticism an achievement.  Celebrating diabetes and exercise isn’t a right limited only to people who cross the finish lines first, or even at all.

Celebrating diabetes and exercise is about being inclusive and recognizing that our lives, our health, and our community as a whole are better for keeping our bodies moving. So get up.  Go run around a little bit.  And consider submitting a video TODAY, showing everyone how diabetes doesn’t have to be a conduit to chaos, but can be a catalyst for healthy change.

Turn your 5K into 5K.  🙂

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