Diabetes is stressful, starting with our diagnosis. But here are some fairly simple first steps to coping effectively. Remember, diabetes is a life changing condition, but in the long-term it’s about improving your average blood sugar levels. So, it’s OK to go slow, make small but meaningful and sustainable changes to your lifestyle, and be certain to pat yourself on the back now and then.
Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes? I’ve been getting a number of people reaching out to me saying they have just been diagnosed and not sure what they should do. Where do I start? What should I do or not do?
Welcome to DiabetesEveryDay, I’m glad you are here. If you haven’t watched any of my previous videos, my name is Toby Smithson, I’m registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes care and education specialist AND a person successfully managing my own diabetes for over 5 decades. I’m here to help you navigate through lifestyle behaviors that are a key part of managing diabetes.
So, if you’ve recently been diagnosed or would like to hear a quick refresher about getting back on track with managing diabetes, you’ve come to the right place. First, let’s take a deep breath. I know it may feel awkward but since diabetes is 24/7, a diagnosis can certainly be overwhelming. Let’s clear our mind, deep breath…..ok, we are ready now. I’m going to break this down to three tasks. You can do all three or start with one of them.
- Focus on what you CAN do- Learn more about diabetes and diabetes management, make sure you are getting your information from credible sources like the CDC, the American diabetes association, JDRF, or NIH (national institutes of health) OR of course here on my channel or my DiabetesEveryDay.com website. Remember, I hold the credentials of a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist. Note: not all doctors are experts on diabetes. Look for an endocrinologist to find diabetes expertise.
- Choose a healthy eating plan. Start with following the plate method by using a plate or visualizing the plate sections. Half your plate filled with vegetables, one quarter of the plate with a source of protein and the final quarter of the plate filled with carbohydrate containing foods. Make sure to check out my videos on the plate method and my series of videos that talk about carbohydrates. It is essential that you know which foods most affect your blood glucose levels
- Diabetes management focuses on lifestyle behaviors, so we need to also take a look at how much time we spend moving our body…body movement…being physically active. I have a number of videos with ideas for being active. I’m not saying you need to run a marathon today or tomorrow. But getting your body moving, even if it’s some intentional movement of putting clean dishes away in your kitchen cabinets or vacuuming the house. Try to get some form of activity after meals, if possible.
Okay, that’s all I’m going to recommend for this video. If this sounds overwhelming, just choose one of these “tasks”. If it’s feeling comfortable work on two or all of the tasks. Hey, I’ve already got you started on task #1 about learning more about diabetes. And you’ll find videos here an just about any other questions you might have. Stick with me.
Please post any questions you may have. Until next time, cheers to your health.