Hello 2016! I wish I could say the year started off all calm and cosy, but it’s taken me nearly two weeks to get my levels down after our christmas day celebrations. Don’t even asked me why… sometimes I just have to give myself a break and be okay about swimming upstream. Amidst the pure frustration of looking at numbers I do not like I’ve realized there are some things that I can rely on. These are my non-negotiables and I’m absolutely sure they keep me anchored amidst my personal version of diabetes distress.
I’m a stickler for routine. According to ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, one of the best ways to stay balanced and grounded is to create a routine and stick to it. Go to bed around the same time each night and wake up around the same time each morning. I say around because we can’t always predict when we’ll wake up or get tired. What I have noticed though, is that once you tell the body to sleep and wake up at specific times it actually does it. If you show the body whose boss it will acquiesce.
Be prepared with food. Life is so busy that skipping a meal or not having something healthy on hand can either make or break you. Planning out your meals and being prepared means you can go anywhere, be anywhere and relax. I can’t think of anything more stressful then being out somewhere and there’s absolutely nothing I can eat. I’m talking road stop, in the middle of nowhere and carbs carbs carbs. My non-negotiable is to always have snacks on hand that I like and make me feel good. A few months ago I wrote up a recipe for Bliss balls during diabetes blog week. These babies go with me everywhere and are packed with protein and good fats.
Get into an exercise regime that works for you and do it every day. The whole exercise insulin thing is quite a mystery. It takes time to find out how exercise affects your levels. And there are so many factors at play. For some people exercise reduces levels drastically, for others it levels everything out and for some it pushes levels up. It’s not a one size fits all. Checking your levels before and after exercise and testing how exercise affects you at different times of the day can really help to give you more assurance that you’re not going to go low or high. I do a breathing practice in the morning, take a walk late afternoon and then do a short twenty minute yoga practice before dinner. How do I find the time? I just do. It’s my non negotiable. Yoga brings my mind and body together into a continuous stream of presence. Being present to what is happening in my body draws me out of fearful and distressing thoughts. If I didn’t give myself that luxury every day I don’t think I’d cope as well as I do.
My last non- negotiable is making as much time available as possible for fun. Fun could be anything. Right now it’s my addiction to watching the TV series, Nashville. I never thought I’d be a country music fan, but I’m having so much fun. I’m also loving summers here in Australia and a little afternoon walk through a rainforest to the beach. A simple swim and laugh with my beloved is priceless.
With all the hype around the start of the year, new years intentions and all that jazz, we know that there’s nothing new about managing diabetes. But what you can do is make a fresh start and decide to add something new, creative and supportive to your daily management plan. That’s where Yoga comes in. Yoga is so much more than a practice, its meaning and purpose is to bring you home. Home to your body, your breath and the simplicity of being. Being yourself.
So did I mention that yoga is my biggest non negotiable? That’s why I’ve spent the last year writing a book about how yoga can be the perfect compliment to your daily diabetes management plan. I’m in the final stages of production and I’d love you to be involved. I’m launching a crowdfunding campaign in late January so that you can pre-order copies of the book . I’d be thrilled if you would help me help people with all types of diabetes to get on top of their game.
If you’re interested in getting in on all the prelaunch excitement, I’ll be sending out emails to let you know when and how you can be involved. Sign up here to find out more.
In the mean time. I’d love to know… what are your non-negotiables?
with great respect… Rachel
My non-negotiable is food. Since my pancreas no longer produces insulin and is unable to respond to when I need extra for exercise or less for sleep I have to play pancreas and calculate exactly the dose of insulin to balance the food that I eat and the energy I exert. Like all love triangles this is a constant roller-coaster ride of desire and passion for life. I wake the same time every morning and sleep the same time every night and schedule 5 meal breaks in between, I am an obsessive clock watcher. My diet is totally fat free free which has done wonders for my sugar level control and energy reserves to the point where my levels sea saw between 4 and 10 mmoles regardless of the activity I do be it long slow deep yoga or loading overnight freighters. My desire is to keep this stability in my life (and the absence of mood swings) so I have developed a passion for food and knowing how to create a balanced glycemic load from simple everyday ingredients. Love your plan to publish your experiences with yoga and diabetes hope it goes well, any plans for a diabetes and food to go with it?
Hey Lucas, Thanks for sharing your story. Wow! You work hard. The blog is mainly dedicated to Yoga and Diabetes, but I do welcome guest blogs with great recipes. 🙂 in fact there is one coming along next .
Hi Rachel, I will be looking forward to reading the blog. If you want to check out mine I have written a “Managing to be diabetic” article for the Nimbin Good Times January edition and there will also be a talk at the Cafe Blue Knob.
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