Gym and Lifting Weights With Diabetes
By: Taylor Pierce
I remember sitting at my desk in the third grade and having the constant thought of, “why am I feeling this type of way?” The constant rush to make it to the bathroom and the question that ran through my mind constantly was, am I supposed to be on this Earth to be a fish?
I remember thinking this because I wasn’t content with just a gulp of water, I wanted the entire ocean I was so thirsty. I remember at the age of eight I always felt weak, but I continued to try my best to compete in competitions with cheerleading and hauling booty on the basketball court, but something wasn’t right. I was weak, pale and exhausted.
We put aside my health and would just take it day by day, until one night after a basketball game. We went to a restaurant that served food that you would never want to pass up. I didn’t eat a single thing and trust me, I’m the type of girl who loves to eat, especially carbs. My mom and dad sat me down and began to question me. “Taylor what is wrong?” they would ask.
I didn’t know what was wrong.
Finally on December 13th I was admitted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at the age of eight.
My blood sugar hit 1,100. I wanted to die and I was angry. I remember asking myself, “How am I even alive right now?” I knew exactly why, it was because of my wonderful savior, Jesus Christ.
I remember after two weeks in the hospital, I had the mindset of how I didn’t want diabetes. I attended camp Kudzu and would mentor kids my age with diabetes. A lot of people have asked me, “How do you still act happy through all the trials of your life with all the issues that your body faces?” I simply knew I didn’t have to face this alone, and that is where it all started and I wanted to beat diabetes.
I would research diabetes and do many projects on the disease. I would find articles on the death rates and percentages of complications and it scared me. I was scared until I knew that my body was capable of big things.
I also had younger eyes watching me. My younger sister was also diagnosed with diabetes and it broke my heart. I knew I had to fight this disease, be strong, be bold and be an influence to her and others. I didn’t know how to stay healthy and keep my mind strong until I hit the gym.
I have never in my life felt so close to a cure then I do when I’m at the gym.
There were nights that I would cry because I couldn’t make it to the gym. The gym allowed me to escape. Everything went away, my problems and my insecurities and I am so excited to eventually work towards competing in power lifting competitions.
My boyfriend is a Personal Trainer and has pushed me in the gym. I’ve never wanted to work so hard until I started to see myself grow. From my deadlifts starting at 66 lbs to 155lbs within weeks to bench press, and squats, I saw progress and that’s what I started to get addicted to.
If I could give advice to anyone with diabetes in the gym I would tell them to take care of yourself and to take breaks if you need to. I have lost almost 11% of body fat since I have been lifting weights. My A1C has dropped five points, and I cannot wait to watch my body grow even more!
This has been the healthiest I have ever been since becoming a diabetic (and a “Gym Rat” as they call me) . I have also decided to pursue my career in Nursing.
I have had my ups and downs, but diabetes has taught me so much.
I would say having this disease for thirteen years has made me super blessed. I will never let diabetes control me and I will always have the upper hand.
A piece of scripture that keeps me moving forward and that I always keep in mind is:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10
Until Type One turns into Type “None”, I will never let this disease win. Find that inner fighter in you and join me in beating what the statistics have fed to us.