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Like many, I've struggled with extra weight in my adult years. The adage that adults gain about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) per decade certainly is true in my case. Many members of my family, including me, have type 2 diabetes. As a diabetes educator, I'm very aware that diabetes type 2 is progressive and that I can prevent or delay progression of the disease through lifestyle changes. My goal last January was to lose weight. I didn't get started until September, but I'm happy to say that I'm 25 pounds (11 kilograms) lighter with a little more to lose. At my age, it can still be done!
Maybe you're not overweight, but perhaps you could have better blood glucose control if you exercised more, tested your blood glucose more regularly, ate healthier, took your medications as prescribed or took steps to reduce stress.
Whatever your goals might be, here are five steps to help you toward successful behavior change:
The bottom line is that if you have a plan in mind and set up your environment to support you, success is much more likely. For example, I'm not going to test my will power by having breads and sweets around, because I have very little willpower!
Lifestyle changes take patience, but with persistence you can make them happen. Find support, whether that means getting your family involved or joining a support group.
Your diabetes health care team wants you to succeed!
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
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First you have to believe you can make changes.
Lifestyle changes will improve or even reverse diabetes.
Fat tissue is insulin resistant. Muscle tissue eats up blood sugar because it is insulin sensitive.
Small changes - over time - can add up to big changes; again - even reversal of diabetes.
Small changes beget success, and success begets more success, etc
Losing weight did not lower my blood sugars. I focused on lowering my blood sugars, but the only thing my friends wanted to know about was my weight loss.
What helps in lowering blood sugars is eating a low carb diet, limiting food portions, exercise, and proper diabetic medication which may include metformin and insulin.
By the way, do you know that there are two Dr. Bernsteins? One is Dr. Richard K. Bernstein MD, a noted diabetic expert, and the other is Stanley K. Bernstein, a weight loss doctor. There's a lot of difference between their objectives and treatments. I think that you should know that.
Liz, I'm in your exact situation and a friend sent me this link. It sounds like exactly what we need, doesn't it? Good luck, sweetie! I've been getting depressed and hope this blog helps us all!
I keep reading that if you loose weight its a big help in controling diabetes. What is the story if you're not at all overweight?
YOU HAVE HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD,I HAVE ONLY JUST BEEN DIAGNOSED AND IN A QUANDRAY AS WHAT TO DO, I'M OVERWEIGHT AND SMOKE,I NEED TO GET MY HEAD AROUND MY SITUATION AND YOUR ADVISE IS VERY HELPFUL, THANK YOU.
Very timely advice for making some sustainable changes, Peggy. Finding a reason that will motivate you is also another key to success.
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