Tag Archives: healthy diabetes habits

Diabetes Likes Routine, Do You?

Photo courtesy of Pixomar

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?

Painfully Becoming an Early Bird

Photo courtesy of M-Pics


Oh boy.  This is one of those things that really hurts me.  It feels like I’m going against all that is me.  I love sleeping in until 7am when my kids wake up.  If they woke up at 9am, that would be even better.  I love writing and reading at night when the house is quiet.  My energy kicks in around midnight, when Alex could fall asleep sitting up in a chair.  I love the way the night looks outside my window and the mysterious feel to it.  I could go on and on.   However, logically speaking, I don’t love all this.  I admire those who get up at the crack of dawn, get their exercise out of the way, sit down to work on something close to their heart or meditate or get the house clean-whatever, the point is they do something productive and meaningful.  Then no matter what happens later in the day, they’ve got the most important stuff DONE.  That’s how I want to be, too.

Alex leaves for work at 6am so I’ve been waking up at 5am to sleepwalk my behind to the gym at our apartment complex.  Did you know it’s dark out at that hour?  It’s ridiculous.  I walk like a disoriented zombie with my thick, black framed glasses sliding down my nose while I constantly blink to try to get my eyes to get with it.  I have a lot of seasonal allergies and the morning walk to the gym triggers itchy, watery eyes.  If the temperature outside happens to be a little chilly, I immediately feel like crying.  I have this thing with the cold.  So at the risk of sounding wimpy, this morning routine is a bit of a struggle for me.  The birds truly amaze me, they are up and about, building homes, digging up grub, singin’ songs.  I look over at those show-offs and think, “Yeah, yeah, I would too, if it was a naturally wired habit!”

Once at the gym I walk really slowly on the treadmill to warm up for about 15 minutes.  Normally, my warm up takes 5 minutes but I am so sleepy I need to keep walking for a while to get all of my body cooperating.  I must sound like an old woman.  Anyway, after that I stretch for a few minutes and then literally force myself on the elliptical-the kindest thing in the gym for my injured feet.  Then I use all the motivators available to me (me, thinner! me, healthier! me, alive at 100! me, strengthening my heart!) and explode into 60 seconds of deadly elliptical training.  Then I bring it down for another 90 seconds and then back into 60 seconds of sweat and tears and back down to a manageable level for 90 more seconds.  I continue this back and forth for 20 minutes.  By the end I’m heaving and sweating and possibly more chipper than the birds outside.  I get back to the apartment as Alex is on his way out to work, leaving him with the most disheveled view of his wife, which hopefully doesn’t stick with him the entire work day.  I pray not.

Then I fight all instincts to fall into bed and instead get in the shower.  I then follow up on my blood sugar.  This entire past week I haven’t seen any out of range numbers after my work out.  When I work out in the afternoon or evening I always have to stop for glucose at some point, but not when I work out in the morning, lately.  Cool.

It’s still relatively early so I fix my hair, dress, and sit at the computer to do all the writing my kids are no longer letting me do, what with their being two and all. 

I’m sure they enjoy a bright-eyed mommy greeting them each morning (“Good Morning my babiesss!!!!!”)  instead of the nightgown wearing, droopy eyed, mommy of months past (“Mornin’ Aurora boo, <blink> oh, you’re Henri, hey sweetie pie, mind climbing out of the crib so I don’t have to lift you?”).

Winter is going to throw me for a loop (I get cold when it’s 69 degrees out so you do the math) but let’s just take one day at a time and see what good things this early to bed, early to rise thing brings.  I’m hoping to make early rising as much a habit as brushing my teeth.  I do that every day no matter how cold it is.