Thursday, January 30, 2014

Back in the Saddle, Again

Apparently, my sugars are high.

How can this be true, I wondered, as did my little girl who emailed this query:
How are your sugars high? Genetics? You eat like, NO junk…
That's an affirmation I can get behind.  I don't like candy or chocolate.  I'll eat a piece of cake if it's yellow and your birthday, or a cookie or ten if JannyLou brings me her home-made goodies, but, in general, I'm a fruits and veggies, bread and cheese, kind of girl.

Yet, the numbers don't lie.  The blood was drawn in October and then, again, last Thursday.  I was properly hydrated, I'd fasted the requisite number of hours, and the truth was in the digits on the page.  Pre-diabetic is a frightening phrase.

The doctor was wonderful and reassuring but I was bummed.  Peeved.  Annoyed.  Scared. Luckily, TBG was able to ride to the rescue.

"Pre-diabetic" isn't like "incipient cataract," you realize.

No, I hadn't thought that deeply.  I was stuck on diabetic.

You can fix this, you know.

No, I didn't know.  I was wallowing in despair, feeling my body falling apart at the seams, out of control, ill, on a downward spiral, looking at a life of restrictions and concern.

Really, all you need to do is add sweaty exercise to your routine and you'll be fine.  

Sweaty exercise, he said.  Not my favorite thing in the world, aerobics and all that.  I find the treadmill and the elliptical to be among the world's most mind-numbing creations.  Feet move, but I get nowhere.  The gym has daytime junk tv showing me rich women giving away their clothes to foster children who may or may not need a sequined navy low cut formal gown and ESPN reprising the same three Super Bowl stories over and over again, tiring me with Richard Sherman and the weather in New Jersey. I am not amused.  Never have been, never will be.

I treated myself to purple memory foam ear buds since I couldn't find my pink-just-a-little-too-big-ones anywhere.  How I lost them is a mystery; they live in my glove compartment when they are not between my phone and my ear canals.  I tried to open the packaging in the car, but failed. Miserably.  Totally.  Completely.  There is no way anyone but Edward Scissorhands or Wolverine could get into that plastic.  Luckily, the gym had sharp tools and I was plugged in and ready to go in no time.

The first elliptical had moving arms.  I was using more upper body than lower, so I walked down the row to the five stable arm stations. Two heavily perspiring gentlemen were anchoring the ends of the area; I took the machine in the middle, wiped down the arms, pushed Manual and Go, and, for the first time since January, 2011, I was exercising aerobically.

It wasn't very much fun at all.

The arm rests are in the wrong position for a person of small stature. I was either two inches too high, thus engaging my shoulders, or three inches too low, which forced me to bend over and forward, pitching my hips and pelvis in an awkward angle. The rubber cover of the cool metal was behind my arms when I let them hang naturally, bent at the elbow.  I moved around, up, down, behind, and determined that comfort was never to be found.

Yet, I trudged on.  I set the angle of incline at 1 and the speed at 3 and I pressed my feet into the pedals.  I concentrated on even hips and shoulders, bemoaning the fact that there was no mirror to reflect my image and help me correct my posture.  I thought about pressing through my foot centers at the base of my toes and the edges of my heels.  I extended my legs fully, not allowing tightness to dictate the range of motion.  I battled my brain which was telling me that enough is enough. Sweat poured from every pore.

Ten minutes and I was gasping.  Tomorrow I'll go for fifteen, then twenty and twenty-five and I will never do less than I did the day before.  I will figure out a way to use the moveable arm machines without relying on my upper body to carry the weight.  I will reconfigure my music and my Pandora stations so that I have upbeat tunes to amuse me.  I will change those numbers, if changed they can be.

That's the plan.  I'll keep you posted.


  1. Sweaty exercise is what my doctor prescribed, too. "Don't you have any castor oil I can take instead? I begged. But no. Sweaty exercise. Sweaty exercise and salad. Oh, to be young again. I loved sweaty exercise then. Sweaty exercise and a Mr. Goodbar. Or two.

    1. I love the attitude, Mamacita! I can do the salad, but getting to the sweat is going to require some concentration and a change in attitude. At least I don't have to give up Mr. Goodbars.... the only saving grace in all of this is that I don't like sweets so I'm not giving up a craving. Carbs, tho.... oh, those pesky carbs!

  2. Ma- this is where that fancy kindle comes in handy. Download a great tv show or movie or audiobook and distract yourself. Distraction is the name of the game.

    FJ and I love you! (I'm sure SIR) does too but he's not here to nod and ask to be added to this blog comment... Xo

    1. I used to love it when Breaking Away was randomly on the tv when I was exercising. Watching the bike paced by the truck got my heart going. Perhaps you and Flapjack have something here, kiddo!

  3. AB, you will get the hang of it and Little Cuter is right, do something else while you are working out. I watch shows or look at an online magazine. I ALWAYS have music. It helps set my stride. One program I really like is Couch to 5K. It actually guides you on how to exercise and switch things up (so it isn't boring).

    You got this!

    Megan xxx

    1. With so many cheerleaders, how can I fail!?!?

    2. another big thing with diabetes, and as important as exercise-- dealing with stress. It's a known factor in a lot of illnesses. Letting go of anger, sorrow, releasing regrets. These aren't easy things to do but since this is the year of the wooden horse, today a black moon (second new moon in a month and seen during the day), it's a good time to do it. Do the exercise but don't keep the stress.

    3. It seems that I am going to have to deal with it, aren't I?!\


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