Bodybuilding the Diabetic Way
As any bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast knows, controlling what
What goes into your body and what goes on inside of it is essential for optimal performance and results.
But for ALLMAX Ambassador Steven Mott, going the extra mile in terms of training and nutrition is a necessity not an option. Mott was diagnosed with Type I diabetes just a few days before his 15th birthday and has been adapting his lifestyle to the condition ever since.
While diabetes is not a death sentence, it does take constant vigilance and dedication to stay on top of it.
“I have to give myself insulin injections at meal times and correction doses as needed,” Mott explains. “I also have long-acting insulin that I have to take before bedtime to help control my blood glucose levels throughout the day.”
Mott’s bodybuilding pursuits don’t make things any easier. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels during exercise is very important as well. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can ruin an exercise session and be dangerous. Unfortunately, these changes can occur without warning.
“There are times I can be just getting to the gym, or during training and I start to feel very dizzy and lightheaded,” Mott says. “When that happens, I have to stop training, test my sugar, eat some quick carbohydrates and wait about 10 to 15 minutes before testing again and getting back to training.”
Both high and low levels of blood sugars can cause issues, so Mott has to make sure he always takes his blood glucose monitor and a sugary drink with him to the gym. Still, as complicated as things are, Mott believes that bodybuilding has been beneficial in terms of his health.
“Getting into bodybuilding and fitness has probably been the best thing I have done for my diabetes. It’s one of the best medications for a diabetic,” Mott says. “Your blood sugars are better, you feel great, lose fat, your body utilizes insulin better and you really get to know your body better.”
In addition, diabetes has forced Mott to adopt a very clean diet. While this does benefit his fitness pursuits, it can be difficult to deal with cravings at times – but there are options.
“If I ever have a craving for some candy there are tons of great options, like the ISOFLEX protein bars – they are a great source of low-glycemic carbohydrates, because they have fiber and only one gram of sugar, so they have no effect on my blood sugars,” says Mott. “But the best part is they taste like candy bars!”
Ever since Mott received the diabetes diagnosis, he has been determined to overcome it as much as possible. He hopes to enter the world of competitive bodybuilding one day. Until then, Mott is doing everything he can to prepare himself to the best of his ability.
“I map out my blood sugars to see how my body reacts to the food I eat, as well as insulin at different times of the day,” Steven explains. “From mapping my sugars, I saw that I needed more insulin in the morning. At those times, once I began using R-ALA, it solved the problem.”
Mott is also dedicated to helping other diabetics succeed in their pursuits, and was happy to offer suggestions to those looking to make the most of their fitness efforts and overcome diabetes.
“I really recommend getting to know your body – learn how certain foods affect you, and how insulin affects your blood sugars at different times of the day,” Mott says. “Other than that, just eat healthy and eat the foods that work best with your body. If you don’t have your health, then what do you have?”
While some might focus on how unfair it is to have to compete with diabetes, Mott views this as just another chance to showcase the power of determination and discipline. He manages to keep everything in perspective and focuses on the goals in his mind, not the opinions of others. Mott’s goals don’t include room for excuses about the challenges of diabetes.
“I’m not planning to compete until I feel I can walk on stage and know I can place in the top three,” Mott says. “I’m waiting until I’m genuinely happy with my physique.”