How was my first gym experience after 3 years of living with a Chronic Autoimmune Disorder

Disclaimer : Please remember while you are reading this, nothing you read on the blog americanwife.blog should be considered an advice medical or otherwise. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. This blog is just my experience on living with Type 1 Diabetes for the last 3 years.

I have always been a person who enjoys staying active; be it working out at Gym, going for a Power Yoga session, or a long multi-day Hike in the Himalayas. Things started to change somewhere around my early 30s. I started to fall sick each time I would work out or go for a long hike or if I dance a lot at a wedding. I was constantly trying to lose the excess weight and so I would join a very expensive gym, pay money for a personal trainer and work damn hard for a few days until I would crash completely. 

Five years later, found out why this was happening when a blood test changed my entire life. I was given a new identity. Now I was a person living with Type 1 Diabetes who has to inject insulin to survive for the rest of her life. 

One word that I can use to describe that period of my life: Struggling.

I was utterly week at that time. I had lost around 12 kg in only a few weeks’ time. I had no energy to do anything. Daily tasks became difficult to manage like climbing two flights of stairs to walk-up apartment, standing in the metro during office commute, or walking at a slow pace in a park. I was tired all the time and going to work each day was a real fight.

“Never let the things you cannot do prevent you from doing the things you can.”

John Wooden

There were many quotes like the one above hanging on the walls of the hospital I used to visit. These all suggested accepting the illness and move along with it. I would think to myself “yeah if only they knew what Type 1 Diabetes means to someone who dreams of running a New York City Marathon”. The acceptance eventually came but what came instantly was fear. 

Fear of not being able to eat what I want, when I want

Fear of not being able to do intensive work out again

Fear of not being able to run a marathon 

Fear of not being able to hike again

Fear of not being able to climb Mount Everest if I want to

Side Note: These all fears are actually funny as I anyways never really ate heavy food, you can run if you train well, you can definitely hike and I never really fancied climbing mount Everest but if you so desire, I am sure you can do anything. Yet the fear was real. 

Even then, for how long can someone really stay in the “I am a victim”, “God hates me” zone? Eventually, you get up and do something about it. I did exactly that.

Started with long walks and in time they became easy. Then covid hit so walks were out of the picture and here came the ‘at home workout’. And they were not at all easy they would either put me in low (Hypoglycaemia) within merely10 minutes or make me go very high (Hyperglycaemia). Not to forget mentioning, I had barely any energy to do any of these anyways. I was gasping for air in just 10 min.


The only thing I did was to not quit. Slowly 10 minutes stretched to 15 minutes then to brisk walks and then I moved to New York City in March 2021.

Within the first month, I went to a gym. I was nervous as a baby as my friend ‘fear’ was back. I had the worst things going in my mind as I was walking towards the cardio room. 

– What if I will faint while walking on the elliptical?

– What if I will go so low that I would tremble and people would laugh at me?

– What if I will fall and rip my pants?

Luckily, none of these happened but that does not mean I had a blast. I had low in the first 10 minutes of elliptical which was at level 1. After treating the low, I was trying to do other things slowly like the stationary bike for 15 minutes at Level 1 and walk around the track at a snail pace. Let us just say it was not easy but it started a new chapter in my life.

Disclaimer- I am on insulin pens and use testing strips to test my blood sugar. I do not inject any correction dose so all I try to do is stay in range.

It took me somewhat closer to 2 years and now I am almost 2 times a week kind of regular at the gym, I have played tennis, basketball with my husband a couple of times, I walk every day and I have been on 2 hikes. Every time the experience is a little better than the last time. I know that it might take some time but I will get there. 

For anyone who is currently struggling with any form of the condition, I just want to say what someone told me during my first year of diagnosis – Learn to walk again before you fly.

1 thought on “How was my first gym experience after 3 years of living with a Chronic Autoimmune Disorder”

  1. Well, this was a nice motivational read, and being able to see your progress up close has been very impressive. I know everest isn’t on your bucket list, but I would say you definitely have some impressive fitness performances in your future if you keep putting in the work. Congratulations on your progress and thank you for this heartfelt post!

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