First it was the constant concern of the FOOD POLICE being after me as a person with diabetes..and now I feel this pressure from the diabetes community that I need to exercise everyday or I’m a “bad diabetic”! YIKES! I don’t do well when I believe people expect something from me. My natural reaction is just to lock myself in a room. My black and white thinking of the past has not served me the best.
I got to thinking about this because recently I was at a diabetes event where the speaker was an elite diabetes athlete. I left the event thinking, “Sure that’s inspiring, but I will NEVER bike 100 miles, climb Mount Everest, let alone compete in the Olympics! That is so far from me, I don’t relate on any level.”
Growing up I was quite active. I was on the tennis team in the fall, cross-country ski team in the winter, golf
in the spring, and I competitively figure skated year round. But after I graduated high school, my once usual routine ended and I found myself deep into an eating disorder that really ruined the enjoyment factor of exercise for me. I started viewing it as just a way to lose weight. It was an extremist attitude and it wasn’t healthy or doing me any favors.
After getting out of residential treatment two years ago and working through this attitude I was encouraged to do things that I genuinely enjoyed doing. It was really quite simple: What form of physical activity did I feel better about myself after completing? For me, that is not training for a marathon or triathlon…though I give people major props that have that ability and passion. My childhood best friend Christina just finished 1st in her division from the “Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon” this past weekend in California (and yes there were real sharks in the water!)…that is what brings her joy. We’re best friends…but we enjoy doing things FAR different from each other.
During this reflective time I realized what I enjoy doing…
In a way, having diabetes makes me really proud of the body I have. Sure, it doesn't look like the models
that strut down the runway at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show every December....but my strong body has overcome an organ completely shutting down, and is still able to function at a high level.
Now, that's something to be thankful of. And while I'm out on my scenic bike ride I can be really joyful of...
What type of activity is your favorite?