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Living your Life Forward Positively

So you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. You’re thinking: Seriously, why did this have to happen to me?

Letting this new diagnosis work for you
It’s crucial to shift your perspective of your diagnosis. It may be hard, but now that you actually know you have this condition, you can do everything in your power to manage it. So many individuals walk around without even knowing they have diabetes, and they become more sick and experience irreversible damage to their health. Allow the diagnosis to work for you, and you can work with it to change your lifestyle and flourish.

Why change is possible

Diabetes may not seem that serious because you don’t feel its symptoms right away. It can be easy to overlook in the beginning, and making the necessary life changes may seem daunting. But you don’t have to commit to big goals right away. Starting with small goals, such as planning to walk around your neighborhood for 20 minutes twice a week, can make a big impact. Gradually taking on challenges sets you up for success.

Another thing you can do is write a list of motivations and have it with you at all times. What motivates you to take on healthy habits? It might be your family, your health, your career… whatever it is, keep it close to you as a reminder that change is possible.

Where to start
Being organized takes the stress out of diabetes. Brainstorm ideas of how you will incorporate diabetes management effectively into your routine. Think about what a regular day was like before you were diagnosed and write out your schedule. Now, think of how each step will change now that you have been diagnosed. You may need to add extra steps in-between for blood sugar checks or somehow work in consistent meals and snacks. Think of where you can incorporate exercise into your day. Now that you’ve written a draft, think about what will stop you from forming new habits. Is it your work schedule? Is it your children’s busy schedule? Write these down and think of what you can do to work around them. Feel free to come back to them if you can’t think of a solution right away. Also be sure to make a list of questions you forgot to ask your doctor.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, speak with a registered dietitian with experience in type 2 diabetes management. They can help you brainstorm ideas that will help you become a pro at managing your diabetes that is specific to your lifestyle.

Growth mindset
Growth mindset is based on the belief that you can improve through hard work1. It is essentially the “I think I can” attitude that we teach our kids, but may forget as grown-ups. In contrast, a fixed mindset is the belief that your talent and intelligence are innate, with no room for improvement.2 While these terms are usually used in education and business, it can very well be applied to managing diabetes.

You’ll be amazed at how changing your attitude will dramatically change your approach to managing diabetes, even at times when you’re being hard on yourself.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed or intimidated by your new diagnosis, take it one day at a time and know that you will get better at managing it. Think of it as learning something new, because that’s exactly what managing diabetes is.2 Remember that you can’t learn and apply everything in one day. It is alright to take it one healthy habit at a time.

Also remember that diabetes is highly individualized. It may be discouraging to see others who have adopted the same healthy habits and are getting desirable results (lowering their blood glucose). Instead of comparing yourself to them, ask for help. The only competition you have is yourself, and you will win by learning how to ask for and receive help.

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.