Unfortunately, I had to trade my walking shoes for rain boots today.
Let me back up, I wanted to join a gym a few weeks ago. Mostly because I'd like to lose a few pounds and have some motivation to stay active. I found what I thought was the perfect option in an aerobics class that met from 8 to 9 a.m. three days a week. Included in the family membership was childcare. Well, I got my hopes up too soon. Turns out the childcare is more for toddlers and not so much for infants. So, maybe next year.
But I was briefly discouraged.
I brainstormed other possibilities. I already walk with my best friend most weekdays, but between kids' routines, mommas' commitments and her pregnancy, I don't always walk as much or as often as I'd like ... well, more so, need.
As you probably know, I am an insulin-dependent diabetic. I was diagnosed as an adult, so I guess in some ways I'm still learning the effects this chronic disease has on my everyday life. One of the struggles for me has been insulin and how one of its side effects is complicating weight loss. So a vicious cycle can easily trap me. If I eat high-carb foods, I have to take more insulin. And I've realized lately I cope with stress by eating. Stress also causes blood sugar levels to rise. When my blood sugar is high, I have to take insulin. The more insulin I take, the harder it is to lose weight and, in fact, insulin can be blamed for some weigh gain. And then I have to take more insulin because I put on a few pounds ...
And, remember, I welcomed a new baby the week of Thanksgiving [when excessive eating is part of the celebration] and then had a couple overwhelming weeks adjusting to being a mother of two.
See where I'm going?
Exercise can interrupt the cycle because it helps lower blood sugar levels and relieve stress. So if I eat right AND exercise, I'm really interrupting the vicious cycle. And I feel better. Physically. And emotionally.
The emotion part is especially helpful as I care for a baby and a toddler and try to be a pleasant wife. And just ask Greg, he can tell you when my blood sugar is high. I get especially irritated and snippy. It's obvious when it's too low because I break out into a sweat and start talking in confused, broken sentences.
I'm in a much more peaceful place as a momma, so that alone is helping everything in my life. But I didn't want to stop there. I wanted to join a gym. I wanted to exercise with some accountability and have some affordable, convenient childcare. Well, my plan didn't work out, like I said. So I decided I was just going to walk more. I love walking with Jaclyn, but I'm capable of lacing up my tennis shoes, loading the kids in the stroller and walking.
That's what I've done this week. Well, that's what I've done on the two days the weather has been on my side. I've walked to Rite-Aid (twice ...), the pediatrician's office, the library and Quizno's. I figure if I can develop the habit now, then maybe, just maybe, when it's 90 degrees and humid, I won't think too much of the sweat pouring down my back.
And, no worries, I still plan to walk [and talk!] with Jaclyn. But I've realized this week that our house is strategically located in walking proximity of many, many places.
Now, if I could just do something about the rain ...