Resolutions – By Andy Broomhead
January is of course traditionally the time for resolutions that we make to try and see us through the New Year. If you’re anything like me, then you’ve possibly had a few years where you’ve resolved to “get your HbA1c under control” or make an effort to reduce your weight or cholesterol. And if you’re anything like me then you’ve probably had a mixed level of success with it.
Of course this year is no different and whilst my HbA1c has improved over the last 12 months, I’d still like to lower it further and my weight is too embarrassing to make public on a blog right now!
That being said, I’m trying a different approach to things this time around. Instead of focussing on relentlessly checking my BG and then keeping my fingers crossed come clinic time I’ve decided to set myself a goal where I’m hoping the by-product will be lower numbers all round.
I’ve signed up to run the Yorkshire Marathon in October (all for charity of course!) with the ultimate goal of knocking an hour off my last marathon time and running the distance in under 4:30. Whether that’s particularly likely or not is a different matter but what I’m hoping is that by having a goal that’s a good 9 months away, I’ve got time to see some steady improvements in a number of areas, the first of which is my weight.
Like so many people (diabetic or not) my weight fluctuates quite a bit. Most of the time I’m pretty unhappy with how much I weigh (an inevitable consequence of liking carbs a bit too much) but I have managed to get down to (and maintain) a comfortable weight a few times – mainly with a combination of diet and exercise.
Running three or four times a week and making some alterations to my diet (more vegetables, more oily fish, lower GI carbs etc) will all help with my running because lugging less weight around on a run obviously makes you a bit quicker. But what it also does is allows me to manage my diabetes in a more passive way.
It can be frustrating to feel like you continuously have to focus on all aspects of diabetic life on a daily basis and I think we’ve all just wanted to be able to take a few days off from time to time. Focussing on something else enjoyable (by which I mean challenging in this instance) means I still need to stick to the principles of a good healthy diet and exercise but I should also see the benefit in both my running and my health.
Obviously you can never get away from multiple finger prick tests every day, carb counting and injections, but I think it does give it a new sense of purpose in some ways which I suppose is as close to a break from diabetes as you might be able to get.
As with any resolution, sticking to it for more than a few weeks is arguably one of the most difficult parts. While you don’t typically get medals for good diabetes control (though someone should look into that!), they do give them out for marathons. Maybe in October, mine will hopefully count a little for both!