Friday, April 1, 2011

Exercise and Diabetes Meri-Go-Round

I've been thinking about this "exercise and diabetes" post for a couple weeks now.  Here I am on the last day in the final hour cranking this bitch out.

I didn't think I could formally quantify what I would want to say on this topic into a single post.  If you read my blog, you know that the entire thing is pretty much an exercise and diabetes blog.  So I will try, though even I can't follow the bouncing ball on this post so bear with me.

In a sentence:   I LOVE TO EXERCISE

I love pushing myself to my absolute physical and mental limits.  I love to sweat.  I don't exercise for my diabetes, I exercise for myself and because I love it.  Sometimes I think the trouble I go through to manage my blood sugars makes it not worth it.  So to answer the question of which came first the diabetes or the exercise?  The answer is obviously the exercise.  I was in top shape when I was diagnosed at 22.

What do I do?  Can I really put this into a short list?
Running, Cycling (on and off road), Rollerblading, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, Stair climbing, Spin class, Gym goer, Yoga doer, Hiking, Backpacking, Canoeing, Rock Climbing, runningjumpingclimbingtrees.

I rarely do things in the "casual" zone.  When I go out for a rollerblade I call it "power blading".  When I go to spin class, I'm not satisfied unless there is a big puddle of sweat under my bike.  I'm competitive but only with myself.

This often makes it hard to manage my diabetes.  I have to be very aggressive with my Temp Basals.  I cut them down by -75% at times as well as bumping them up 140% for post exercise highs.  When I work out I do it alone because I really only have one way - at my maximum.  MY maximum is not that of a highly trained athlete, my maximum is probably in the middle somewhere.  The point is that I work hard which means I have to work hard with my diabetes.  It has easily taken over 2 years of being on the pump to really get my work outs down to a science.  No, they don't always work but I've got a lot of it down.

The thing is, when something doesn't work; I spend so much time trying to figure out why it didn't work and how can I make it work.  My physical goals mean far more to me than to let this wretched disease put an end to my fun.

The thing that gets me is how much time I invest in making things work.  Hours before to hours after and sometimes days. 

Of course I'm going to use the same picture from my last post.  I love this picture because I am genuinely happy.  It's not often that is captured on film.

I am grateful that exercise is a staple in my life and because I enjoy it so much I rarely have troubles with motivating myself.

So, I love to exercise but I hate diabetes. 

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


  1. You are an inspiration Scully. I enjoy reading what you do to manage "D" during all of your shenanigans. It gives me other ideas and thoughts on managing Joe's "D" through all of his crazy shenanigans.

  2. Great post and wonderful addition to the Blog Carnival. And a big thank you for the reminder that I didn't get my entry in either. Hopefully they accept late additions :)

  3. It's so cool to read about someone who loves exercise and does so many different outdoor activities. It's fabulous. And that picture is fabulous.

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  5. (Sorry, resubmitting my comment to fix a typo!!)

    I have to admit, I'm a bit envious when I read the posts of those who naturally love to exercise, since for me it's a huge chore. But whether or not we struggle with the motivation - I see we all struggle with the same diabetes management problems. Thanks for showing that I'm not alone in that aspect.

  6. Being as active outside and writing as you are I was wondering what your take would be on something. I was reading over this article that studies metabolic activity in diabetics during vigorous exercise.
    I was wondering how if at all you felt this correlates with your experience?


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