Exercise & Lifestyle

My Struggle with Exercise – 627

One of the first things I learned when I attended diabetes education sessions (many, many years ago) was that exercise was an important part of management and control of blood glucose levels. But in order to make exercise successful, I had to find something I really liked doing; otherwise it would become a tedious task I just wouldn’t stick to. That turned out to be some kind of omen, and I’m trying to break it.

I was always an active child. I was into sports like tennis and volleyball; I also liked swimming, and when I was in college I played some soccer. Once I reached adulthood and my first clinical depression episode happened, I was just too tired all the time. I don’t remember when was the last time I did some kind of sport activity on a regular basis, but I do remember how wonderful I felt and how well my diabetes behaved when I decided to join the gym… and that was a first for me.

I hate gyms; I hate the culture of gyms, probably because I’m misinformed. I don’t want anyone to see my body giggling on that treadmill, and I certainly don’t want to play Barbie. I feel out of place at a gym, which is ironic considering I’m the kind of person who obviously could benefit the most from it. But I long for those days when I got out of work and went for my evening work out, and then I got home feeling great, took a shower, watched re-runs of ER and fell asleep. I don’t remember ever feeling so good about myself. What bigger proof do I need to understand that discipline is the way to achieve things? Why don’t I do it again?

A few years ago, I got a bicycle I had so much fun riding and then life happened. Now the bike is collecting dust and I feel guilty but I don’t do anything about it. However, guilt is not going to take me anywhere and instead of wondering why I don’t stick to an exercise routine, I should just start… that’s always the hardest part. Lack of motivation is what usually gets me… that’s what happens when you deal with chronic depression, but it’s a vicious cycle I’m able to break because I know who I am. I just have to do it.

I know I don’t like to run. But I do love bicycling and swimming. And of course walking. I need to stop making excuses, “It’s too cold,” “It’s too hot,” “It’s too late…” Where does one find that kind of motivation?

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