One Year as a Diabetic

It’s now one year since I was diagnosed as diabetic. One year since I was doubled up with back pain on a daily basis and one year since my energy levels would suddenly drop and I’d become become exhausted and barely able to left my head.

At the time I wrote that I’d take it as a challenge. So where am I today.

Well a year on, I’m still bloody knackered. As I write I seem to be aware of an ache in every muscle. The difference though is huge. I’m aching because in the last two days I’ve rode my pushbike to the gym and back, swum in the pool and the sea, rode my exercise bike and tried sea kayaking for the first time.

Oh, and I had a sports massage on Friday to break up all the knots I’m built up in my back and shoulders.

I started swimming last year. A couple of days a week I said. After a month that turned into 5 days a week, then it turned to every day. I got an exercise bike in October which helped me keep up my workouts through the winter and also break up the swimming on ‘rest’ days.

Doubling the distance of the Diabetes UK Swim Challenge

When I’ve been away, I’ve kept up with my exercise by taking walks. This has lead to some amusing episodes such as a couple of weeks ago as I marched up and down a pitch black country lane at 11pm as I’d been at a wedding and had not hit my calories count or 30 minutes exercise target for the day.

As the weather has improved I’ve expanded my options to include a pushbike and most recently an inflatable kayak. These options have become available simply because I’m now at a size and a fitness level where they can be used safely.

On your bike son. Riding home from the gym

As of today I’ve hit my exercise and calories burnt targets for 307 consecutive days. Sometimes I’ve only just scraped past the lines. There have been days where I’ve been sick and have literally dashed between the toilet and the exercise bike just hitting my 30 minutes in 5-10 minute chunks, body slumped over the bars and legs just operating on autopilot.

A years worth of exercise

For the first 8 months my weight dropped dramatically. Every day I’d see a difference. Week on week, month on month the differences were huge. Since March however this has slowed to the point where I may see no movement in a week, and on occasion seen it increase slightly! This is incredibly frustrating to say the least. Its also really depressing. In all other respects I see numbers going the right way. Faster times, longer distances. But the fitter I get, the more effort is required to hit the same calorie levels. As I’ve lost weight my body uses less calories in general and needs less calories to perform. I’m still seeing changes in terms of size and body shape, but that weight is barely budging and its bloody depressing.

But what about the issue that kicked this all off. Well, I’m in remission. My glucose levels are well below the target high and are in line with non-diabetic levels. I watch what I eat and have a range of foods that I know I can have on a daily basis. I’ve also got it down to a range where I’ll allow myself the occasional treat such as an ice-cream, or a fresh scone after walking in the new forest.

After a refreshing dip in Sark!

So that’s the end of year one, but sill just the beginning of the turnaround

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