Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 7: Advice for newly diagnosed patients

I’m choosing an alternate prompt for today’s NHBPM post.  This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart; Advice for the newly diagnosed type 2 patient.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is scary and overwhelming and confusing.  Do this, don’t do that, remember to check this and be ever mindful of what you’re eating.  Oh, and don’t forget to start exercising regularly!  Did I mention that you need to lose some weight?  Yeah, do all those things.  Yikes!  There is so much to learn when you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and it’s easy to become overwhelmed and just ignore all the advice.  Many people who are diagnosed don’t have any symptoms; if they feel alright it makes it so much more difficult to change things.  So what should you do?

My best advice is to start slowly.  It’s not necessary, or realistic, to change everything overnight.  You didn’t develop diabetes in a few days so what makes you think you can turn things around so quickly?  You can’t.  What you can do is to pick one thing that you need to change and work on that for about a week.  The next week, add something else to change.  If you keep that up, you will soon realize that you have made some healthy changes that will be the cornerstone of your new lifestyle.  Piece of cake brocolli!

For instance, let’s say that you are fond of fast food and usually eat it 3 times a week.  In order to lose that habit, try only going for fast food 1 day a week and pack a healthier lunch the other 2 days.  You can do that!  What about trying to add exercise to your daily routine?  If you don’t exercise at all, then try walking around the block 3 days a week.  Increase the distance each time and before you know it, you’ll be walking a mile.  You can do that!  Perhaps your doctor has advised you to lose some weight.  Ugh!  The best way to maintain an affective weight loss is to do it slowly.  Don’t think that you have to drop 10 lbs right away.  Start by reducing your portion sizes.  Most of us eat way more than we should!  Try using a smaller plate.  Instead of 2 scoops of potatoes, only take 1 and add more vegetables.  You can do that!

Making healthy changes doesn’t have to be daunting.  Just take it slow and steady and you’ll get there.  I promise you that you will begin to feel better soon and with that comes the renewed determination to do even more.  Diabetes is a lifestyle change but that doesn’t mean that it sucks.  I am far happier with my healthier self and, although having diabetes can be difficult at times, it doesn’t mean that you can’t live a happy, healthy long life.  All you have to do is begin.  You can do that!

1 comment:

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