By Joy Pape, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN
Which best describes you? Since you found out you have diabetes, you:
➊ Eat healthy, are active, take your medicine, check your blood glucose, blood pressure and weight, plus the other things on your diabetes to-do list.
➋ Ate healthy, were active, took your medicine, monitored your blood glucose, blood pressure and weight and did the other things on your diabetes to-do list for a while, but you don’t do ALL these things as often anymore.
➌ Ate healthy, were active, took your medicine, monitored your blood glucose, blood pressure and weight.
Whether you answered 1, 2 or 3, know that you are not alone. And more important, it’s not too late for you to do things differently. Here are some tips that may help you.
5 Tips To Help You Get Back On Track
➊ Find the reason you want to be healthy.
People don’t change without a reason. It may be that you want vto be healthy so you can see your children and grandchildren grow up. It may be that you know someone who had complications from diabetes, and you don’t want them to happen to you. Maybe you just want to have the energy to do the things you enjoy each day. First, find a reason that is important to you that will help inspire you when the going gets tough.
➋ Learn all you can about diabetes.
Find trusted sources so you get the right information. Read this magazine when it comes out each quarter or ask your health care provider to refer you to a diabetes education class.
➌ Identify barriers that stop you.
As you are learning what it takes for you to manage your diabetes, honestly think about what stops you from doing so. For example, you may think if you cook differently, the food won’t taste good. Or you might think you have to do a lot of exercise every day to make a difference. Perhaps you’ve heard diabetes medicines aren’t good for you, so you are worried about taking them.
➍ Make one change at a time.
Don’t try to change too much at one time. Choose one thing to start with. Work on that and continue to work on it for three weeks until it becomes habit. Then choose something else to work on. For example, you might choose to eat breakfast every day. Eat breakfast every day for 21 days. Then, on day 21, add a 30-minute walk three times a week to your schedule.
➎ Keep thinking.
Think of the changes you are making as a way of life, not a diet or a program. When you are on a diet, you are on again and off again. The same is true with exercise or other programs. Stop and think before you make a choice. Whether it’s food, activity, medicine or monitoring, give it some thought before you act. Once you can think of what you are doing to care for your diabetes as just how you live your life, you will find it easier to stick with it. A healthy way to live becomes your way of life.