Motivation Through Fitness & Diabetes Burnout
Does this sound familiar?
"I feel I can do usually do pretty well for a couple of months, lose some weight, and keep my blood sugar in check, and then I just reach a point where I decide I just don't really care anymore. In a way, I just feel kind of sorry for myself and lose motivation to keep going at the gym and seem to get sick of healthy food." (~anonymous).
I've been there, done that. We all hits waves with our motivation. Some weeks/months we feel we are killing it! Maybe not everyday, but for the most part, we are putting in great workouts and doing pretty well with our diabetes.
Then life happens and we just don't feel quite as motivated. "A Gym??? What's that..."
It's normal to have these waves with our motivation. I'm here to tell you though, it's not about being perfect, it's about staying consistent at whatever point you're at.
Let me give you a personal example.
A year ago, I was killing it with my fitness, feeling great, super motivated, but then...I begin to slip and the days in between great workouts were becoming more and more distant.
I wanted to get pregnant, so I kept thinking, "why do I care? When I get pregnant, I'm going to swell up like a whale anyways..."
About 6 months went by and I still wasn't pregnant, and now my gym motivation was close to non-existent. I was still somewhat "fit", but definitely not killing it by any means.
My point, even when I wasn't feeling surges of blissful motivation, I still kept certain standards to keep me through such times.
We need to be realistic with ourselves. We are not always going to be super motivated. That's okay!! We're human!! We just aren't, but that doesn't mean we can't stay consistent.
Today I am 7+ months pregnant. I can not run, or do anything compared what I was doing a year ago, BUT I stay consistent. Although I'm not consistent with the intensity of my workouts, I'm consistent in putting in what I can with my current level of motivation and physical limitations.
All I seem to be able to do these days is walk, but I make sure to walk about 1-2 miles each day, and do light arm weights. Some days it's just a mile, but every single day, I do something.
The goal is not to kill it everyday, the goal is to stay consistent.
We all have times relating to our current state/health that keeps us from being able to do great workouts, but we can always do something, even if it just 5-10 min.
A simple and quick workout can be all you need for a good "pick me up" with your mood and a good way to stay consistent.
The real title of this post should be How to Stay Consistent.
After some considerable brainstorming, I created 10 tips to help you stay consistent (see below).
10 Tips to Stay Consistent with your Motivation.
1. It's about consistency, not perfection. Some days you just aren't going to make it to the gym, but the goal should be to at least get some type of workout in. Realize that it's not always going to be a killer workout, and sometimes that pizza just looks awesome and you eat a bit more than you probably should have. What matters most is consistency. Even if you are not "perfect" in your eyes, what's most important is that you keep going.
You can subscribe or join the "Getting Fit with T1D" Facebook Group to get my 30 Day At-Home HIIT Workout Routine. They are awesome workouts...trust me.
2. Make It A Habit. Even if you can't go to the gym, make it a goal to do at least some type of sweat workout for at least 10-20 min each day, 5-6X a week.
I have done MANY baby workouts. My son weighs about 35 lbs these days which allows for a killer arm or squat session. Oh! and he loves it! He is my mini coach who incessantly asks for more and more reps. :D
3. Go to the gym with a buddy. Accountability is crucial, super helpful, and can make it much more fun.
4. Go to Gym Classes. Gym classes can push you much more than you could have push yourself. Gym classes also increase accountability.
My personal classes of choice: Crossfit style/weight lifting/ HIIT classes. All of these are amazing at spiking your metabolism and helping you build lean muscle.
5. Plan Out your Workout the Night Before. This may sound silly, but before you fall asleep, plan out what you are going to do the next day for your workout. This greatly decreases you talking yourself out of it right beforehand. Even better, plan out your entire workout, especially if you will be doing a home workout.
6. Workout Out Fasted. If you are having a tough time managing your blood sugar during workouts, try your workout fasted.
If you need something in your system, just keep it low carb (I often eat a handful of nuts before a workout).
The less insulin in your system beforehand, the less of a guessing game and extreme swings in blood sugar. If you are doing a lot of weight lifting, you may have to give yourself insulin before a workout or add a heavy temp rate throughout your workout.
I specialize in this area as a Diabetes Educator and Dietitian, so definitely reach out through email if you feel you need extra help. Whatever you do, keep at it, and you will find your rhythm!
7. Break your Old Best Records. Keep a journal or at least make a mental note of your fastest sprint session, reps number of a certain weight, etc and try to beat it. Not every day, but make goals to beat old records to keep going and to keep putting more into your workouts when you can.
8. Lift Heavy & add bursts. Cardio is boring and doesn't do much when it comes to building muscle. As long as your eating is adequate and in control (again, feel free to email me if you need help with this), lift as heavy as you can, but add intense spouts of aerobic workouts in between weights to boost your heart rate and metabolism for the day.
9. Add sprints. Sprints may be the fastest way to shred and keep lean.
How to Sprint: Run as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then do a brisk walk for 30 seconds. Do this until you hit a mile. When I say sprint, I mean sprint as fast as you can go. For example 10/11/12+ mph.
10. Be Accountable to Someone. Have it be a friend, a family member, a spouse, or a Dietitian. By being accountable, you greatly increase your workout frequency. A little accountability can be all you need for push through a motivation dip.
As a Dietitian, Diabetes Educator, and a T1D, I do work with diabetics to help with motivation and accountability. If you feel you need a friendly Diabetes Educator that knows Diabetes and Nutrition, I am here for you and want to help you with your goals.
Along with nutrition plan and a fitness routine tailored to you, I will analyze your blood sugar reports (via Dexcom, Carelink, Glooko, etc), and help you adjust your basals, carb ratios, correction factors, active insulin time, etc. I will help you make sense of your frustrating highs and lows so you feel more confident in your personal diabetes management. Also, all consultations are through Telehealth, so we can talk face-to-face as long as you have an internet connection. Send me an email so we can get started.
Okay my friends, hopefully this was a helpful post for you.