Would you like to know three secrets for success with diabetes? Managing diabetes is definitely an inconvenience, but if you make three simple commitments diabetes management is easier. More important, you can live a long and active life.
Effective Self Management and “Getting It”
Years ago, when I first began to focus on guiding people with diabetes online, different than face-to-face sessions with patients, I needed to zero-in on a concise message about diabetes self-management. As a professional and as a person with diabetes I know how effective self-management can be in preserving long term health and wellbeing – I still live every day with the benefits. But, I also recognized how so many of my patients were not really “getting it.” So, I formulated what I call three essential commitments to diabetes management. Making a commitment sets a foundation for focus and for action. Here are my three secrets for success – if you can make them it will change everything.
1 – Understand the Reality
People with diabetes must understand what it really means. The reality is that diabetes, even type 2 diabetes, is a serious medical condition with extremely serious possible consequences to overall health and wellbeing, but one that also offers this marvelous opportunity to preserve a healthy and active future by making simple, daily lifestyle choices.
Medication is not enough – got that? Medication is not enough
2 – Make it a Priority
Diabetes self-management is an inconvenience if you do it well, and that means doing it even when it’s not convenient. Adopting and sticking with effective self-management requires that we prioritize our health against other demands on our time and attention.
We change how we eat, I make time for exercise, we check blood glucose levels and think about what they mean. These are small sacrifices, but they are so easy to put off until tomorrow.
But, diabetes complications are either promoted or resisted by the long-term accumulation of these small decisions and choices that either put our own health first or don’t.
Prioritizing our health means we make the better choice most of the time, even when it’s inconvenient.
3 – Seek Knowledge
It’s impossible to manage diabetes effectively without some level of knowledge. And so many people hate thinking about it. Do you know…
- What should my blood sugar be?
- When should I check blood glucose levels?
- What does my medication do?
- Which foods are carbohydrate foods? How many grams of carbohydrate should I have per meal, and what’s the appropriate portion size of different foods?
- What’s the greatest health risk of diabetes?
All kinds of credible information are out there for you including right here and in my book, but you have to go get it.
Diabetes is a unique condition in requiring our constant and continuous participation in its “treatment.” Accepting reality, making our own health a real priority, and equipping ourselves with some basic knowledge are three secrets to success in order to promote long-term health and wellbeing.
This may be a big change for you, and you don’t have to do it overnight. But changing your focus and taking action in these three areas are literally the key to a long and active life with diabetes.