Tag Archives: diabetes and motivation

Ask Yourself this Question Each Day

 

What is my motivation today?  The answer to this question is what carries me from day to day with type 1 diabetes.  The days I don’t do well with this disease are often the days I forget to pinpoint for myself, just what I’m doing all this work for.  I know I’m doing it for big health reasons, but those reasons are not immediate enough.  I need a motivator that is close by and one I can reap rewards from really quickly. 

For example:  My husband and children had a cold last week.  I’ve never not caught a cold from them but after a few days noticed the three of them had passed the cold around and I was (gasp!) still feeling fine.  So for those couple of days my motivation each day for keeping my blood sugars in line was to not get sick.  If my blood sugar was high, my immune system would be weaker and perhaps I’d catch the cold.  So all day long I focused on keeping good blood sugar levels.  A week has gone by and I’m out of the clear! 

Another example:  On some days, my husband and I take our kids out after he gets home from work.  My motivation then is to have controlled blood sugars so that I can feel good enough to take our kids for an outing.  They’re 20 months old and mighty difficult to manage these days so when my sugars are off, I worry I won’t have the energy it requires to take care of them and so we don’t go anywhere.  The kids love going out and I’d hate to be the reason they didn’t go somewhere, so I make sure my blood sugars are where they need to be.  When we do have to cancel a trip because of me, I know it’s not often and therefore I feel ok with it.

When I was working outside of the home, my motivation each day was to be on top of my game at work.  I didn’t want to look weak by dealing with too many lows or highs and I wanted to maintain the quantity and quality of my work load. 

Obviously, there will be days where nothing seems motivating enough to deal with diabetes.  On these days you just have to forgive yourself and take things one step at a time.  There will be days where diabetes will just deal too tricky a card and numbers will be out of whack.  Don’t worry about those days.  Just do what you have to do to get back in range. 

But on all the other days, ask yourself what you want, what your motivation for having good blood sugars is.  Then use this energy to make it happen.  The snowball effect happens when you do this and more health and more opportunities come rolling your way!

The Irony of Diabetes

 

Sometimes I like to look at diabetes with humorous shades on.  It kind of numbs the pain.

Did you ever think that diabetes was overly ironic?  I often do.

I can’t help but think about how many times I was prepared for a low blood sugar only to have a low during the one or two rare times I didn’t carry something. 

What about the time I got the insulin pump?  I was 16 years old.  I was so sure it would make diabetes easier and doctors assured me my blood sugars would be much easier to control.  Yet, two years after I got on the pump, I sat dumbfounded, wondering how I had managed to gain 20 pounds, have worse blood sugar management, and still feel that diabetes was impossible to control. 

When I was a teenager, I thought, “exercise is always good” and took that literally.  So when I had high blood sugars, I wouldn’t skip the soccer match or basketball game.  I’d play.  I later realized that might have caused me some nerve damage and who knows what else.  (Slowly shaking head)

I remember a few years ago, when I discovered the possible dangers of aspartame and splenda, how betrayed I felt.  When I was diagnosed, I was so happy to have diet coke, sugar free jello, and crystal light, any time I wanted.  So to find out that some damage to my health may have been caused by what had long been my sweet tooth savior-well, you can bet I threw my hands in the air and much like Tarzan, yelled “Whyyyyyyy?!”

Diabetes is ironic.  Your effort level can be at 100% and your health might simultaneously be at 80%.  Someone else’s effort level might be at 50% and their health be at 85%.  That’s right.  Diabetes can be a silly slap in the face.  What will we learn next that will be contrary to what we know now?  I mean, I try to keep my blood sugars around 100.  Will there soon be a news flash to kindly let me know that has been the wrong thing to do all along?  We’re sort of aiming in the dark, folks.  I think this is where our faith steps in.  Me personally…I try to have faith that I just do what seems to be right based on info I have today and when that changes, I change, and hopefully, my body will hold out and I’ll get some kind of reward in the end.  When I don’t see a reward right away, I’ll have to try to assume there is one on the way.

Here is something interesting:  Supposedly…my chances for developing PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) rose by A LOT when diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (then it rose more with my high blood sugars).  This led to my ovaries dropping more eggs at a time than the normal one per month.  According to doctors I have spoken with, this syndrome I have might have very well been the reason for my twin pregnancy.  So there is a good chance diabetes gave me my wonderful twin babies.  A crazy way to look at it?  Maybe…but I’ll take all the positive I can get out of diabetes. (Big cheesy smile)

Do you think diabetes is ironic?

What’s My Motivation?

 

I’ve written about finding one’s motivation before and I think it’s important to bring up again.  We all have something in common: we’re all motivated differently. 

Ask 10 people at the gym why they’re there and you’ll likely get a potpourri of answers. 

When we diabetics hear that we should keep good glucose numbers “to take care of our health” I think it often goes in one ear and out the other.  Some of us may roll our eyes or say “duh” or maybe eagerly nod “yes”.  Because motivation is a complicated and personal thing. 

I’ve been watching my twin 19 month olds lately and noticing how despite being the exact same age, I find I have to appeal to their individuality.  To motivate them to learn or do something I have to try all sorts of different things.  In many cases, I have to appeal to my son’s love of action and my daughter’s will to  make her own decisions.  When I ask my son to bring me something, it works the first time.  He reacts as if to say, “I get to do something? Sure!”  He does it with gusto.  With my daughter I must use a different approach.  I will ask her to bring me something and when she doesn’t I don’t repeat it, I just wait.   When she does hand me something I make sure to be very gushy in my thanking her for handing me an object and from then on she’ll do it happily.  If she doesn’t do something I ask I don’t say anything because she’ll ignore me (or so it seems).  So I’m patient and 9 times out of 10 she’ll suddenly show up with the object in hand-when she is ready. 

The most motivating thing for me personally, has been to read a lot of science regarding health and how the body works.  My favorite thing to say since childhood has always been, “why?” and it seems that when I understand why something is or why something works or why something hurts, I feel settled and can confidently decide to do something specific.  This is how I began changing my eating habits.  And exercising more.  I think I respond well to data and proof and the long version of an explanation.  Of course, I also want to be there for my kids and husband so that is a big motivator as well.

Each of us is different.  We are all motivated by different things.  You may think it’s fun to watch a horror movie and me?  No way, I’d rather clean the movie theater’s bathroom! 

So ask yourself if you haven’t already, “What’s my motivation?”  Think about it for a few days.  Be honest with yourself and get down to the nitty gritty.  Maybe you want to be healthy so you can play your favorite sport.  FINE!  Motivation is a precious thing for a diabetic.  A lack of it will do a number on our bodies and souls.  So whether you want to be able to play with grandkids one day or just get through the work day without missing a beat, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that which gives you the feeling we all used to have when we were kids.  The feeling that when we woke up, we just wanted to jump out of bed and greet the day with all the energy and potential in the world. 

Our diabetes needs all the energy and potential we can muster and motivation is key.