Tag Archives: motivation for diabetes

My Reason

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I take care of myself for my husband and children.  For my parents, brothers, sisters, and friends.  For my extended family and friends composed of the DOC.  Last but not least I take care of myself for me.

Have a fabulous Friday everyone!

Remember, love and respect yourself and the rest will follow.

XOXO

Why Scary Diabetic Ads Waste Our Money

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Why are ad campaigns done in this fashion?  I thought about it for a while last night and came to the conclusion that campaigns like this, which motivate based on fear, are decided upon in the same manor a toddler falls to the ground in a tantrum when he is so overwhelmed and under-equipped with words that he can’t get his message across.  In other words, this seems like a pitiful move of desperation.

It’s always a mistake when we act hastily and sole based on emotions.  In the case of this ad in which an obese man has digitally had his leg amputated and the point made on the add that portions have grown and so has type 2 diabetes, the connection is brutal.  The ad states that type 2 diabetes leads to amputations.  It can…but give me a break.

Let me put my self 10 years back into my once very overweight body.  For real.  I’d show you a picture but I think I burned them all.  Now, I’ll imagine seeing this ad for the first time and ask myself what I think:

I’m completely aware about my weight, thank you very much.  I’m already scared senseless of diabetes complications.  I know I need to eat less.  I also know that I’m hungry all the time…but I don’t know why.  I know that I don’t feel well and am not nearly as happy as I could be.  This ad just depresses me and reminds me that a soft drink or other cheap drive thru treat will cheer me up for at least 10 minutes.  This ad makes me feel like a baby who has a pointed wagging finger in front of me while being threatened with a spanking.

I had to physically, mentally, and emotionally hit rock bottom and crawl on my hands and knees searching for information that would save my life and change it entirely for the better.  I discovered information online about healthy lifestyle habits.  I began making changes slowly.  I exercised more, I ate different foods, and most importantly, I began forcing myself to change my thinking from overly negative to positive.  Positive thoughts and these lifestyle changes began to slowly help lift me out of my depression, which helped me do what I needed to do-like test my blood sugars and exercise, and shun junk food.  I lost weight, nerve pain in my feet disappeared, I changed jobs, I improved relationships, and I felt hopeful about my future with diabetes.  My entire life changed because of positive information helping me, guiding me towards a new way of thinking and living.  I would have loved a billboard containing a hint of the information I had to dig up to find.  I would have loved for it to be more accessible to me.

The ads that inspire fear in people who are already fearful and suffering do nothing.  NOTHING except harm our psyches even more than they are already being harmed by our lack of health and all that a lack of health leads to.

So I propose NYC and those in charge of similar campaigns for change stop panicking and making ads like chickens with their heads cut off- “Let’s tell them (particularly Latinos) that they better start downsizing their soft drinks or they’ll lose their legs and worsen our economy even more!  Let’s tell them before we’re all really screwed!”  How about we start thinking solidly and compassionately about what really motivates people.  Hire people with diabetes as consultants.  Hire psychologists who can help you determine how people get motivated.  Stop deciding for yourselves that informing people about the worst case scenarios is going to slap them straight into the right actions.  I’m sure that method doesn’t work on you.

You know…hope and positively stated, encouraging information works a lot better.

The Power of Thoughts Part 3

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Part 1 and Part 2 in case you didn’t read them.

Today is Fabulous Friday where we focus on elements of self love.  One of those is positive thinking and positive internal dialogue.

D you remember that movie that came out a few years ago called The Secret?  It spoke of this miraculous Law of Attraction that we all have to abide by and all have equal access to.  I think it was a silly movie in terms of the way it was put together and how it focused on materialism.  I suppose that’s how it managed to get so much attention.

Anyways, I read about the Law of Attraction years ago in a place I don’t even recall.  Then I heard Oprah talking about how she absolutely believed in it.  Then I read about other ways people describe the same idea or force in nature.  Deepak Chopra, whose books I find really insightful, talks about this law as well.  When I tried to simplify it I saw that it seemed like common sense.  It’s just that everyone makes it sound so mysterious.

In the movie, The Secret, they say to think about what you want.  If you want more money, visualize checks coming in the mail.  Don’t think about how you don’t want more bills or how you don’t want to be broke because your mind will only gather that which you are obsessing about, bills and being broke and you will only “attract” more of that.  So instead, imagine receiving checks.  Feel all the associated feelings involved in actually receiving a check.  Feel gratitude.  Feel happy.  A year ago, I was talking to my husband about how I felt the movie explained that in a very superficial way.  And in doing so, who knows how many people were alienated from the overall powerful message?

My little brother has provided me a really great example of the power of thoughts in these last few years.  A couple years ago, he got into learning about guitars.  Electric guitars.  He spent time reading about the different types and branched out into learning about the equipment, terminologies, artists, and so on.  It looked like your typical passing childhood obsession.  A funny thing happened though.  Without really being a guitar player he began proclaiming that he was going to be an awesome guitar player.  I think he was like 9 or 10.  It’s hard to take a kid brother seriously so I thought, “aw how cute” and assumed this was a temporary interest.  He was so “into” his dream that he never stopped learning, he told everyone who crossed his path about his interest, and he made us all listen to his beginner playing.  He seemed to believe he had already made it and enjoyed playing for others.  He aligned his entire being with this goal which prompted my dad to buy him a guitar and my mom to enter him into a music lab for students, where they learn about music and are able to use recording equipment.  Fast forward a few years later, multiple concerts, dozens of appearances in local clubs and restaurants, play performances, mentions in the local paper, supporters and fans, constantly improving guitar playing, and friendships with well known artists.  He just turned 13.  I firmly believe he is “attracting” his dream by constantly thinking about it and therefore having the motivation to constantly learn about it and practice for it.   And this is just the very beginning of his story.

Back to a year ago when I was talking to my husband.  We talked about my little brother and how he really was a clear, non mystical example of how this works, I proclaimed that I was going to get checks in the mail.  Alex looked at me funny.  It seemed crazy.  A year ago we were having a tough time with bills and it was so uncomfortable.  So I started pretending in my mind that I had enough money and feeling how good it felt to not have to worry about not having enough.  Keeping this thought in my head and associating positive feelings with it pushed me to do something about it.  Positivity breads action whereas negativity breads procrastination and paralysis.  I wrote down my strengths and weaknesses and I thought about how I could be of use.  In a month I managed to get some part time work that I could handle from home and still stay with the kids.  Not only was this work something I enjoy but it  provided the exact amount we needed to make due without any extra help this entire year.  Checks literally came each month in the mail and I couldn’t help but think, “ohh, I get it!”

How might any of this relate to diabetes?  I think that too many of us get caught up thinking “I can’t do this” or “my blood sugars won’t cooperate” or “good blood sugar control is impossible” or “if only…”. etc.  I think that as natural as those feelings are, they are also really destructive.  If we can manage to turn our thoughts around and focus on what we DO want more of, such as great health, better blood sugar management, the ability to afford what we need, courage to live healthier,  help when we need it, and doctors that listen, I think we will experience more of those things.  We will “attract” or welcome more positive opportunities into our lives as people with diabetes.  The times I have felt hopeless are the times my thoughts (like recently) have spiraled down into negative ones.  It happens, but it’s time to turn those around and believe in more good things and in a better everything.

Remember what Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”.

Keep your mind focused on good and positive things.  Don’t see misfortune, see opportunity.

Have a great weekend.

 

Motivation is Crucial and So Are Habits

 

How many of us would still have coffee if it wasn’t a habit?

 

Motivation is very important to get us through the first stages of creating a habit.  Creating a habit is necessary because a habit is what yields results.  Habits are simply what we do over and over, again.

If we want to improve something, we can replace bad habits with good ones.  Habits are so powerful because you can’t exercise one day and reap a lot of benefits.  You have to exercise consistently.  Same with healthy eating.   

Motivation is the fuel which will pump energy into a habit you’re creating.  Motivation will sustain you long enough to create that habit in the first place and make it so ingrained you can’t easily drop it even if you want to.  Imagine having a hard time breaking your exercise or dietary plan?  This is what I’m talking about.  Honestly, I have a hard time turning down a cookie but when I go to the grocery store, I have a really hard time breaking the habit of only buying necessary and healthy foods (except for a bag of tortilla chips for the husband).  This means when I am home, there are no cookies.  The temptation is far away.

Feed your motivation.  Think about what gives you energy and do it.  Use this energy towards creating habits that will lead you to achieving your goals.  Habits take about two weeks of consistency to stick so give it your all for that amount of time and then enjoy the results.

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!

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