It's Not About The Numbers
5.3, 111, 118, and 185.
These are currently the most meaningful numbers in my life. On their own, they hold no special meaning or value. No special story. No hidden significance. They say nothing about me, and my character, that anyone could guess. Nor about yours. Yet I obsess about them constantly, as many of you do about your own. You know what they are – or perhaps not. Perhaps you are too afraid to even know what they are. We all have our own special set of numbers from which we derive much value, and sadly, much anxiety.
We love to judge them as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ We love to judge ourselves as good or bad.
But those numbers don’t say that today you did your best, or that today was challenging. They do not say that today you walked an extra mile, or that today you got in a car wreck. They do not say that today you won that coveted award at work. In fact, those numbers are so sterile, they do not say that you are the most wonderful, loving parent, your children could have. Or that you struggle with anxiety, or depression, or worry. They are very empty, but very human numbers.
- They do NOT say you’ve failed.
- They do NOT say you’re bad.
- They do NOT say you’re going to die. Not today, anyway.
The numbers above are my A1C, my post-meal blood sugar, my blood pressure, and my current weight. A stranger might see my current weight of 185, and see me as a failure. It is still, after all, a very high weight for a person like me, who is only 4’9. But unlike them, I know what my body can do. And that it is resilient. It can jog 2-3 miles a day, outside, or in the pool. It can carry a full workload, every day. It can adapt and change, see me through divorce and personal tragedy, and have a burger or a piece of pizza, and be just fine.
11.5, 365, 165, 265.
These were my older numbers. When I began with these, I wasn’t happy. But I began to respect them. I began to appreciate that I got to those numbers for reasons. And that those reasons were NOT the reasons I thought they were. And that I need to focus on the reasons and not the symptoms of the reasons. Weight, and less than ideal numbers, are just symptoms. Overeating, not working out, etc… these are just symptoms.
We all struggle with self care. For many reasons. But self care does not have to be a sprint in which we strive to do all of the things, perfectly, and deprive ourselves of everything, all of the time. Self-care begins with respecting, and allowing ourselves the love and tenderness we’ve been giving lots of other people, instead. So today, instead of being down because your blood glucose was 250 after a meal – think about how you only rose 30 pts. Instead of thinking that your weight is not below 200 lbs, think about how great it feels now that you have more energy. Instead of thinking about how ‘you’ve let yourself go,’ think about how your body has nourished you, carried you, protected you, comforted you, and moved you through so many journeys and feats, and is otherwise amazing… just the way it is.
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Have you experienced any complications associated with your diabetes?