What were your goals when you started working with me?
To Get healthy, stronger and control my type-1 diabetes.
What was your body weight when we started? And what is it now?
I started at 135 pounds and am now at 127 pounds. I didn’t decide to start a personal training program with the intent of losing weight, but to improve my overall health.
How did you feel when you first found out you were diagnosed with type-1 diabetes? Did you feel like it would limit you physically in any way?
I had a few weeks of pouting and being upset since I could not have bread and sugar whenever I felt like it anymore. But, I never believed that physically diabetes would be a hindrance – it was actually more of a reason to get active and physical! To begin being regularly active would require more preparation and planning (making sure my glucose is at an appropriate level prior to being active, making sure I have my emergency sugar stash, making sure I am with someone I can trust to administer glucagon in case something happens and also making sure I have had adequate nutrition to be active for an extended period).
I now see the diagnosis as a blessing in disguise. I’ve chosen to make improvements in my life and investments in my health to avoid diabetic complications that often can be prevented if you treat your body right. Diabetes should not be an excuse to hold you back physically or stop you from getting out and moving! It is even more important in order to stay in control of the disease.
How have exercise and proper nutrition affected your life?
Before my diagnosis, I always viewed proper nutrition and exercise as a chore and way too much work. After my diagnosis, my perspective changed and it is now a cornerstone to my health and well-being, maintenance of my diabetes and stabilization of blood sugars. I have so much more energy and motivation on a daily basis. The more positive changes I see in my body and mind, the more it motivates me to do a little better every day.
Since I started to be consistent with a healthy diet and exercise, I have been able to reduce the amount of insulin I need to take on a daily basis. My sugar levels stay stable and I no longer feel like I am constantly chasing normal blood sugars.
What is your favorite thing about working out with me- and working out/being physical in general?
You make working out so fun and interesting! It’s always a physically and mentally stimulating experience. I look forward to my weekly workout– while physically it’s very challenging, I always leave proud that I got through another challenge and with a more positive mindset. You oftentimes push me beyond what I think I am capable of. Your encouragement not only motivates me to push myself while we work out but also day-to-day to make better decisions regarding my health outside the gym. I leave happier. I feel better. I love seeing progress and improvement every week.
What is a typical day like for you food-wise?
I eat breakfast as soon as I wake up – either egg whites with veggies and low-fat cheese and Ezekiel bread or oatmeal made w/ pumpkin, cinnamon and Greek yogurt.
Lunch is always a good blend of protein, complex carbs and veggies. My favorite right now is a sushi salad w/ brown rice, tuna, seaweed and veggies with a wasabi/soy dressing.
Dinner is usually chicken breast, salmon or bison with plenty of veggies. Unless I have been more active than normal, I try to keep my last meal free of any carbohydrates and/or sugars.
To keep my sugar levels stable between meals, I snack on fruit and almonds or grab a protein shake. I rarely feel deprived so long as I stay creative with my meals.
What keeps you motivated to continue exercising and eating healthy and do you have any advice for someone who is just starting a fitness program?
My desire to not let my diabetes dictate how I live my life keeps me motivated. I have to be proactive. I have to prepare. You have to set yourself up to succeed. This means, making a healthy meal the night before, if you know you won’t have the time to do it the next day. I don’t want to undo all the hard work I did because I didn’t prepare by bringing a protein shake to drink after my workout and have no meal ready at home. I want to avoid the temptation of grabbing something quick and easy but absent the nutrition that my body needs. This is good advice for anyone starting a fitness program.
Every time I meet a goal or see progress, it motivates me to do better and improve the things in which I am not as strong. Seeing stable sugar levels and reducing the insulin I need to take is a huge motivation – I’ve set another goal to see if I can reduce my insulin by another unit or two by my next physician’s appointment. Once I am able to perform a set of squats with 5-10 pounds more than I could perform last week, I then will want to push a little further to see how long before I can add more weight.
What hobbies or physical activities do you enjoy other than working out?
Traveling! I have three trips already planned for this year. I love exploring and experiencing new things, like skydiving, kayaking and hiking.
I went snow showing for the first time last winter and plan to make it part of my routine this winter.
Do you feel you have achieved your goals since we have been working together?
I feel like I have achieved the goals I set for myself when I started personal training. My goals continue to evolve as I accomplish them. The constant adjustment of my goals keeps me focused and helps me to maintain the life I choose!