I don’t. I like getting up when I get up, exercising when I feel a burst of energy (could be around 3pm, could be around midnight), and eating when I want to eat (sometimes grazing all day, sometimes not eating much all day).
But my diabetes likes routine and because I have to not only acknowledge what my diabetes wants, I have to do what it wants if I want to stay healthy.
Fast acting insulin and almost-24-hour insulin have all helped make our daily lives a bit more flexible. However, I caution anyone against trying to live exactly like someone who doesn’t have diabetes. I tried this and found I couldn’t manage steady glucose control. (I will say though, if you can manage, then by all means do your thing and tell me your secrets.) Although, really, I think that healthy people out there and successful people all tend to rely on certain routines and habits they maintain.
I think I’ve found a balance within my dislike and simultaneous need for routine in my life. By balance I mean this is what I am currently doing which feels sort of right to me and is quite subject to change. ;)
-I exercise every day so that my insulin needs don’t fluctuate too much based on my exercise (they fluctuate enough based on other factors). I also try to exercise at the same time each day.
-I eat the same amount of food each day. If I normally eat three meals and one day I happen to have a really big breakfast, then I eat a little less at lunch or dinner to compensate. I’ve found this helps with keeping my blood sugars steady overnight. We sleep for about a third of our lives so I try to get those hours to be blood sugar healthy. Key word “try” :)
-I keep the same bedtime routine to try to ensure that blood sugars are welcoming in the morning. And I try to stick with this because I notice that if mornings are good, then the rest of the day tends to follow suit.
-I allow myself to eat really different foods from day to day. Varying the types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, sources of protein, and so forth keeps things feeling interesting.
-I never test at the same times each day. I test upon wakening and before going to sleep but aside from that it’s really random. I am in the habit of testing and this pushes me to test whenever I think I should, such as before eating. This leads me to…
-I eat at different times during the day. I can’t help this. With two year old twins, I have to sometimes just grab a bite to eat when I’m lucky to have the opportunity. I have never been hung up on eating at certain times anyway so it doesn’t bother me. I do look forward to the time, years from now, when I sit down at the table and calmly eat with the rest of the family. In the meantime, I’m cooking one thing for me, another for my husband, and something else for the kids. Or I’m at least making all sorts of variations in the kitchen. When there are food allergies, insulin timing issues, and picky children, there is no other way. So I just accept it and try to go with the flow.
I can’t think of anything else…Do any of you dislike routine but try to fit some in for the sake of your diabetes management? If so, what sacrifices do you or don’t you make?