Help others with diabetes find inspiration and guidance.
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Don't let diabetes shrink your borders. When I was diagnosed, I heard it would be tough to move to college, travel internationally, and have a baby. I've done two out of three. When I focus on outward goals, it motivates me to take better care of myself. Diabetes doesn't have to define me; I can use it to refine me.
I find it incredibly important to connect with others living with the same condition. Having someone to talk to, either online or in person, gives you an opportunity to share your experiences and vent about the ups and downs of diabetes. Knowing someone's going through what you've gone through is helpful.
I switched to a low-carb diet. The less carbs I eat, the less insulin I need. I also eliminated wheats and grains since they seem to spike me. I joined CrossFit, which was empowering. To avoid going low at the gym, I eat a low-carb breakfast. I also keep glucose tabs on me and leave Gatorade in the gym fridge.
I've been really into smoothies recently, as they're a great way to start my day. I make them fresh every morning. Anything in my fridge, I throw into my Vitamix — always greens included — with yogurt, ice, and my favorite nut milk. This helps maintain my blood sugar and keeps me going throughout the day.
The thing that has helped me most is managing my relationship with type 1 diabetes. It may sound funny, but I now know it's not in charge of my life. Day-to-day struggles, whether it be high blood sugars or otherwise, are simply road blocks on a long run towards a successful life with type 1 diabetes.
Yoga keeps me on an even keel. When I see a low number, I breathe slowly and evenly, in and out through my nose. Making my exhalation twice as long as my inhalation relaxes the nervous system. When I'm struggling with insulin resistance, I practice postures that actively work the legs — squatting and lunges.
I run every day. I think the key to managing diabetes while exercising is to never give up. I've learned new ways to be safe but still run hard. I always carry some type of nut bar. If my blood sugar gets low during a run, the bar has enough carbs to bring my sugar back up and let me make it home.
At restaurants, you aren't in the kitchen so you don't know exactly what's going into what you order. Asking your server about portion sizes or making a simple substitution, like a grilled vegetable side instead of mashed potatoes, can be a very smart move in managing your blood sugar.
Going for evening walks has helped me. Mentally, I use that time to release the stress of being a working mother. Physically, it helps me maintain my weight. I also enjoy doing 5k races. I started walking. Now I can jog a little bit. Eating dinner on a dessert plate helped lower my fasting blood sugar and I lost weight.
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