Monday, September 10, 2012

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

Over the course of several months I've been making small but cumulative changes to things like what I eat, how much I eat, how much I exercise, and most importantly, how my mind frames all of those activities. This isn't an entirely comfortable post for me to write because it touches on some things that I'd rather keep locked away in my mind somewhere, but I'm charging ahead with some of it anyway because that's how I roll.

I don't think I want to get into specifics about everything I'm changing (partly for reasons I'll explain below)... but I'll mention a couple.

Busting A Move

Starting in February-ish, I made a renewed vow to get in the exercise I need. It seems to go in cycles for me - I'll be on a streak for a while (three to five workouts a week), and then something trips up my pattern and I go weeks - or months - without. I'm proud to say that, at least over the summer, I've been pretty consistent. That's kind of a big deal for me. 

What changed was that I finally found exercise I not only enjoy doing, but that I actually look forward to all day - and not only for its calorie-burning properties, but because it makes me feel good. I change it up occasionally with a walk outside or some time on the elliptical, but for the most part, it's a Dance Central 2 party in my basement every day after work. The exercise I'm doing is fun enough that it doesn't feel like work, most of the time - and if I'm horrible at it, the only creature who has to witness it is my dog. He doesn't mind.

That Pesky "Eating" Thing

Whatever it is about attending diabetes conferences - the change in routine, the running around, the excitement of seeing friends and doing something that excites me - they sure do seem to diminish my need for the whole food thing. Especially during that first week of July while in Florida for FFL, I discovered that I wasn't eating nearly as much as I was used to, and... nothing bad happened. I didn't feel as hungry as I typically had, and when I did want to eat, I wanted smarter choices (fruit, veggies, protein, and the least-processed forms of most of those). Huh. 

This began an experiment for me, which is is still running: can I eat smaller portions and still be "okay"? Can I eat just until I stop feeling hungry, instead of eating until I feel "full"? Can I distinguish the difference between eating to ease boredom and eating to ease true hunger? Can I cut stuff like diet soda almost completely out of the picture? Can I steer myself towards vegetables more often?

Can I view food mostly as fuel, and make choices based on that viewpoint?

So far, the answer is "yes". And, as much as I hate to admit it, I am feeling so much better lately.

And Here's Where Things Get Uncomfortable

(This is the part where I imagine that you say, "Why does she hate to admit that?") Well, it's a complicated answer. The short version is that I don't like being wrong, or having to admit that I can't eat/exercise/whatever like those around me and stay in the kind of shape I'm comfortable being in. My metabolism will bring me to - well, where I was at the start of this year, if I do nothing. And I don't like that place one bit.

I hesitate even talking about this part of it, because I don't want anyone else who may be in a similar situation to feel that they're doing something "wrong". I don't want anyone to say "But I'm larger than/shaped like she is...what is she trying to say?" I don't want to make anyone else feel bad about their own situation by talking about my own. 

But for me - I miss feeling "in shape". I've missed that feeling for a while now.

Anyway, my point here is that I'm making a concerted effort to do things that result in better health for me. From what I can tell by weigh-ins at my doctor appointments, how my clothes fit, how I feel while exerting myself, and how I feel overall - things are going well. I'm not going to talk numbers here, though. You won't find any weigh-ins, nor mentions of pounds lost.

Instead, you'll probably find me tweeting about successful workouts (and feeling pride in how not-out-of-breath I am during them) or how I feel. Because how I feel matters more to me than my pants fitting better - but I hope that one can continue to lead to the other.

Yesterday's 1.5 hour walk - and only one of us was ready to fall over at the end of it.
Stubby Corgi legs are not made for distance, it seems.

20 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic post, Kim! I think it's very inspiring and your honesty and openness are very endearing. It's ok to be on the part of the journey you're on because it's your journey and your feelings are totally valid. I hope things continue to go well for you. Take care and keep us posted!

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  2. Excellent post. One of the benefits of having T1D is that most of us have grown to be extremely self-disciplined when it comes to food. At least, that's been my experience. When I start eating too much (or eating the wrong things), I rarely have trouble changing my behaviors. At least, that's how it seems when I compare myself to non-D folks. With exercise, I just try to find the fun in whatever it is I'm doing. I never look at exercise as a chore and I do my best to make it enjoyable and varied. For me, going out for a run isn't just about the run and exercise itself, but it's also about the "me" time, the ability to list to podcasts or music and just be alone with my thoughts. It's my favorite time of the day.

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  3. I knew you were smart and funny, but motivated and courageous, too? DAMN! (I mean that in a good way). Kim, is there anything you can't do?

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  4. Congratulations! Change is unbelievably hard, in a lot of different ways.

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  5. Yay!!! So happy for your great changes!! DHugs!

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  6. My excercise regimen is sporadic as well, I'll be very gung ho for a while then nothing for a while, and I do notice the difference. Change is scary. The house we recently moved into has this phrase painted on a wall, "If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies." Anything you do that makes you feel better about yourself is a good thing:)

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  7. Wonderful! Congratulations for being dedicated to yourself and being brave enough sharing your journey. While it is my daughter with t1d, since her diagnosis six months ago, I let go of all the self care that has helped me in the past. Back to it! Thanks for the inspiration. As my husband said recently, "if Charlotte can do t1d with grace, so the hell can we."

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  8. Proud of ya girl!!! Keep it up.

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  9. First of all, I love your blog! Been following for a few weeks and really enjoying it. Loved this post as well. It's amazing the difference it makes when you find a form of activity that you enjoy. Glad you found yours!

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  10. Okay, like I said on Twitter [okay, I was reading this in anatomy, I will be perfectly honest], I love this. I also love the accountability that blogging about stuff brings. Because we can't let our people down, can we? :]. [Also I love YOU, but I think you already know that.]

    I don't know about you, but I sometimes find I am way more motivated to eat good stuff [yes, nutritionally good stuff, not stuff that TASTES good ;)] after I get the exercise in, because I have already done an awesome thing and I don't want to derail that awesome thing with filling my body with not-as-awesome things :]. And, like you said, the more fun the workout is, the better! Though, I do wish I had a cute corgi to walk with me!

    I propose, once again, a Med-X dance party. Because I will say right now you are probably a MUCH better dancer than I am. :].

    And finally, WAY TO GO, Kim! You are doing awesome! :]

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  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you for NOT mentioning the numbers on a scale. This is what it should be about; how you FEEL. Great post. Thanks for putting it all out there in a non-competitive way.

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  12. super duper KUDOS to you :) all around kudos.

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  13. Hi – Will you please post a link to your important Blog at The Type 1 Diabetes Community at vorts.com? Our members will really appreciate it.
    Members include: Those living with Type 1 Diabetes, their families, friends, experts, caregivers and support groups.
    It's easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website. You can also add Articles, Photos, and Videos if you like.
    Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you. I hope you consider sharing with us.
    The Type 1 Diabetes Community: http://www.vorts.com/type_1_diabetes/
    Thanks,
    James Kaufman, Editor

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  14. Kim, this is a great post. It's so hard to take an honest look at our habits and behaviors. You sound like you're on the right track! And WAY TO GO!

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  15. keep on truckin! :) i always look like billy after a long walk. i guess that means i need to do it more often. ;)

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  16. this is a great post. for anyone trying to make a change. change is hard! you are doing it. stone fox.

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  17. Proud of you... for your accomplishments and for deciding to write about them.

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