3 tips for being kind to yourself when managing type 2 diabetes
Treat yourself and watch how this simple gesture helps you better manage your type 2 diabetes.
Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can come with emotions you may not have expected. When I was diagnosed at 21, I felt guilty for letting my weight get out of hand, was afraid of the changes I was going to have to make, and worried about what other people would think of me when I was diagnosed. they would find out.
To “fix” myself, I tried all diets under the sun. Surely, if I was thin, my life would be better. I would be happier! The feelings of guilt, shame, worry and fear would all go away.
I joined a gym. I limited the calories. I have eliminated whole food groups. I have tried the diet pills. I recorded all the calories I consumed and berated myself if the numbers didn’t match. I broke up.
As I lost weight, I realized that I still hated what I saw in the mirror.
Why was that?
Here’s what I’ve learned in two decades: We can’t hate ourselves for the sake of well-being. You have to love each other there.
Happiness and love for yourself and your body does not start when you reach a certain weight on the scale or a certain clothing size.
If you don’t love yourself for who you are right now – and throughout the process of restoring health – the physical results you get will be temporary.
When you try to create healthy, lifelong habits from a place of self-loathing, it all feels like punishment.
Instead of viewing changing our eating habits as an opportunity to feed our bodies nice plates of nutrient-dense foods, we often focus on the rules, limitations, restrictions, and distance our diagnosis places between us. and the rest of the world.
This, of course, can make us miserable, which does not bode well for long term success.
If we view exercise as a way to burn excess calories or as a penalty for “giving up our diet”, we don’t see our daily workout as a celebration of what our bodies can do and how our body can do it. fitness continues to improve when we practice. movement on a consistent basis.
I spent a lot of time in a battle with my body. But, luckily, I discovered that self-love can be learned. Here are some suggestions that can help you have a better relationship with yourself.
Enjoy your body every day
Your body does amazing things every day. Notice them and be grateful.
Create a gratitude journal and practice this practice every day. List two or three things that you enjoy about your body.
For example: âI am thankful for my legs which carry me all day. I am grateful for my arms which hug my children every night.
Do you talk like you would talk to someone you love
Have you noticed that we are amazing cheerleaders to others, but when it comes to ourselves we can be hyper-critical?
The next time you find yourself in a situation where you blame yourself for straying from your eating or exercise routine, try this:
Imagine talking to someone you love, like your best friend, sister, or daughter. What would you tell them?
Take it further by writing it in a letter and reading it aloud. Internalize your own pep talk. You should encourage yourself as you encourage the people who are dear to you.
Aim for progress rather than perfection
When you embark on a new path to improving your overall health, it’s natural to want to set big goals and completely rethink your lifestyle. In the short term, it may work. But this often leads to feeling overwhelmed and ultimately giving up on goals.
Instead, start small. Pick a healthy habit to focus on.
For example, over the next 2 weeks, try to reach your water goal each day. Once the habit of drinking water seems like second nature, it’s time to add another healthy habit to the mix.
The goal is a long-term lifestyle change without the guilt that comes with quitting.
Setting slow, steady goals is a way to celebrate every victory along the way.
When you wake up every day, remember that you deserve a healthy, fulfilling life.
You are responsible for how you nourish your body, how you move your body, how you talk to yourself, and how you react to situations around you.
Indulge yourself and watch how this simple act helps you stay on course towards your fitness, wellness, and diabetes management goals.
Mary Van Doorn lives in Georgia with her husband, their two children, three dogs and three cats. She is a type 2 diabetes advocate and the founder of Sugar Mama Strong and Sugar Mama Strong Diabetes Support. When she’s not taking care of the kids, the house or the zoo, you can find her watching her favorite shows: “Grey’s Anatomy”, “This is Us” and “A Million Little Things”.