HIIT with added skittles

Diabetes doesn’t make me ‘angry’ angry very often. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a daily pain in the butt, but I can usually brush over those random, unexplained hypers or ‘another’ 3am hypo without getting too worked up – but tonight, I’m pretty peeved off.

I’m on a health kick right now – and somehow I’ve managed to make it past the end of January and I’m still going without hating it and it’s GOOD. I’m committing myself to 3 HIIT (high intensity interval classes – to feel that BURRRN) classes a week, throwing in some resistance training around that and keeping and eye on what I eat throughout the week (with a littttle less of an eye on it over the weekends – aka BALANCE – this girl still loves pizza, ok?!) But all in all it’s going well, I’m enjoying it and I’m feeling better for it.

Diabetes-wise, on the whole I’m just about settling into it too. I’m still having nocturnal hypos on average every other night (even with a bedtime bowl of oats to try and keep my sugars up enough), and I’ve manage to reduce my basal insulin dose by 5 units. I aim to eat low-carb meals and snacks when I can, and a carb-heavy meal before I exercise. I plan my exercise and meal times fairly meticulously, and to be honest it can get a bit overwhelming/exhausting, but as anyone with T1 knows, planning ahead is just part & parcel of the condition.

Because my insulin resistance is higher in the morning, I find exercising before work much easier blood-sugar wise than after. In fact, I do the majority of my classes in the morning, and can just about get away with some resistance training in the evening if I carb up properly.

However a couple of weeks ago, I tried a new HIIT class on a Monday evening, and absolutely loved it. The instructor is super-motivating, doesn’t stop bouncing around for the whole hour, and I leave the class feeling lifted and energised – or at least I did, until tonight.

It’s funny, because I actually saw a new DSN (diabetes specialist nurse) today – and one of the comments she made was, ‘do you think you still need the Libre now – you know, since you know all of your daily blood glucose patterns from it?’ My reply to this was (probably quite a blunt) yes – because T1 doesn’t have fixed patterns – sure, I know when I’m genuinely likely to be higher and lower – but my LOR’, if T1 did the same thing day in day out, we’d all be laughing. It just doesn’t.

The last 2 Monday’s I’ve been to my new HIIT class, I’ve carb-loaded with a fairly plain dinner of sweet potato and broad beans. Nothing fancy – but a solid ~50g carb, taking no NovoRapid, to get me through the class. Both times my blood sugar initially spiked into the high teens – but as soon as I started moving, my sugars would U-turn, and I ended the class in the 6’s – perfect.

Tonight I did exactly the same (I actually had nearer 60g carb as I went for a hefty sweet potato – which I personally think is a damn load of carbs, right?), and as far as I was concerned, nothing was different. But – I can imagine you can probably guess where this is going – my blood sugars decided to only rise as high as 9 mmol/l, and 20 mins into the hour long class, I was in the 4’s and dropping fast. I shuffled to the back of the room, necked a bag of skittles, and tried to bob along to as much the rest of the class pretty half-heartedly.*

It’s annoying. Having to stuff your body with carbs and carbs and carbs, not being able to get through a workout you love, and feeling like rubbish just 20 minutes in, when all your trying to do is something ‘good’ for your body – it’s just annoying. But what I’m taking from this is that it’s a blip – like other T1 issues, I’ve just gotta brush it off, call it ‘an off day’ and move on – you can’t let T1 stop you from doing what you want to do. I’ve felt pretty defeated and given up on plenty of health kicks in the past for this exact reason (constantly falling hypo and getting fed up at my body for it) – but I’m determined to stick it out this time, even if it does means eating my body weight in skittles (could be worse, right?). Exercise is great for you & has endless benefits, so I’m going to keep at it, and remind myself that I actually am ‘greater than my highs and lows’ even if my stupid pancreas tries to make me think otherwise.


*For anyone interested – this evening actually just got worse (ha!). I had 20g carb worth of oats before going to sleep, woke up at 1am with a blood sugar of 2.1 and sweating like a pig (niceeee), and after cramming more fruit pastels, oats, anything I could get my shakey half-asleep hands on, still only woke up in the 5’s at 6am. T1 is definitely testing at times, but you’ve gotta just shake it off. Today’s a new day, I sorted out my low blood sugar and made it to my morning HIIT without a problem – so scccRrEwW you T1✌🏼

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