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2018 Challenge: Change The Way You Think About Diabetes

In 2018, I challenge you to change the way you think about diabetes. Here are a few examples of what I mean:

You are not a diabetic

You are a person who has diabetes. Throughout my career I have had many people share with me that they feel as though some of their identity is lost after being diagnosed with diabetes. Please remember, diabetes does not define who you are as a person, it just happens to be part of your life story.

Your blood sugars are not good orbad

Your blood sugar checks provide valuable information that help you better understand your diabetes (i.e. what is working and what might need to be changed). Blood sugar levels should be seen/labeled as either being in target range or out of target range. This makes the information you are seeing less subjective (personal opinion) and more objective (fact).

Your doctor can help you determine an ideal target blood glucose range based on your medical history and personal goals.

You are not a non-compliant patient

You are simply trying to manage and take care of all of your personal needs and responsibilities. There may be times when certain needs/responsibilities rank higher than diabetes self-care. That does not mean you don’t care about diabetes or that you are a bad patient.

If you feel that many of your personal life responsibilities are preventing you from doing regular diabetes self-care (i.e. taking medication, monitoring blood sugar, etc.) speak with your physician as he/she may be able to help simplify your diabetes regimen.

You are not a failure if you need to take medication

Having to need oral medications and/or insulin to manage your diabetes does not make you a failure. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease which means the way you manage it will likely need to change overtime.

I challenge you, over the next year, to work on reducing negative self-talk and to learn how to let go of any guilt you may be feeling. Negative self-talk and constant feelings of guilt are counterproductive and will leave you feeling defeated and less motivated. Instead try to focus on positive self-talk, and remember that you may have an off day here and there. It is important to forgive yourself and start fresh tomorrow.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Dickinson JK, Guzman SJ, Maryniuk MD, et al. The Use of Language in Diabetes Care and Education. Diabetes Care 2017 Oct; dci170041.


  • AVIN
    1 year ago

    I am tearing up as I am reading this. I am 35 Indian female with a strong history of diabetes in my family ( both parents, one on each side grandparents). I was first diagnosed last year before by 34th birthday due to a yeast infection which came back again this year. Its taken me more than a year to come to terms with the fact that I have diabetes. I feel immense guilt thinking its my fault because I have always been overweight and hence should have eaten more healthily knowing about my family history. I still do not know how to handle it and I am stuck in a rut whereby I know I should be eating healthy and exercising but am unable to do so because of feelings of guilt and hopelessness.

  • Samuel Taylor moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi Avin,
    Im sorry to hear about your diagnosis and it’s completely understandable and ok to have the feelings you do right now. I have a history of diabetes in my family too, I do my best to eat well and stay active but sometimes emotions get me down too. It’s all part of ‘it’ and you’re not alone in ‘it’ at all. Just remember that everyday you have many choices and new chances that will influence your better tomorrow. One of the most difficult things to do is turn around and take the first step in eating better and exercising. After that first step it gets a lot easier and you will feel better. Keep communication with your family and health care providers; know that this community is always here as a resource for both your diabetes and you. I wish you the best of health and happiness. (:

    -Samuel, community moderator

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