A Mother of Type 1

A mother of type one...
I'm sure that's not fun. 

Some kids call their mom when their heart gets broken, 
I called mine when my pump wasn't working. 

Our mother-daughter dates were trips to the endo,
Her bringing me  juice for that 1am low. 

She never promised to make it better, or that there would be a cure,
But just having her beside me has made a difference, that's for sure. 

From the needles to carb counting, nothing makes my mom blink
She's steady and unwavering; she can make any woe shrink. 

A mother of type one...
I'm sure that's not fun. 
But, with you as my mom, the biggest prize I have won!


 

 

How to Adjust Your Expectations When You're Not Feeling Great

We've all been there: You go to bed with a meticulous agenda set for the next day, everything planned from the earrings that will match your outfit to the very minute you will eat your mid afternoon snack. And then... something comes up. That something is: your blood sugar. Perhaps you have a faulty set and wake up sky high or maybe for whatever reason you're just trending upward and can't seem to bring it down. While we can do our best to plan ahead for many of the critical factors of managing Type 1 diabetes, there are still so many unpredictable highs and lows. So today, I want to talk about how I have learned to adjust my expectations on the fly. 

It has taken me a long time to foster this understanding within myself. For most of my life, I believed that the only way to prove that diabetes was not a weakness was by never allowing it to drive my decisions. I was high but it was my friend's birthday? Bolus up and eat cake. I was low at the end of practice, but we were conditioning? Keep running. I'd had a rough night's sleep because my site ripped out? Don't press snooze. Not even once. 

 

 

When I chose to treat my diabetes like that- with neglect and a turned cheek- it was harder on me. I always operated on the mantra, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" and don't get me wrong, I'm still a tough cookie and I'll face all of life's curve balls with my best foot forward, but to actually create more difficulty for myself? I'm not really into that anymore. I realized I was both pushing my own head under water and trying to keep it above, being both the runner and the blustering wind, filling my gas tank while also creating a leak. I was embodying friction, conflict, and strain. 

Something has shifted over the last few months. It's not that I've become lazy or unmotivated or decided that I am a victim of diabetes after all. No, it's something else. I am not ignoring my diabetes anymore, and instead, choosing to let it in with open arms.  In future posts, I'll be writing more about this change and how it's come about. But for today, I want to focus on what I am doing differently on the days when diabetes has plans that conflict with mine. 

 

1/ I adjust my day when necessary. This looks different depending on what I have going on, but essentially, I lower my expectations of myself to reflect what I am physically feeling capable of. Maybe that means extra sleep instead of an early morning workout. Maybe that means a midday walk instead of pushing through another hour of work. 

2/ I remember that what comes up must come down; AKA- blood sugars fluctuate, but it's all temporary! I can afford to put my health first for a few hours while I wait for insulin to do it's thing. 

3/ I am gentle with myself. I don't beat myself up for having a high blood sugar or repeatedly ask myself WHY HOW WHY HOW WHY HOW WHY WHY WHY HOW HOW did this happen?!?!! I've become a lot better at not have an emotional reaction to the number on the meter. This allows me to move forward with more grace  instead of staying mentally stuck as well as feeling physically ill. 

 

I think overall, I am learning to let go of the desire to be 100% in control all the time. I am remembering more often that I don't have to have a perfect today to have a wonderful tomorrow. I think this mentality is serving me a whole lot better. I feel more like I am flowing through life (even with the ups and downs) instead of forcing my way through in pursuit of that (impossible) straight line. 

How do you adjust your expectations when diabetes surprises you? What do you think you can do to start moving through T1D with a little more self love? 

When the Idea of the Outcome Keeps Anything From... Coming Out

WELL, the first month of 2017 was silent here on the blog- for a couple of reasons. For one thing, applying to jobs and schlepping through the longest month of winter (in my not-so-humble opinion) kind of zapped my creativity and desire to write for fun. At least, that's what I've been telling myself for the last few weeks. 

Wednesday night I saw my brother for the first time in a few weeks and he asked me how the blog was going. When I told him it wasn't really going at the moment, he said, "So you've just stopped posting?" He didn't say it to make me feel bad, but I think he was genuinely surprised. He had listened to me brainstorm about the blog idea for months and he had always been really encouraging and supportive. 

That being said, my brother is not one to sugar coat the truth. He calls 'em like he sees 'em and when he sensed me fumbling around for excuses as to why I haven't been blogging (I've been busy job searching and writing for other sites) he stared me down until I finally 'fessed up about the real reason I've been MIA: I've been feeling discouraged ever since the ebook was a flop and the redesign didn't attract many more readers. As an avid reader of many other blogs and a steady (borderline stalker-ish) follower of many wellness Instagram accounts, I was feeling worthless and small compared to all the other content that exists out there. 

I didn't exactly say all of this to my brother, but he got the jist. His response? "You just gotta keep doing it!" (This coming from the guy I had to convince to go to class most mornings of his senior year in college....) 

 

I came away from this conversation realizing that I have been way too attached to the outcome, and not only of this blog, but of my job search, of my workouts, of my food choices. For someone who considers herself not much of a math person, I've been operating with a very equational way of thinking: 1 + 1 = 2 (which is, obviously, not an alternative fact) hoping that I can control what I put in in order to guarantee what I get out. I've been forgetting that we don't have complete control over the equation, so in reality it looks a little more like this: 1 + ? = ? In focusing too much on the outcome of the blog, nothing was coming out at all. 

 

As diabetics, we practice this kind of logic every single day. This amount of carbs plus this amount of insulin should yield THIS result. Perhaps that is why, if I'm not careful, I can get a little too concerned with the outcome in other areas of my life. But, even with diabetes, it rarely works out the way we intend. I eat the same breakfast every day, yet sometimes my body reacts differently to my meticulously calculated bolus. Does an undesirable blood sugar a couple hours later mean that I give up entirely and stop bolusing all together? I don't think so. As much as we are taught to plan and try to anticipate how our blood sugars will react, sometimes it really comes down to just taking it one test, one dose at a time. Otherwise, we can lose a lot of our joy to this condition. Diabetes teaches us that the outcome is never worth holding on to, but no matter what, you just gotta keep doing it.

 

And so, with a little brotherly wisdom, I have returned to the blog with a renewed sense of why I started this in the first place and fresh energy to get back at it. My general intention for 2017 is to release the results, so that I can experience more joy. 

 

Are there areas of your life where you are too attached to an outcome? Where might you be able to feel more joy if you release the results? I would love to hear what this brings up for you in the comments below! 

#RemixYourWorkout Challenge: Part 2

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Last week I wrote about how loosening my definition of a workout allowed me to have more opportunities to exercise without adding unnecessary stress to my life. This is really important during the holiday season, but I have also found that this mental shift that has changed my life significantly I have been easing away from a regimented fitness routine during the last six months. 

This week, I'm sharing another way you can #remixyourworkout. Often we use our body to determine our exercise patterns- rotating leg day, upper body, long distance cardio, HIIT, and yoga. It's really important to tune into how we physically feel, but lately, I've also been allowing my heart to weigh in on my workout choices.

For example, yesterday I was having a really bad case of the Mondays. I was feeling icky after a weekend of wine, cheese, and not enough sleep or time to myself. I had been wanting to try hot yoga for a while and yesterday the idea of flowing in a warm cozy room really appealed to me. I didn't force a peppy barre3 workout or a high impact run first thing in the morning. I let my body have a bit slower start to the week, which is what my heart truly desired.

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Hot yoga was new for me and I really enjoyed the experience. Sometimes, when I am feeling sluggish and out of sorts, the last thing I want to do is slow down and be with myself, but this yoga class showed me that this was exactly what I needed to do in order to come out on the other side of that slumpy mood.

Have you ever thought about choosing your workout based off of your emotions instead of hoping your emotions will change based off of your workout? This is just another way your can #remixyourworkout to help you become even more in tune with your body, mind, and spirit.