Tag Archives: workouts

Universal truths.

I’ve been back on the workout bandwagon for a while now. I’m still finding some time to get on my spin bike at home, and I’ve been getting to the gym so I can run on the track instead of going outside when it’s 20 degrees.

But I’m no different from other People With Diabetes when it comes to working out and fears of hypoglycemia. To combat that, I don’t think of it as managing my diabetes as much as I think of it as managing my insulin. If I can manage my insulin properly, I can avoid the lowest of lows. It seems like I can’t avoid having any lows. I’m not that good at it. But remembering that I might need to tweak basal rates or bolus amounts due to workouts, and doing that properly, is really key. Just about everyone knows that.

Still, working out more often, and the worries of hypoglycemia, coupled with the fact that adding this to my schedule more often, well… it seems like there’s this double-edged sword: Volunteer for something that, in the past, has helped lead to serious hypos; or let the fear create inaction, which is never going to be something that will help me live a good, long life.

Add in knee surgery last year, and worries about how I would come back from that, plus the fact that I really hate how I look right now, and it just seems like a good excuse to either get going or sit right back down and have a drink.

While thinking of all this over the weekend, I came to the realization that there are actually some universal truths that apply to both management of our diabetes and working out. Remembering these truths has helped me embrace working out again, which I have not done for some time due to the reasons stated above.

It’s really hard to get started.
And the older you get, the harder it is to get started. The sooner you get over that, the better you will do. Trust yourself that you will, you can, get started again.

When you’re not on your game on a given day, you feel guilty.
Every day I’m not at the gym, I want to be at the gym. Which means if I don’t go, I feel bad for not going. After every day where I (try to) ignore my diabetes, I feel like I’ve done a disservice to myself and those who care about me. But we live with this disease all the time, right? We need a break (such as it is) once in a while. Which brings me to:

Yesterday is only a benchmark. The future is unwritten.
I’ve written variations of that line a number of times. This past week was when I first realized that it applies to working out as well as living with diabetes. Regardless of what yesterday tells us, there are many chapters left to life, provided we’re still game enough to author them.

Surprises can come at you pretty fast.
Since I started seriously working out again, I’ve had lows in the middle of the night that I didn’t expect, and I’ve had an injury to a toe that I was completely unaware of until my run was over. It helps me to keep in mind that the best planning includes planning for the unexpected. It’s gonna happen.

We are stronger over time than we seem to be an any one moment.
Our lives are not defined by one single day. At least I hope not. With diabetes or with working out, it’s easy to give up when the going gets tough, you’re worn out, and it’s so easy to just say I’m Done. When we don’t do that, well, that’s where champions are made. And People With Diabetes are better at not giving up than any other group of people I’ve ever known.

Maybe the real universal truth is that remaining active is actually part of managing our diabetes. That makes sense, but how often do we think of it that way? I know I don’t… or haven’t… until lately.

Have any other universal truths you’d like to add to the list?

Why I don’t worry about December anymore.

I know there will be a lot of newspaper articles, TV reports, and yes, blog posts in the coming weeks giving us the latest and greatest ways to get in shape and eat better in 2016. To which I say: Great! Bring it on! I’ll be ready for it.

But I’m not ready right now.

The avalanche of stories about resolutions and how to keep them used to make me feel like I must have lived poorly over the previous months, whether I had or had not. The truth is that feeling guilty doesn’t make me feel motivated. It makes me feel guilty.

Instead, I now look at December like a chance to get a head start on fitness and diet goals. I no longer look at the month with dread about having to deny myself of everything, or that I’ll be sunk if I don’t get to the gym every day. Now I think of each day this month as an opportunity. No, really, I do.

I look at the few days here and there in December that I can work out as add-ons to my January, February, and March workouts. Like I’m starting the process early, even if it’s only in a small way. The same thing applies with food. I’ve definitely had moments when I’ve eaten too much. Who doesn’t? But that’s been tempered somewhat by soup and salad dinners, and days when I don’t eat anything extra at all.

And then… I try to give myself a break. I’m sick of being too hard on myself and feeling like an abject failure come January. Knowing myself, I know that cutting myself some slack, plus doing what I can, when I can, makes December a much happier month.

I’ve been far from perfect in December. But I have had good moments too. And now I’m in a good place, physically and mentally, to pick up the pace in the new year. I hope your December has been great so far, and your 2016 starts on a great note.

April DSMA Blog Carnival – Spring Exercise.

This month’s DSMA Blog Carnival gets us thinking about spring (here in North America anyway), and our workout routines as the weather changes.

Does the sunshine and warmth of Spring urge you to change up your exercise routine? If you don’t have an exercise routine, does it inspire you to start exercising? And if it’s not Spring in your corner of the world, what season are you heading into and how does it impact your fitness routine?

Last question first: It is Spring in my corner of the world, finally, and I’m looking forward to ramping up my workout routine in a big way. There are a couple of reasons for that.

To begin with, the obvious: The weather gets warmer and the days get longer. That means there is more time available for me to actually get outside and get some exercise in. These are the times when I’m looking for an hour here or an hour there to hop on my bike and go down the road a little. Plus, the warm weather just makes me feel better. I crave the warm sunshine on my back (or my front) while I head off to places I haven’t been for nearly six months.

Second, Spring usually begins the last major push for me to get in shape for various events I’m competing in this year. I’ve got a 55 mile ride scheduled in May, a triathlon (swim, bike, and run) in June, a 5K run in July, and a 65 mile bike ride scheduled for September. As I’ve gotten older, my goals for these events has diminished somewhat. But I’m still well aware that if I’m going to get in the best shape possible for any of these events, I will have to make an extra effort now. Now that the weather is warmer, I can get outside the confines of the gym and that always makes me feel better. When it comes to meeting your fitness goals, variety is always a good thing.

Those are definitely two reasons why I’ll be doing more now that Spring has finally arrived here in the USA. In addition to that, there are always tasks in the yard that require my attention at this time of year. Preparing and planting the vegetable garden, mowing the grass, or just walking the dog more often are always high on the list of priorities when weather permits. So even if I weren’t training for something, I’d be putting in the extra effort anyway just taking care of the regular things at this time of year.

Whatever the reasons, I hope that spring brings a renewed sense of hope and confidence that you can do whatever it takes to maximize your fitness routine this spring!

This post is my April entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/april-dsma-blog-carnival-3/


I had a day off yesterday, and I used some of my extra time to go to the gym and get in a decent workout for a change.

I guess you could say that my exercise routines go with the seasons, so to speak. Most years, I try to work hard in the spring, maintain in the summer, finish strong in the fall. Then I try to give myself a break in November and December, only going when it’s most convenient and I really feel like it. Of course, the November/December thing gives me an opportunity to really slack off if I’m not careful. And frankly, some years, I’m not careful.

But however my workout routines go this time of year, I always get the same feeling when I do go:

I feel great.

In fact, I feel better than great. I feel like I’m fighting back against the carbs that seem to appear out of thin air during the holidays. I feel like I’m already getting a head start on next year. In my head, I’m already planning out what events I’ll compete in and how I’ll improve my technique to be the best athlete that I can. I can actually feel myself adding days, months, years to the end of my life.

Of course, that’s over-the-top optimistic. If you saw me, you’d realize that I definitely don’t look like an athlete. But on days like yesterday, I feel invincible, capable of handling any athletic endeavor. Even if I still have some poundage to shed.

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