I went for a walk today. By myself, with my iPod. That shouldn’t be a big deal, except it sort of was.
Background: About a year ago, I had to get some serious dental cleanings–underneath my gums, with laser treatments, because the gums had just begun to recede a little and possibility for infection was high. I have never had any cavities, and have always brushed and flossed, so I was surprised and not thrilled about my gums getting all sensitive (moody gums! who needs that?). That’s when I first learned about the connections between diabetes, heart disease, and gums. Criminey. Like we need one MORE diabetes-related complication to worry about.
My amazingly awesome dentist (I mean it, he’s wonderful) let me know that I couldn’t have the treatments while I was trying to get pregnant in case the fertility treatments actually worked, and by the way, all the fertility hormones I was taking were likely causing the problems with my gums and making the risk of gum disease even HIGHER. That’s JUST what I wanted to hear. EXCELLENT.
But I could appreciate the idea of not battling the hormone-intensive insulin resistance for 6-8 weeks, the amount of time needed for 4 extensive gum treatments and recovery. So I decided to pair the dental work and break from extra hormones/stress with some extra attention to my BG and taking care of myself, and thought what the hell, let’s throw some exercise in there as well just for fun.
I should explain–exercise has NEVER been fun for me. I have regularly exercised at a few times in my life, and the only time I didn’t absolutely hate it was when it was related to doing something else that I loved: marching band practice in high school, for example, or multi-day DisneyLand vacays, or other walking/touring vacations. I was doing those things because they were activities that I loved, and the exercise just came along with it. I could endure that as long as I had the other, better things to do for me.
Exercise to make my body more fit, healthier and feel better? Hell, no. I’ve also struggled through many a time period trying different exercise programs, plans, classes, videos, whatever, and hating the daylights out of it, and quitting almost immediately. I never enjoyed it. Ever.
So this decision to move my body through space and time with the only intent being “taking care of myself” was a big deal for me. I was prepared to hate it the same way I’d hated it all the times before. But I decided I was just going to try it, with no expectations and no big goals attached to it, other than just getting myself out the door and doing it.
I decided I would make it as easy as possible for myself. I would just walk, in our lovely cute neighborhood, in the morning before A. and Ms. Diva got up. I wouldn’t take either of our big dogs, because they sniff and ponder and pee and meander, and that’s annoying when I just want to move. (did I just say that?) And I wouldn’t worry about how long or far or fast or anything I was going. I’d just go outside and start.
I loved it. LOVED it. That’s so cray-cray, I can’t even believe it. Truth.
So, I kept going! I walked about 30-40 mins. every other day, and then every day, and then I started going a little faster. Running? Sure. I was happy, so very happy. The endorphins lasted pretty much all day. I started losing weight. My insulin requirements kept going down, down, down. I was drinking apple juice for lows several times a day. Insulin resistance? Pretty much gone. I went through nearly 3 months like this, and was a changed woman.
Then sometime in mid-June, I woke up, put my feet on the floor and felt like someone was poking sharp knives up through my heel. Damn it. Hello, plantar fasciitis. Really? REALLY?!?
Hello, primary care doc. Hello, podiatrist. Hello, online searches for self-care. Hello, physical therapy and ice packs and stretching and new shoes and new socks and sleep splints and…and…for 6 months. Meh.
No more walks. I switched to a gym, rode exercise bikes, turned my iPod up really loud to drown out my pissiness at my right foot for hurting so much. Then I got bored with the gym, and the winter darkness and rain began, and life got back in the way and work got intense and so…the exercise stopped.
I walked for things I had to do, with Ms. Diva, with the family/dogs, to run errands, for events, etc. We went to Disneyland in the fall, and my foot made it through that okay. By this spring, it stopped feeling like it had shards of glass all up in it, and just ached sometimes. But I wasn’t walking for me anymore.
Lately, I’ve had enough of that. I’m not doing fertility treatments, it’s spring, the sun is out, the weather is gorgeous, and it’s time. I need this. I need to think again about taking care of me. Just for me.
So I went for a walk today. No running (although that would be my dream again someday), no expectations, just walked. Lady Gaga, Depeche Mode, U2, Joan Jett, and me. It ROCKED.