This week’s guest post is written by ChronicBabe Christel. Christel is a blogger, certified personal trainer, bikini fitness competitor and fitness model. She has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1997, and at an early stage decided that that wasn’t going to slow her down. On TheFitBlog.com she writes about Health, Fitness and how to be Fit With Diabetes. She trains people with diabetes from across the globe, online and in person, and supports them in meeting their fitness goals.
I’m probably one of the most stubborn people you will ever come across. …Or you could call it focused or determined. Yes, that sounds better. My husband says I am like one of those huge tankers that needs a lot of time (or an iceberg) to change course. ☺
I have managed to make my stubbornness work to my advantage though (for the most part) and I truly believe there is hardly anything I can’t do if I set my mind to it. I’ve managed to get my MBA, travelled the world, had a successful corporate career, started my own business and, lately, competed in (and won) a fitness competition.
It all starts with your mindset
So what does all that determination have to do with my diabetes? Well, it made me decide right away that my 1997 Type 1 diabetes diagnosis would never prevent me from doing and accomplishing everything I wanted in life. Honestly, I never thought twice about that first injection or about arranging my life so that the diabetes didn’t interfere with the things I want to do.
That doesn’t mean that it’s easy to manage the diabetes monster, but I would claim that it’s doable if you set your mind to it, take the time to understand your unique reaction to different stimuli, and structure your life so that the diabetes doesn’t run the show but is instead in the background.
I know that I am lucky to “only” have diabetes, and none of the other “friends” it can bring along. Additional physical or emotional burdens will of course change the situation and how hard it is to figure out your diabetes management.
How fitness took my diabetes management to the next level
My adventure into fitness and making that my career has actually been what has taken my diabetes management to the next level. I spent a lot of time tuning in, listening to my body, experimenting, and analyzing the outcomes (and a lot of blood glucose testing).
To me, that’s the key to learning; experiments and analysis. I’ve found that my body’s reaction to stimuli differs as I get older, but the patterns are the same. So by documenting what I do in regards to training, food, sleep and stress, I can match that to my blood sugars and, by analyzing those relations, I have a pretty accurate idea of how my blood sugars will react to almost anything I do or eat.
I’m not saying this is easy, because it has taken me years to figure out and I still sometimes get it wrong, but knowing that I can do anything I want and still manage my diabetes is incredibly empowering.
So when I hear somebody say “I can’t do ABC because of diabetes” I always wish they would turn it on its head. Yes, you can! There is nothing you can’t do with diabetes (ok a few professions won’t take us and, as mentioned, there might be other health complications), but if you set your mind to it you will figure it out.
You will take a few blows (like your fair share of hypoglycemia) along the way, and be tempted to just give up on some of the hard things you want to do, but if keep at it, you can do all the things you dream about.
Now let’s go live our lives to the fullest!
Christel is pioneering an awesome first-of-its kind program for people living with diabetes. The project is a free 6-week program where she gives people living with diabetes the tools to work out safely and effectively. You can learn more about the Fit With Diabetes Challenge here.
**This is the eighth of many in a guest contributor series. If you would like to be considered as a guest writer for ChronicBabe, visit this link.**