You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, now what? You left the doctors office with a prescription in hand for “weight loss”. Your instruction for managing your blood sugars is to lose weight. The only problem is you’ve tried to lose weight many times in the past to no avail. Yet the doctor didn’t hear you when you tried to explain this to him.
You feel at a loss. You feel like a failure. You feel guilty for “failing” at dieting and now you have diabetes. The fear of the possible complications of “uncontrolled diabetes” that the doctor read off to you is running through your head. You feel dizzy, tired and you are dreading starting the next diet.
You don’t need to. You absolutely can manage your blood sugars, lower your risk of diabetes complications and have no more guilt without focusing on dieting and weight loss. Here’s 3 steps to get you started:
- Acknowledge that you are not at fault. Banish the guilt you feel about having diabetes. You are not to blame. And, if you’ve been trying to manage your diabetes by focusing on weight loss per doctors’ orders, realize that this is also not your fault.
Diets don’t work, whether they are prescribed for weight loss or diabetes management. By giving up dieting, you are empowering yourself to learn about the many variables that do affect your blood sugar and what you can do about them.
So, repeat to yourself: “I am not a failure, I did not fail the diets, the diets have failed me”.
- Make one small change at a time. If you try to change your eating, exercise and habits all at once, you will burn out. The idea is to make changes that are sustainable for life, not short term. So start by identifying one aspect of your diabetes care plan that needs tweaking. Is it your morning routine? Your breakfast? Perhaps it’s how and when you take your meds. Whatever it is, make one small change at a time. When you feel ready, add something else. The goal is not perfection, but progress.
- Seek support from a weight neutral practitioner. There is a lot that you can do to manage your diabetes. These include learning about nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep hygiene and more. Find a weight neutral diabetes education program. Here is a short list that is full of great ideas that focus on what matters!
These programs can teach you all you need to know about living with diabetes by focusing on behaviors that support health and happiness!