I have and always will be a goal driven individual. My Mom used to always call me a "bull in a china shop," if a wall is in front of me, I'm going to figure out a way to go through it, going over it just seems like extra effort. One of the largest challenges I face as a diabetic is finding that constant motivation to keep my A1c as low as possible, but at the same time toe the healthy line of when getting my A1c too low is unhealthy. In the same way I had to learn that lesson in relationships, sports, school and job pursuits. Having a desire to do your best at whatever you do can often limit other opportunities or contribute to an unhealthy obsession.
At that, I often have to remind myself that there is a point when good is enough, but must also be continually motivated to not creep the needle on the negative side of good. Having the occasional dessert, crazy night out or quick stop for french fries is in fact healthy. Obsession in anything leads to a continued fear of failure, it is almost impossible to eat the perfect diet, or get the perfect grade. Therefore, I have learned to accept the break from my hard core diet to enjoy some of the things that will make my blood sugars go bonkers for a couple of hours.
Last week my classmates and I celebrated the completion of our incredibly stressful first year at Darden in the Outer Banks. For three straight mornings I woke up saying, man I haven't been that drunk in a long time; but on the fourth night when my friends continued to play flip cup and beer pong, I knew my liver and blood sugars had, had enough. I threw caution to the wind for 3 nights and am thrilled that I did, I ate what everyone else ate, drank what everyone else drank (or more than they drank) and just celebrated. A year or two ago I wouldn't have let myself do this because I would have been so concerned about the number on my blood sugar meter or my next A1c. However, if I truly believe that diabetes cannot prevent me from living the life I want to live, then I must learn how to enjoy celebrations of some of life's biggest moments.
For the 3 or 4 days after my celebration binge my blood sugars were a mess as I knew they would be. But during each day of the celebration I made sure to get in a 20 mile bike ride or 6.5 mile run, in the days following the celebration I exercised to an even higher degree. Combining some extra exercise with a lower food intake after the celebration mitigated the consequences of my binge and have allowed my blood sugars to return to the 90 - 100 range in less than a week's time. As I continue to mature with this disease I'm learning each day that sometimes, good is just enough and perfect isn't necessary.