#DiabeticTraveler: the sugar tales

One of the most important ways to deal with your sugar levels is exercise. Diabetic or not, some amount of physical workout is required for your health and it is a sure shot way of making sure your sugar levels are under control. Essentially, working out/sweating helps your muscles in breaking down the glucose you have eaten so the body will need to produce less insulin – and in my case, since there is close to zero production of insulin that happens, if I could spend working out for an hour daily, I would need to inject less insulin, take less medicine – which is always a good thing, right? So it’s should be obvious that I spend an hour a day working out or doing some kind of sports activity. Duh, right? You’d think so.

I hated physical activity! I hated exercising, I hated going to the gym, I hated waking up early in the morning to go for sports practice, I didn’t get the point in practicing yoga. The only other way to control your sugar levels, if there is minimal physical activity in your day to day life is to have a strict diet control over everything you eat. Which, you see, is downright hilarious because I love to eat, I love junk food, I love cheesy deep fried stuff, I love bread, okay. So it was a problem.

But, in hindsight, you know what I think the biggest problem was? That fact that, my brain was somehow convinced I was invincible. I was not ready to accept that I needed to do these things, that I had to imbibe into my lifestyle, I had not realized that diabetes was lifelong. But back then the problem was I loved eating and I hated exercising. That’s like everything they tell you not to do in the Diabetics’ Beginner Handbook! But there I was enjoying a chocolate sundae, aptly dubbed, ‘Death by Chocolate’.

I know I sound like a brat; an ungrateful, irresponsible, stubborn brat and to some extent, I was. I really was. And that is my truth and I can only work upwards from there.

And one of the ways my traveling has helped me with diabetes is that it has made me fall in love with physical activity.

I can spend a whole day trekking or hiking, or going for long walks, I have developed a fascination for the outdoors. I can spend the whole day out in the open but I cannot spend an hour at the gym or a Zumba class. But, that’s just me.

While I was on the road, I realized (very tiredly and very painfully) that my stamina was weak, that I was weak. I had to come face to face with this. I had to be honest with myself. It didn’t matter if the whole world was telling me the exact same thing until my mind told me the truth – I didn’t believe it.

Like I spoke in my previous post, acceptance had to do a lot with moving forward. I accepted it to myself that physically, I was not that strong. But, I wasn’t weak. Or hopeless. Or broken. I could rebuild. It’s okay, the idea is to not quit.

So I started to push myself, motivate myself, to do a little further than the previous day. And they didn’t have to be heavy, life-changing milestones; walk around for a little longer, even five minutes longer than the previous day – even three minutes, it’s great!

It isn’t easy or quick, it takes time. Self-care takes time and I tell myself that every day. Some days I feel good about it and on some days, not so much.

But it’s a journey and sometimes, the journey is difficult and isn’t all that great. Once when I was attending a summer camp of sorts, the camp teacher had said when you are going to experience something new, it depends on whether you go in with a spoon, a cup or a truck in your mind. If you go in with a spoon, you will learn a spoon’s worth of knowledge from that experience. So go with a bigger mind, create more space for new knowledge to keep improving. And I guess, I realized what it means now, that a journey could be topsy-turvy, filled with chunky roads and a heat glare (ugh!) but I want to be able to go into that experience with a big, open mind. Learn as much as possible from it and move on.

What’s the one thing you’re running away from accepting to yourself? You don’t have to say it out loud to anyone or out loud at all. Just…just try to make peace with it, in your mind. The idea is to never quit. The idea is to learn and grow and help yourself become the best version of yourself (and for yourself, definitely!).


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