Angry About Exercise

I think one of the secrets to decent diabetes management is management … of priorities.

November of 2010 I had the best lab report I’ve had since I was in my early 20’s.  Best A1C, bestBasketball is FUN for Scott! cholesterol, best everything.  I hadn’t made any purposeful changes to my diabetes routine, I wasn’t testing more, I wasn’t counting carbs better, I wasn’t watching what I ate any closer than usual.  But I had been exercising like crazy.

I was been spending three to four hours per day at the YMCA playing basketball and lifting weights, and I felt great.  I am lucky to have found an exercise that I really enjoy (basketball).  While playing basketball I am having fun, and that’s why I do it.  It just happens to be great exercise too.  How lucky am I?

I had no job(s) though, and that doesn’t last for long. The bank account has been empty (or negative) for a long time,  and I needed to find some income.  I’ve been super stubborn about trying to find something I can put my heart into, something that helps people with diabetes and supports my family at the same time.  But I haven’t been able to find anything.  I’ve had to put my dreams on hold for a while (if you have a job/contract/project I can help with, let me know!).

Since then I’ve picked up about four part-time jobs, only a couple of which I like, and none of which pay enough of the bills to let me drop any of the others.  It’s terribly distracting and I feel like I’m being pulled in a million different directions, leaving me at less than my best for any of them.

Worse though, is that I haven’t played basketball or lifted weights for two weeks.  And I can feel it.  My body hurts, I’m crabby and irritable, I’m not sleeping well, my blood sugars are volatile and sharp.  I’m just not happy.

I let some bullshit part-time jobs creep in and take priority over my exercise.

There is a lot of tension and anger because I feel trapped in many ways.  I have to support my family (earn income), and I have to take care of myself (exercise), but I feel like it’s nearly impossible to balance those two things.  I can work all the time to make ends meet, and fall apart physically (and mentally), or I can exercise a lot and not have enough money to pay the rent.

I am re-prioritizing my life around exercise again, with faith that the money side of my life will fall into place somehow.  I am going to try my best to keep my guard up against all that tries to creep in and pull my focus away from what is important.  I am important.  My health is important.  My diabetes management is important.  And for all of that, exercise is important.

We can always sleep in the minivan…

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19 thoughts on “Angry About Exercise

  1. Health is most important and you have to stick to restrictive diet and exercise.Earning money to keep the family going is also very important but that will fall into place once the health is better.It is better to make a schedule so that everything falls in place.

  2. This is a great post, Scott. It’s so important that we take care of ourselves and make our health a priority, but that can feel impossible with the pressures of everyday life. I don’t have a family to support yet, and I still struggle sometimes to find time to cook healthy meals and exercise (which are two of my favorite things). Best of luck to you as you re-prioritize!

  3. For some of us, it’s a given that money, jobs, family and more, has to take priority. Unfortunately, money does buy health for some, especially those with diabetes.

    Another consideration for me, and others, is more autoimmune conditions, some of which cause joint and tendon pain. Exercise becomes more than a chore.

    I’m very grateful to have recently moved to a townhouse with a swimming pool in the complex. It’s such a wonderful feeling to be almost weightless, doing exercise, and not feeling the pain I would on terra firma. Certainly not the same as basketball!

    I can’t get to the pool every day because of other commitments, much as I’d love to. And I’m not sure what I can do in winter when it’s too cold for an outside pool. I’m considering a yoga class, which should be gentle, and serves the purpose, even if it’s not vigorous exercise. It’s surely better than nothing! I’ve heard many reports of BGs going down with yoga, despite the lack of sustained aerobic activity.

    • I’m not sure anyone will read this comment since its months later, but I thought I’d just say that I’m right there with you when it comes to exercise and the complications of other autoimmune disorders. Since my diagnosis with T1 at age 27, I’ve been diagnosed with 4 other autoimmune disorders. Fibromyalgia (luckily a mild case) and Reynauld’s mean high-impact and outdoors activities are restricted, especially in poor weather. But, I’ve also learned a ton about exercise helping to stave off progression of diseases and symptoms – especially for fibro patients. So the lesson is, exercise IS medicine. And in my life, it’s just as important as insulin.

  4. Having to choose between money and health is the worst rock and a hard place there is. Take care of your body and spirit. You are a winner and will land on your feet.

  5. Brother, I feel your frustration, I always feel so much better as well when I work out regularly. Unfortunately, with the jobs and school the schdeuling is not always easy. I commend you for making such a tough decision. Good luck!

  6. One of the things I hated most when I started working all the damn time was how it interfered with my exercise schedule. I let it slide for a while, but then my wife got a couple TrainerMats for our family. This, has made it more possible for me to get a nice workout from home, whenever I can fit it in. Although my types of workouts have changed, I am at least happy to be staying active with my limited time.

    Check them out http://www.selftrainermat.com

  7. I hear you, Scott. Glad you’ve found some exercise you love so much — for me, it’s tennis that makes exercise so much more fun. But it so difficult to fit in everything. I wish I could work for 4 hours a day … that would help.

  8. Dear Scott, I pray things fall into place for you soon! Keep your eye on the prize, continue to make you diabetes and your family your first priority, and all will work out in the end. Without the hard times, the good times wouldn’t be near as bright. ((HUGS)) to you! And best of luck in finding a job that fills your heart!

  9. Hey Scott, to everything there is a season…well except diabetes, and it’s always there! So please don’t beat yourself up over the yesterdays! I know that you know, but us recovering perfectionists have to call out our “all or nothing” thinking. Heck, you could be training for an ironman putting in 2 to 3 hours a day! 30 minutes to an hour most days can do wonders for us ordinary mortals :).

  10. Thanks for the great post, Scott. Very inspirational and right on the money (no pun intended) – we do have to balance all the priorities and for me, it seems exercise also does fall to the end of the list. The job-front is a topic all on its own, but staying with the exercise I find that the more stressed out I am money-wise and about work the less motivation I seem to have to get out and exercise. Sometimes, rather than playing some hoops or walking miles or biking or even hitting the gym, I start small and walk the dog. We walk around the block. Then do another. And another. And before I know it, we’ve been gone an hour, I’m improving my health and BGs, and have somehow relaxed and gotten my mind off of those worklife stresses. Motivation for exercise, me thinks!

  11. I’m a T3 D and finally getting back on the exercise bandwagon. It’s no excuse, but between taking care of my son and working full-time, I haven’t been focused on my own health. I’m finally back at the gym and trying to eat better. Worked out with a friend this past Saturday and she kicked my abs, as well as my [email protected]@:) We’re going to try to lose 2 lbs every week for the next 23 weeks, so we’ll be an awesome 46 lbs lighter by the 4th of July! Here goes!! Hoping putting it out here will make me more accountable:) And that work thing that keeps getting in the way, yeah, my 2030 retirement is a long ways away so I better figure this out:)

  12. I love your attitude…it’s true…your health is important…and if it’s any consolation I’d sleep in a minivan if it meant my loved ones could be healthier.

    So I guess I should quit saying I can’t afford going to the doctor and just do it huh?

    I know…

    Thanks for the inspiration today!!

  13. I hear you, dude.

    (And also, I see that you have my official Spaulding basketball up there. You should see our other line of sports equipment: the Tyson stuff. 😉 )

  14. I know that is the one main thing that keeps me from exercising regularly – my long work hours. I don’t know where I would be without my job. It pays me very well and I have great benefits. But on the other hand, my work days are 12 hour days minimum (commuting included) so that leaves little time for exercise. And it wears me out too so most of the time I don’t feel up to it. I hope you can find the right balance and things work out for you on the job front. And if you find any good tips for overcoming this obstacle, please share!

  15. Our darn jobs interfere with SO much….
    I often daydream of all the things I would be on top of if not for the darn job !!

  16. Amen brother. Exercise is the key to being able to manage diabetes a lot better. I hope things work out for you on the job front. My doctor gave me some good advice early on: “The world doesn’t stop so you can manage your diabetes” It’s tough and life it tough even without the D. Just don’t forget how good it felt and when things work out, you will can’t wait to get back and maybe stronger.