The New Year is nearly upon us and I know that a lot of you will be setting yourself some goals that are either fitness based, diet related or both. I have a similar focus, although I tend to set goals that include personal development too so that all of my progress is not just physical. Each year I have done this I have found that I have become more confident and honest with myself about what I really want from life. It’s an ongoing process and I am enjoying the journey, the tough times too. So, here are a few things that you could consider adding to your yearly to do list that could benefit your diabetes management.
Expect more from yourself
With relation to diabetes, if you’re aiming for the levels of a non-diabetic you are more likely to be closer to that number that if you were aiming for something a bit higher. I expect my blood sugar to be in the range of a non-diabetic. Yes, sometimes it is off; way off! But I know that if I keep aiming for those numbers between 4 and 7 I will get there.
If you look at the food you currently eat you might be able to tell a lot about the way you treat yourself. Could you be fuelling your body with something more nutritious? It doesn’t take a PHD in nutrition to understand what foods are good and bad for you. I am totally guilty of eating shit and when I do my blood sugar pays for it. Maybe not to the degree it used to because I have been able to fine tune my insulin to handle crap food, but there is ALWAYS an after effect to eating something that is not real food. It makes me really sluggish and my blood sugars are usually a few mmols higher because my insulin sensitivity has been effected. The choice to eat a healthier diet should not only be for weight loss goals, it should also be because it makes you feel good. If you consistently eat well for a prolonged period of time and then eat something that is not so healthy you will automatically understand and feel the difference of the foods you consume.
Sleep and Stress
The average person needs around 7-8 hours’ sleep per night. Do you know your average sleeping time? Spend a week figuring out how long, on average, you sleep for. What you do before bed and what you do when wake up? Those moments before sleep can really dictate whether you get to sleep on time or not. So many people are glued into social media as a way to relax before sleep, but you have to ask yourself if it is really relaxing you? I know that when I used to play on Facebook just before sleep I would always procrastinate and end up staying awake much longer than I anticipated. In order to put a stop to this so I could get my beloved 8 hours a night I now put my phone onto flight mode before I even enter the bedroom. Try it and you will be amazed at how much better you feel for the extra sleep.
Giving the blame to other people is very exhausting and can often cause frustration and anger which can play havoc with blood glucose levels. However, accepting responsibility for things that are sometimes out of our control can be a way to rectify a situation a bit quicker to feel at peace with it. I’m going to relate to diabetes management again; I know this might be hard to hear but we are 100% responsible for the highs and lows of our diabetes. Maybe not the first time something happens, but the way the second time is managed should be an improvement from the first time. Don’t complain if you are high or low, just try to figure out why it happened and how it can be prevented next time. If I am high because there was a gap in my line I can’t blame the pump for not being primed properly as I have the ability to prime it and to check that it is primed properly.
Even when living with a challenging disease we can achieve feelings of vitality as long as we understand that it is up to us to do what we can to improve and maintain our health. Rasie your standards and expect nothing but the best from yourself.