Tag Archives: diabetes and paradigm shift

Wednesday Revisit: Diabetes, Self-discipline, and Paradigm Shifts



I just reread this post I wrote on November 15th 2009 and realized I needed a refresher.  This is one of the most read articles on this site.

It’s about the powerful notion that when we change our perception about things, the right decisions for our health can also be the easier ones.  It’s a journey, not a sprint, however.

Anyway, have a great Wednesday and check out: Diabetes, Self-Discipline, and a Paradigm Shift Part I (the end of the post links you to Part II if you’re interested)

Hang On Just a Little Longer

Photo courtesy of Markuso
Photo courtesy of Markuso


“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

~Harriet Beecher Stowe


It’s so true.  There have been times I’ve held on just past the point where I thought I was going to totally quit and reaped big rewards.  I don’t even want to think about all of the times I’ve given up just before the point of achieving something.  I those times have been the majority.

I think my pregnancy was my biggest personal example of just hanging on.  I said that to myself every day for months.  I didn’t just mean to “hang on” in the psychological sense.  I wanted to hang on and keep doing what I was doing for my health and for my children’s health.  I didn’t want to break down and have coffee or candy with high fructose corn syrup.  I didn’t want to start overeating out of stress and gain too much extra weight (the twin belly was quite enough bigness) and I didn’t want to give in to the pancake and sushi cravings because I knew I didn’t manage my blood sugars well when eating those foods. 

Hanging on isn’t just about not giving up it’s about maintaining effort and consistency and quality in whatever we’re doing. 

We tend to see things in short term.  We tend to think, “I can’t give up (insert unhealthy habit) because I want to enjoy this moment right now.”  Fair enough.  Only, long term matters.  Everything we do today is going to directly achieve tomorrow’s results.  And we’re going to want to enjoy those moments, that certainly isn’t going to change.  We’ll also want to possibly avoid saying, “I can’t believe this is happening to me, it’s so unfair”.  Realistically, what we do always has repercussions.  And most of us know a lot of what we should do in order to achieve our personal goals in life.  We just don’t hang on long enough with our efforts to make some of those goals happen.  We quit right before seeing the fruit of our labor.  Sometimes we tell others something didn’t work because it wasn’t effective when maybe we just didn’t try long enough.

And hanging on just for the sake of surviving isn’t enough, or at least it doesn’t have to be all we do.  We can hang on in the sense that we’ll stick to doing what we know we should, every day, with full on effort in order to create the long term outcome we’re hoping for.

So whatever the goals are, I urge us all to hang on just a little longer.  Let’s not quit right before our win.

Perspective Helps


Something that has helped me A LOT in the past (diabetes-wise) was to have a paradigm shift or change in perspective about certain things. 

For example, I still struggle with feeling “poor” sometimes and yet, thinking about those who have no home, no food, no family, or no clean water quickly snaps me back into the “rich” category.

I’ve said this before but, I used to have a terrible time getting my blood sugar to stay below 200.  My goal was that: to keep it below 200.  I would fail miserably and endure lots of 300’s and 400’s. 

Then I thought to myself, “maybe my target should change?”  So I started aiming for 100-all the time.  No mind that this isn’t possible, the point was, shouldn’t I be aiming at the right place in the first place?  Then when I get a little outside my target zone at least I’m still not doing too bad?

I thought this was a silly thing to think although I tried it anyway.  And I couldn’t believe it but, it worked!

It was the equivalent of raising my own bar.  It was bringing up my expectations.  As a result, my actions met these expectations and I got much closer to where I needed to be. 

A major change in perspective also helped me in another crucial area:

I used to feel like the most unlucky gal in the world because of having type 1 diabetes.  And so I blamed every single negative thing in life on my diabetes.  I didn’t push myself through college because: diabetes.  I didn’t have confidence in myself because: diabetes.  I didn’t exercise regularly because: diabetes.  I wasn’t happy because: diabetes.

The truth is that diabetes DOES make everything in life harder.  I know that.  I want you to know I know that.  Problem is, not taking care of our diabetes will eventually make life EVEN harder later! 

I often think, “It’s like I can’t win”.  Maybe you do too, sometimes.  Well, we’ve got to scratch that line from our brains.  We need to just focus on how we’re alive (others have not made it to whatever age we’re at).  We have a roof over our heads (many others do not).  We can afford insulin (unbelievably so, some cannot).  And many of us still have the ability to gently exercise each day, have confidence in ourselves and be happy simply because we choose to, and push forward with our dreams and aspirations even though we’ll have to push much harder than others.  We can! 

And having the right perspective…helps.

PS: Don’t let any negative person tell you that diabetics don’t want to hear that perspective helps.  If we’re humble, we’ll know it’s the truth and if we let it, it helps.