Practice for Diabetes Management of Carbs to Insulin, Workout Intensity

Ginger Vieira Health Guide
  • I decided I'm just going to practice being diabetic from now.


    The word "practice" implies I don't have it all figured out yet. I'm not a professional. I'm not perfect. I can mistakes -- in fact, it's expected that I'll make mistakes, because I'm just practicing.


    There can be a huge amount guilt associated with being diabetic. Every blood sugar reading is either a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. We either did really well or really poorly that day with our diabetes management.

 's diabetes...I can't get it right all the time! I know this!


    And yet, I still feel guilty when my blood sugar is high. So, I have two choices: Either I could give up and just accept that I don't get it right all the time and my blood sugars are going to be high pretty often ‘cause I'm tired of trying to be perfect...OR...I could practice trying to get it right.

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    When I was learning how to shoot a basketball as a little kid, I was just practicing. No one expected me to get in the basket every single time. I started off really slowly, focusing on the back of the net like my dad told me to and trying to shoot my right arm straight up, letting my wrist fall forward as the ball left my fingers. The more I did this, the more I practiced, the better I became at getting the ball in the hoop. Now, even professionals still practice basketball between games, because it's not possible to be perfect -- right?


    Two years ago, I couldn't do a handstand if my life depended on it. So, I started out against a wall and just practiced and practiced every time I was in the gym. Eventually, I started moving further away from the wall and only using it when I was about to fall backwards. Today, I don't need a wall. My handstands aren't perfect, but I don't need a wall because of all the continual practice. And occasionally, yes, I completely topple over and it doesn't look pretty.


    So, I'm going to practice being diabetic. I'm going to practice going to the gym and test my blood sugar before I go. Let's say it's 144 at 11 a.m. So, I'll eat a banana and drink a protein shake, and go on with my workout. I'll check my blood sugar after my workout, around 12:30 to find that my blood sugar is up around 220! So, this is kind of like my toppling handstand -- not so perfect.


    The next time workout, I'll try either eating half the banana or taking insulin to cover half the carbs in the banana. And eventually, after practicing different carb/insulin ratios and workout intensity levels, I'll find the right combination that will work for a while.


    It probably won't work forever though, because my body will change and my workout will change, and my insulin needs will change.


    But the point is that I'm willing to look at the high blood sugar as not simply, "Oh, darn it! I'm high again!" Instead, I'll look at it as, "Ohhh, that didn't work too well...maybe I'll try this instead."


    I'm just practicing. Practicing implies I can make mistakes. Practicing implies I'm not perfect. I'm not perfect! I'm just practicing. Today, practice is going pretty well...tomorrow, my handstand might not look so pretty, but that's OK, too.


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    Read more of Ginger's blogs 

    Off the Diabetes Wagon? Tips for staying consistent 

Published On: November 07, 2007