Let’s talk health.
I have type 2 diabetes. For those of you who don’t know much about diabetes, the over simplified explanation of my condition is my body is highly resistant to insulin and/or produces faulty insulin and/or doesn’t produce enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone, produced by the pancreas, that aids cells in using the sugar in your bloodstream as energy. Because I produce faulty insulin along with insulin resistance, my body is unable to effectively use the sugars in my body correctly. This results in high glucose levels in the blood stream that slowly damages your entire body. The best analogy ever given to me was by a former nutritionist that I saw. She told me, “Imagine the sugar in your bloodstream as really tiny razors. Under normal conditions, those razors very rarely touch anything as it passes through your body. When you are diabetic, that sugar increases in concentration and now those once harmless razor blades are now constantly scraping everything as it passes through your body. It damages your eyes, your vascular system, all your organs.”
Diabetes is a very devastating condition with a lot of misconception and misinformation out there. While I could write a novel on how the perception of diabetics need to change, I will say this. Living every day as a diabetic can be soul crushing. Many of you take eating for granting. Feel like a piece of fruit? You eat it without any consequence. For many diabetics, a piece of fruit can lead to high blood sugar. To many diabetics, every day is like being trapped in some kind of purgatory. You need to eat to live, but the very food you are eating is literally killing you from the inside out. So, if you know a diabetic, show them some compassion.
I have been diagnosed for close to two decades, but we feel that I may have had untreated juvenile diabetes. Back in the 80s, no one really tested children for diabetes unless they ended up in the hospital with an episode. Even my father went decades undiagnosed. The point where I am at now is on par with someone who has had diabetes since childhood. I currently take a fast-acting insulin, a long-acting insulin, and oral medications to control my diabetes.
I recently gained 25 lbs. in the last two months. This was due to a change in insurance providers. I was taking Victoza, which is a non-insulin injection, that has been proven to help diabetics lose weight in conjunction with better blood sugar control. I had lost 40 lbs. while taking the medication. I was well-controlled with an A1c of 5.7. My work had previously reimbursed me for insurance so I could choose the best provider for my diabetic treatment. Then, our new office manager discovered that they could no longer reimburse me to purchase a non-group policy. I had to join the firm’s group policy, and that resulted in my $25 prescription going to $335/month. I had several of my providers fight for me and argue with the insurance company, but we were basically told, “We cover the medication. It is not our problem if you can’t afford it.”
Thank you, Obamacare.
I got depressed. I don’t use that word lightly. I have recurring depression, and this whole ordeal triggered some serious depression. I had finally started losing weight, and FINALLY got my diabetes controlled. I was doing really well, and in a span of two months, I wasn’t. My A1c is now 7.3, which isn’t terrible, but it is no longer ‘controlled’.
I am a do’er. I don’t sit in self-pity for long. I joined the Planet Fitness down the street from my work. Unfortunately, I don’t have a Planet Fitness anywhere near my home. Due to that, I am only using the gym Monday through Friday. Currently, I get to the gym about 6:45 a.m. and put in a solid 45 minutes.
Each location is a little different, so if you’re considering a local Planet Fitness, check them out your local club on their website.
After I work out, I do shower at the gym. At first, I was pretty intimidated by the whole idea of the gym locker room. Here are my tips:
Invest in a wet/dry bag. I pack my dry clothes in the wet/dry bag before I leave the house. When it is time to take a shower, I can grab the wet/dry bag and not worry about my work clothes getting wet. It also minimizes my “exposure” once I get out of the shower by not having to go back to my locker to grab my clean clothes. At my Planet Fitness, there is a changing stall directly across from the shower area, so by planning ahead, I can exit the shower with everything I need change. Once I finish changing, I just put my wet/damp work out clothes in the bag and it zips up any unwanted smells. This will be a little harder if you have clothing that you don’t want to wrinkle. I dress pretty casually for work, so nothing I shove into the wet/dry bag requires ironing. I have been using this bag and highly recommend it:
Invest in a hanging toiletry bag. The showers at my club have a hook outside the curtain where you can hang your towel to signify that: a) it is occupied; and b) to keep it dry. You can also hang your toiletry bag so it stays dry, but in reach. This particular bag fits my dry shampoo, a full stick of deodorant, a bar of soap, and face wash in the main compartment with room for more. I keep Q-tips, round cotton pads, toothbrush, toothpaste, and feminine products with no problem.
Invest in microfiber towels. Microfiber towels absorb water quickly and don’t take up a lot of space. I bought this towel in XL because I am a bit chubby and needed more length to ensure that no one gets a peep show when I exit the shower.
I also purchased these smaller towels to wipe my face. They’re a perfect size for wearing around your neck while on the treadmill.
Invest in a good pair of shower shoes. Public showers can be an attractive place for bacteria and fungus. Don’t take a chance. Always wear shower shoes. Luckily, my club keeps the locker rooms pretty clean. I don’t ever feel like the showers are dirty, but don’t take that chance.
Runner’s Belt. If you don’t have a smartwatch or other fitness device and are using your phone, consider picking up a runner’s belt. I bought this one and it works really well. I will be reviewing the new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active next week, but until it releases, I’ve been using my phone. This belt gets the job done.
If you do want to get healthy, do it for you. If you’re looking for a gym to call home, do some research and consider Planet Fitness. It was an easy sign up process. The staff at my home gym was really nice and they didn’t hover. I really, really dislike hovering. My goal is to do what I can to get healthier. If you feel like doing the same, consider Planet Fitness and consider using my referral link to let them know who sent you!
THE FILTHY CASUAL’S REFERRAL LINK (REFERRAL LINK)
**I WILL GET PERK POINTS IF YOU DECIDE TO USE THE REFERRAL LINK TO PURCHASE A MEMBERSHIP. I DID NOT, AND WILL NOT, RECEIVE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FROM PLANET FITNESS OTHER THAN PERK POINTS.**