I Quit my Gym. Here’s Why.

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via Mixkit // omg I hate running

I don’t know if I’ve written about this previously (my mind doesn’t really work anymore) and I really don’t feel like digging through old posts. But a few months ago, I signed up for Orangetheory Fitness. My mind, body, and type 1 diabetes (t1d) needed some exercise, and I liked the idea of group fitness. I’ve participated in Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping (kickboxing and resistance bands) in the past, and the group fitness mentality was very motivating for me.

Orangetheory (OTF) is known for their strenuous workouts that are 60 minutes long and promote an afterburn. Workouts are built on a cycle of treadmill workouts, row machine, and free weights. My head really liked the workouts and the energy of the coaches and other gym-goers, but it turns out, that my t1d hated it.

It always takes extra planning when it comes to t1d and exercise. I always like to head into workouts with my blood sugar higher than the target range, because I know that once I start moving my blood sugar will be dropping – this in addition to suspending my insulin pump basal delivery.

So that’s what would happen, I could start my workout even in the 200 range and be dropping below 70 within 30 minutes. I always had my glucose tabs shoved in my leggings pocket. On multiple occasions, I had to end my workouts early or risk severe hypoglycemia.

And then the strangest thing happened – after my low blood sugar, it would shoot crazy high, like 300s high, for hours after my workout. It would take significant insulin corrections to try and bring it back down. Frustrating to say the least.

So not only was I having to end my workouts early because of low blood sugars, and consume calories that I was hoping to burn, but then I had to feel like crap from hyperglycemia for the remainder of the afternoon.

After the first couple instances, I took to doing some research. What was going on? I thought exercise was good for diabetes?

In all my 25 years of being t1d and being fairly active for the majority of my life in various sports and exercise programs, no one told me that too strenuous activity is actually BAD for blood sugars.

During strenuous workouts that last longer than 45 minutes, your body starts pumping out stress hormones. In addition, your muscles are working harder, so your body releases more glucose to fuel your body. This is all perfectly fine for a healthy person with a normal-functioning pancreas. But it can be difficult to manage, and dangerous, for type 1 diabetics.

This information would have been good to know before I signed up for $99 a month for eight classes, but I guess I only have myself to blame for not doing research. I’ve already cancelled my membership based on cutting some costs to help with my transition to freelance work, but my membership doesn’t run out until the middle of January.

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So for now, I am going to try and scale way back on how hard I exercise when I go to OTF, which is hard given the energy and competitive environment.

I plan to re-join our local YMCA in January once OTF is over. At least here I can design my own workouts and pace myself.

I’ve decided I’m at a place in my life where I’m not exercising to lose weight. Sure, if it happens, great. But it’s not my motivation. The reason I need to do regular exercise is to keep up my strength and energy (for chasing around two active boys), and regulate my blood sugars, which can be done with significantly less effort.

 

What Month Is It?

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Photo by Nathan Wolfe on Unsplash

I honestly can’t believe I am into month three of my Project 333. I’ve gotten very used to looking at a bare closet and quickly deciding what I’m going to wear each day.  It’s about time for me to open up the storage tub of old clothes to go through and decide what will be in my winter closet (January-March).

I’ve actually sold a lot of my clothes and baby clothes on Poshmark, and am kind of having fun doing it. It has also been incredibly eye opening to the sheer amount of clothing circulating in this country. There’s an overabundance of clothes in people’s closets, and even more waiting to be bought in stores. It’s kind of alarming.

If you have never browsed Poshmark, I encourage you to take a look. If you are looking to change up your wardrobe, consider buying used. If you use my code KENNI_LEIGH at sign up, you get $10 toward your first purchase. Seriously, free money.

In other news, I got notice today that my LLC is up and running, so yay! Never in my life did I think I would have my own business. Scary and exciting all at the same time. If you haven’t checked out my freelancing site and are in need of business writing, I encourage you to visit.

In motherhood news, the almost 18-month old has been sleeping (or more accurately not sleeping) terribly. I’m not sure if he’s getting his second molars in already or going through a bout of separation anxiety, but it’s especially exhausting. And his screams are enough to tear your eardrums.

‘Tis the season to be jolly!

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Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash // Who looks this cute in the winter?

 

Launch Day

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Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

Since I feel like I never have enough to do [insert tired, manic laugh here], I decided to start up yet another website. Along with trying to check in here regularly and writing on Medium, I have now launched a professional site dedicated to my freelance writing business.

I write every day. Whether it’s for one of my sites or work, I feel like I am always typing. And my fingers ache. But it’s so worth it.

Within about a month I am taking a huge leap of faith and leaving my full-time corporate job to kick start my freelance business. Yikes. But the timing was right.

I am very excited to be more in control of the work I do and work when I want. With two young boys at home, I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with them while I can.

So this is exciting stuff.

Shameless plug here, if you or someone you know has a business that is in need of writing (blog posts, articles for pitching to publications, and website and social media copy, please think of me.

I also have a Facebook page, so if you feel so inclined, give me a like!

I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes not losing your minds this holiday season.

Never Read the Comments

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Photo by Philipp Katzenberger on Unsplash

Earlier this year I released a book. A book about my experience with pregnancy as a type 1 diabetic. It’s a memoir, and ultimately a collection of journal entries I compiled when I was pregnant with my first son more than four years ago. I revised and edited it into book form and published it.

What was my why in doing so? It wasn’t to make a million dollars. It wasn’t a stepping stone into a career of being America’s next best writer. No. I published the book because it was something I was looking for when I was pregnant. All I had found was all the horrible things that could go wrong. It was very clear that if I wanted a healthy baby, I needed to get my blood sugars in the tightest control. I wasn’t a perfect diabetic, but I was fucking motivated.

You may be wondering what has gotten me all fired up about this? I did what writers shouldn’t do: read comments on their work. I rarely head over to KDP to review my book sales. Like I said, I wasn’t in it for the money or notoriety. But something led me there last night and that’s when I saw a one-star review on my book. And there was a comment. It started in ALL CAPS about how it wasn’t a real book for “real diabetics.” Last I checked, my t1d is just as real as everyone else’s (and I’ve lived with it for 25+ years). Then it went on to state that it was “too mushy” and I portrayed myself as a “perfect diabetic” and had “enough money to do whatever I wanted.” Not sure where the latter was formed from, but okay. It finished with “a waste of money.”

Now, I get it, not everyone will love my book (or me). But there are two things I need to point out here: 1) my book is a memoir based on journal entries, so of course it will be mushy. I was pregnant with a high-risk pregnancy, so excuse me for having feelings. Which leads to 2) I’m a real person. I not only struggle with my t1d (and all the fears of complications that come with that), but I also have normal people struggles and emotions. Do people not realize that when they leave harsh comments, that it is aimed at an actual person? Listen, you don’t have to like my book, but a simple, “It wasn’t for me” would suffice.

And now I’m agitated that I let this person get under my skin.

So here’s my purpose of writing this: think before you sit behind your computer and type out whatever word vomit that pops into your head. People are people and words matter.

https://upscri.be/os8ln4

 

 

Mental Health Check

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Photo by Natasha Spencer on Unsplash

Hey, guys.

I haven’t been feeling the best lately. My anxiety has come back to an disruptive level. It’s been close to a year since I’ve felt this way and I don’t like it.

The past week has been shitty. The youngest came down with a stomach bug while also getting 9,000 of his teeth in at once. So it’s been a lot of puke and a lot more screaming, multiple night wakings.

On top of that, Halloween got my oldest all out of sorts. His imagination got the best of him, resulting in him being scared to go anywhere in the house by himself and also waking up a few times in the night looking for me. So it’s been a game of musical bedrooms for me.

And let me tell you, the sleep deprivation has got me down. Very down.

My health anxiety is back and I’m worried about my oldest. My fear of him getting type 1 diabetes has been a consuming worry of mine for a few years now. Maybe I need to digest why. Because my husband says even if that happens everything will be okay. My son has the best parents and with me being a t1d myself, I have insight that other type 1 parents don’t.

But let’s pull back the veil; if my son gets t1d, it’s my fault. It would be my selfishness of wanting biological children that put him at risk for being diagnosed t1d. And while I live a fairly normal, happy life, type 1 diabetes has affected the quality of my life. Nearly every single moment of every single day I am making decisions based on my disease. And it’s an expensive illness, so it affects us financially. Additionally, I’m watching my t1d mother lose her eyesight from diabetic retinapathy and it’s further depressing.

While it’s a treatable disease, there is still no cure, and no parent wants to see their child go through any kind of struggle.

So I’m at a point where I want to take him in to get an HbA1c to see if his blood sugar levels are within a normal range. And I also think it’s time to get back to therapy. There’s no good that comes from all-consuming worry.

In addition to all the stress at home, I’ve had to miss a few days at work. I fear what people think of me, which I shouldn’t. But that’s the reality of working moms in the U.S. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. The reality is that American society simply isn’t supportive of working moms.

That’s where I am today. Not great.

If you’re interested in what I’ve been writing lately, check out my stories below:

My Dog Died and My Son Grew Up Overnight

The Lost Community of American Parenting

The Faults of a Dreamer

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