When a little goal is not enough, try for a bigger one.
By Deanna Glick
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
August 2011 — There's something about setting an exciting goal that pushes us to achieve. Even when incremental steps are enjoyable, it seems harder to accomplish simply for their own sake. Case in point: My daughter loves swim class. But getting her to actually go to class is akin to dragging a 40-pound sack of potatoes through a mile of mud. The facts that learning how to swim is the right thing to do, part of life, is good for our bodies, increases our safety when in and around water and is a pretty darn fun thing to do don't appear to be enough to motivate. The simple reminder of the goal to swim with her friends in the outdoor pool when it opens up next month puts the equivalent of fuel injection in her will. I'm nearly 39 years old and yet I'm not that different. Exercise makes me feel good immediately. It improves my blood sugar immediately. It improves my focus and outlook immediately. Still, those things don't seem to be enough to keep my butt moving on a consistent basis. Responsibilities, often having to do with motherhood, creep in and steal my time and drive.
The last time I kept up with an exercise plan for several months was when I trained for the 2002 Kona Marathon to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. I realized this when a friend invited me to join her and some pals at the Reston (Va.) Sprint Triathlon on June 6. I signed up without hesitation, in much the same way as I signed up for the marathon — as though I was signing up to bring store-bought cookies to an event at my daughter's preschool. It was as though the enormity of what I was embarking on disappeared. It was all about the glorious afterglow once the goal was accomplished. As my friend puts it, "It's all about the after-party."
I figure I'm not the only one who needs a party in order to do what's right for her diabetic body, which of late includes a few hours of running, swimming and biking each week. So, plan your party and see what happens. The fact that there's a party of sorts involved means my daughter's on board with the idea, too. She loves the idea that Mommy will be in a race. No matter that I'll be in the back of the pack. She's excited. So I'll train and I'll finish, if for no other reason than to not disappoint her.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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