The Exercising Diabetic.

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Though I’d like to think I’m quite an athlete the truth is that I’m far from it. Far, far, far from it. There isn’t an athletic bone in this body. I have come to terms with it and it’s perfectly acceptable for you to do the same. Instead what I do have are let’s-workout-here-and-there-for-diabetes-sake bones in my body. I realize the positive effect exercising has on my blood glucose levels but I also realize just how difficult it can be to create the perfect scenario for my diabetes to thrive.

Even though I’m back on the workout grind it has definitely taken a while. The frustrating part of striving to be a healthier me was that, without fail, I would gear up and head out on my walks, or whatever regimen I had planned out, and my numbers would be stable. Then they would slowly start to climb. Skyrocketing by the end of my workout. This was supposed to make me feel great, healthy, and in charge. When in reality I was feeling, drained, defeated, and ready to throw in the towel. Some days were the complete opposite. Dropping so low in the middle of sweating it out that I would have to eat something substantial to get back up to normal.

Color me beyond frustrated. So frustrated in fact that I convinced myself that I was happy with the way I looked, the miserable way I felt, and the way diabetes and I interacted. Like two feuding exes not really wanting to be in the same room as one another but playing nice and being cordial because that’s what adults do.

Then it hit me. One day I woke up and I realized that health isn’t something to take for granted, it’s something that needs to be worked at. You’re blessed with an amazing system in the beginning but it’s entirely your duty to maintain it. Sometimes illness happens, or life happens, and the healthy points start ticking down. But we are in charge, nonetheless, of our overall healthiness. Not anyone else. So I decided it’s time to take responsibility for my poor choices, and somewhat horrible habits, and have begun getting myself into gear. I’ve started kicking my own butt. Not literally of course. But I set myself goals. Small ones for easy victories that would give me the continued confidence I needed and now I am starting on those long term ones. Goals that after they’ve been completed make you feel really, and truly accomplished. Baby steps are still steps. Progress should always be something to be proud of. I’m starting there and working my way up.

It’s not an easy road. And this doesn’t mean I have suddenly developed those “athletic” bones. But I am working on a better me. A healthier me so that I can continue to be a mom, a diabadass, and everything in between.

How do you stay in charge of your diabetes and overall health?

The Diabetic Mom.

It’s weird to think I’ve been a type one diabetic almost as long as I’ve been a mom. My first pregnancy followed very closely to my diagnosis and it became a whirlwind of overwhelming emotions. I hadn’t really grasped what being a type one diabetic meant but I was going to have to figure it out quickly because it wasn’t going to be affecting just me. I was going to have a baby bump roommate who would be experiencing the roller coaster that is this illness right along with me. Needless to say it was a stressful time, happy, but stressful nonetheless. The beginning of motherhood, along with my diabetes journey, would cause me such anxiety I wondered often what kept me going. Aside from the beautiful, bouncing, baby girl smiling up at me. I prayed for strength and wisdom. He only gives us what we can handle but there were definitely times I was left feeling like the weight of the world were on my shoulders.

Thankfully I made it out of that worrisome time with a beautiful, smart, and perfectly healthy daughter, valuable knowledge to combat the tediousness that diabetes can bring daily, and a sense of humor. Because at the end of the day if you can’t laugh about it, even just a little, then life is going to be one big ball of yuck.

So I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss with you some things I’ve learned about myself, this disease, and motherhood, and how it’s shaped my view on life.

So let’s jump in…

The connective line between all three is me. If I am not on my game and doing my best then everything falls a part, not always drastically, but I have found that things don’t run as smoothly as they could be when I am in a funk. In the equation of life it is fundamental to remember you and your health. Whether that be mental, physical, or emotional. Doing what you can to ensure you’re at your tip top shape in those categories is key. Exercising, taking time to treat yourself, or even venting with someone in your support system, can all be ways to rejuvenate you and your health.

A technique I’ve used when I start feeling any sort of frustration, diabetes burn out, or insecurity in my parenting, I write it all out. Every single thing bothering me, I write it out, removing it from my thoughts and the fabric of me and then I crumble it up. I rip it to shreds. It doesn’t necessarily remove the “issue” but it gives me visual gratification that I am in control of the situation. Even when it doesn’t feel that way.

Alongside all of that it’s important to remember that we aren’t alone in this. Our friends, our family, and even our coworkers, are right there with us. They are ready and willing to be a shoulder, a comforting conversation, a useful resource for almost everything going on in our lives. The thing about parenting and diabetes is that neither one are easy. Each one comes with their own set of aspirations, frustrations, victories and failures, but not one of them have be done alone. Take the time to gather yourself up and allow your trusted confidants to take the wheel sometimes.

And above all else. Be gentle with you. Because you really are doing your best.

 

Community

Whether we see it or not we are all a part of various communities. It’s not a negative, and it should never be seen as separating one person from another. On the contrary it’s the glue that keeps a lot of us together. I happen to be a part of multiple communities in and around my city and I love it. Feeling close to people who get it, who understand what you are going through, it’s human nature. No one wants to be alone. They don’t yearn for that kind of life. Often times it’s just an unfortunate event that brings them to seclusion. It’s our job, the ones who do belong, to always make it a point to include others and go out of our way to be welcoming. Because that’s what community is all about.

The idea of community is to bring like minded individuals together and allow them the space needed to grow and flourish. We all need encouragement and support. When I embarked on the journey of motherhood I became a part of the mom community, we see each other at the grocery stores, sometimes dragging our screaming children behind us. We see each other out at restaurants trying to enjoy a meal that isn’t being cooked and cleaned up by you, and we smile, because we get it. We seek advice from one another because if anyone knows what you’re going through it’s another mom. And we’re always willing and ready to lend a helping hand and offer up what has worked for us.

Some of you may or may not know that I am also a part of a church community. And even though I have severely slacked in attending mass I know that if I needed them they would be there with open arms. Praying and sending love my way. We’re there for one another whether we see each other often or every once in a while. Because community is accepting each other, faults and all.

Another big community I happen to be a part of is the diabetes one. I may not meet up with other diabetics daily and discuss the craziness of this disease but I am always thinking of them. People I have met online and people I have met in person. We keep in touch and they are blessings to my life. They keep me motivated and striving for success. Their victories feel like mine and when they need a shoulder to cry on I’m there for them. Just like they’ve been there for me.

Community isn’t about segregation. It’s about finding people who have your back even if they don’t always agree with your choices. People who will stand with you when the going gets tough. Sometimes we just happen upon these communities, and sometimes they can save our lives. Community, to me, is one of the most important things you can have next to family. A solidarity, a trust, and a belief that when you’ve been knocked down or you’ve been beaten and bruised too many times, these people will be your support. They will always try to bring you back up. We should all want to be a part of something like this. Something so much bigger than us. I know I feel grateful every day for the moms, the diabetics, and the church communities I am involved with.

I couldn’t imagine it any other way.


Do you think community is important? Do you have a community or support system in your life, who are they? 

A letter to myself.

People often discuss what they would tell their younger selves if given the opportunity. The advice and wisdom they’d share, the “friends” to stay away from, and the comfort they’d wrap themselves in after that deep heartbreak. I’ll admit I’ve thought about it a few times myself. The younger me was a bit naive, a little insecure, and way too worried about what others thought of her. She liked to think she was an “individual” when really she craved to be accepted by her peers. With thirty around the corner I got to thinking…

What would I tell my younger self?


Dear Self,

I’d like to start off by saying that lime green eye shadow is not your friend. But don’t ever be afraid or ashamed to express yourself either. If people don’t like it, or you, it’s truly not the end of the world. They’ll get over it or you’ll move past the criticism better and stronger. Learn to pick and choose your battles this will make life so much easier in the future. Sometimes it seems like the best reaction is the fiery one when most of the time it’s perfectly acceptable to take a step back and evaluate whether the issue is even worth your time. In all honesty, most of the battles you chose could have been avoided, or worked through, had you and the other person not been so quick to jump to conclusions.

Which brings me to my next point. Those bridges that were burned, those people who decided they were fine, with or without you, were never really your friends. The hurt seemed like the weight of the world on your shoulders but in reality you were able to bloom and blossom into something so special once that toxic energy evaporated. Don’t dwell on any of that. Instead learn from it and continue to grow.

Never stop wearing your heart on your sleeve, because one day you’ll find a man who will love and appreciate all that you are and everything you bring to the table. Be kind and respectful to one another. He’ll be your biggest supporter and your very best friend. You’ll need someone like him on your side. Love him with all that you have and he’ll always do the same.

Spend time with your family, because one day you or they wont be around and you’ll regret not making the most of the time you did have.

And please stop beating yourself up so much. You are worth so much more than you believe. You are beautiful, smart, and overall a really awesome person. I should know.

Keep in mind that life will throw a lot of lemons your way but if you persevere. If you continue to be the fighter I know you are, then nothing is going to stop you from achieving your goals. So keep your head up, keep on smiling, and buckle up. Because you have quite a ride in front of you.

 

Love always, me.


What would you say to your younger self?

Playdate Expectations Vs. Reality.

Play Date

noun
noun: playdate
  1. a date and time set by parents for children to play together.
Actually it can be a little more then that. It can be an opportunity to meet and gather with other women like you who are tackling life as a stay-at-home-mom, or maybe you’re a work from home mom, whatever the case may be we get together joyfully while the kids play and gain the appropriate social skills needed to navigate through life. We vent or sometimes boast about our latest triumphs of motherhood. We chat about our newest must watch television obsessions, or what books we’re trying to read during naptime. Or maybe we sit in silence watching our children interact with like minded individuals while we sip our coffees and revel in the “alone” time.

Sounds like a slice of heaven, right? Well, I’m here to tell you some truths about play dates. I’ve been on three so far that didn’t consist of hanging out with a family member who may or may not have kids. So I’m kind of an expert. Here’s what I’ve experienced…


If you’re like me you’ve probably gone through the logistics of working out naps, and planning out nutritional lunches, before venturing out on your play date. If everything goes according to plan you will have a well rested, happy, toddler who is willing and ready to cooperate. Only things never go according to plan when dealing with the terrible twos so instead you get a screaming child, exhausted because he refused his nap earlier in the day, and literally wants nothing to do with you or that pile of yuck you call food. You might consider staying home at this point but the interaction with another adult who is not screaming for your attention seems nice.

 

Play dates in retrospect seem like bliss. You get out with other moms and get to be you for a brief moment. You get to have normal conversations about anything and everything so long as it doesn’t consist of poop or mickey mouse clubhouse, all while your little bundles of love and energy play and meet new kids. The reality is that it’s kind of a mad house. You have groups of kids who play well and groups of kids who want to rule that jungle gym. You are constantly watching, ducking, and weaving through the bodies of people to see where your child is. Did he fall? Is he crying in the corner? Is that him? No, oh there he is. He’s fine. You don’t get to chat long because your conversations are cut short by having to referee a dual that has somehow erupted in the middle of the play yard. It’s intense.

Let’s say you are able to rattle off a few anecdotes about life and the kids and all that fun stuff you soon realize that a meltdown is on the horizon. A full blown thrashing of oneself against any and everything is about to go down. Quickly you try to devise an escape route. How can I get out of this situation with as little trauma as possible. Only you’ve taken too long. Your brave little play yard hero has turned into a full blown villain and he’s wrecking havoc on everything. The other moms see the terror in your eyes. You try to regroup and confront the mad beast but the fangs are out. You try to pick him up for a quick and deliberate exit but he’s gone limp. It’s like every bone in his body has turned to slush and you look like you’re trying to pick up jello off the floor with chopsticks. Moms are watching now, some with a look of despair for what’s possibly in store for them, and others with a look of astonishment. Like they’ve never had to drag a child away from fun time while his 30 pound body suddenly feels like 600 pounds. You’re sweating and panting and wishing you’d never come out.

But then you get home, finally, and after a very quick change of pace and perhaps a nap for the both of you the fog has lifted and you realize that maybe it wasn’t so bad. You could probably do this again and with a little more preparation it might go even better. I say to you, good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.


Have you ever experienced a play date like this? Share in the comments. And as always don’t forget to wear that smile from ear to ear.

Mornings with me…

Here’s an episode of  mornings with the diabetic mommy.

My day starts out at 6:15 a.m when my daughter wakes me up from the deepest of slumbers by creepily breathing in my face and poking my cheek. She alerts me that her brother is now awake and requesting to go downstairs, he would also like milk and cereal. Okay, awesome. I sluggishly creep into the room. Sort of like a zombie only I don’t want brains, I want coffee, or more sleep. There staring up at me with the sweetest of eyes is my son screaming at me to pick him up. After retrieving him, his blanket, and whatever stuffed animal he begged for in the middle of the night, we make our way down the longest flight of stairs. They aren’t really but when you are carrying down a child that weighs more than a bag of potatoes and is also flailing about, it sure feels that way.

Once downstairs I finally have a second to check my blood sugar, make sure my dexcom is calibrated, if needed I correct…if not I go about my normal routine which is preparing my sons breakfast, taking my medicine for my thyroid and trying not to fall asleep mid walk.

Lately I have been attempting to exercise. It’s a cardio routine that is equivalent to walking a mile only it is in the middle of my living room. The same living room that just 5 minutes ago I set my son down in and now I am looking for him in a tornado of blocks, light sabers, and books. Tubs have been dumped and every toy is now spewed across the floor. My child is a magician obviously. I give him his food and he pretends to eat it but really he is sprinkling it around the room. I can only imagine he is stock piling it for later. In case he gets hungry between meals, I suppose.

As I maneuver around the area I turn on my workout dvd and begin “sweating it out” the extra sugar, the extra weight, the little bit of everything I don’t need hanging around. Then my daughter comes downstairs from getting ready for school. The two of them attempt to work out with me but really they are dancing around making  me laugh and lose concentration. I need to focus, I am in the zone. Before I know it the TV is being turned over to my son. We are now watching Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse until I want to punch myself in the face.

Leaving him for a second I get some water and check my sugar again. I’m dropping now so I suppose it’s time to make myself breakfast. Finally. Oh no, wait, it’s now time for my oldest to head out for school. I say my goodbyes, give her big kisses, and silently wish she didn’t have to leave. Suddenly I remember I have laundry to fold. My dexcom is starting to alarm but I look and it’s still in the 70’s. I’ll be fine. I fold the laundry and then check on my youngest. I sweep the kitchen and oh yeah, my sugar is dropping. Now it’s in the 30’s. Why do I do this to myself. I eat, quickly and without thinking. My son begs for some and I reluctantly share. He’s just too cute to say no to.

It’s now 10 a.m and I am left wondering where the morning has gone.

 

 

 

 

The Insecure Mom.

The other day I found myself questioning, yet again in my motherhood journey, whether I was a good mom or not. Some days I really feel like super mom getting everything done and feeling an overall productiveness wash over me, then there are times I feel like I’m still figuring things out, but in between all those moments what really goes through my mind is what the heck am I doing right now. If you are like me and carry the same kind of worry around your neck then I am here to share my epiphany. I am here to tell you it’s not you…it’s them. Our kids stink. Of course, I am completely joking. Well, sort of. What I mean to say is that you are amazing and these tiny little humans full of so much excitement, energy, and pure destructiveness are beautiful blessings that like to test our limits. We did it to our parents and these kids are now doing it to us.

It is the circle of life in the most perfect of ways.

They run on their own little schedules, they have their own little demands, and sometimes they have no idea what they want. And all of that is fine except when it leaves me feeling like I am doing this whole mom thing wrong.

Here is an example for you.

Lately my two year old has been taking the wheel on what he wants to eat and when. I am used to picky eaters and I am used to having to make different meals for the children in my life. What I am not used to is the refusal to eat. I’ll make a perfectly executed “kid friendly” meal that everyone can enjoy and my son will simply say no. I’ll make him things I know he likes and has eaten in the past and still I get a no. I’ve gotten to the point where I will literally give him just about anything so long as he is eating. Now, I do have my stipulations, I don’t do dessert as substitutes, and I will not buy fast food when I have created a delicious feast for the family. His foods of choice include; peanut butter sandwiches, cheese, peppers, and cereal. He accepts salad and applesauce on specific days…I am never sure when those days are though. He will also take pretzels and chicken. But even the chicken is a hit or miss entree.

Cue feelings of hopelessness as a mom. If I give him cereal for dinner am I doing him a disservice? If I settle and give him a peanut butter sandwich instead of the meal I’ve planned out am I stunting his pallet? These are actual things I think about. Most of my mom friends say that toddlers will not starve themselves, and I get that, but if he is refusing to eat and instead chanting for cookies what am I suppose to do?

You see my dilemma?

I try not to cave when he is crossing his arms and asking for cheese and crackers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I feel like if I don’t give it to him he will never eat again for the rest of his little life. Slightly dramatic, sure. That doesn’t change the fact that this little guy is making this mom feel like I’ve never done this whole parenting thing before.

My goals for this stubborn little man are to keep trying. Possibly be just as stubborn. And silently rejoice when he actually exclaims that the meal I have slaved over is, “Yum!” Scratch that. Openly rejoice when he likes what I feed him. Right? Right!

The thing is, motherhood, parenting, it’s all a learning process. Whether you are a first timer or this is your fourth baby. It’s a never ending opportunity to grow, explore, and sometimes compromise. What worked with the first, or second, may not work whatsoever with the next one. So if you find yourself feeling insecure about your decisions surrounding your babies just know that if you love them with every fiber of your being, if you are willing to sacrifice, if you are okay with sleepless nights, then you are doing this whole thing right and you are amazing. Advice I will try to carry with me, too.

Don’t forget to smile. The kids love smiles.