Anyone who has ever made a successful life change can tell you that getting started isn’t the hardest part – it’s sticking to the plan for the long haul. That’s especially true when it comes to diet and exercise changes for anyone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
We live in a world of contradictions – we’re told to be healthy, eat well and exercise but you’ve undoubtedly experienced how hard that can be with all the temptations out there. It takes some serious willpower to stick to a new life plan, but you can do it!! We have some tips and suggestions to help you stay on track.
Enjoy the rewards of a healthy life with these tips
#1 Prepare for change!
You need to do some mental preparation before you embark upon a significant lifestyle change. Take that time upfront to think it through, educate yourself and write down your goals. It can help you in the long run and it’s well worth the time to map out a plan that will work for you. When making a change in your diet, you may want to assess what’s in your cabinets and refrigerator, get rid of the foods that won’t be included in your diabetes food plan and stock up on some great diabetes-friendly foods.
#2 Get support!
Sign up for our great email program at Diabetes- What to Know. You’ll get short emails delivered straight to your inbox so you can absorb the information without feeling overwhelmed. We also have some great videos with advice and stories by people who’ve been where you are. Your doctor and diabetes educator are your experts, but having a support group of others that are dealing with a similar situation is invaluable.
#3 Keep your eyes on the prize!
And the prize here is a healthy and active life. By managing your diabetes, you can avoid the complications of high blood sugar and enjoy your loved ones for a long time. It’s not always easy to make the right choice in the moment, but closing your eyes and thinking about your long-term goals can help. Find some ways to pause and avoid temptation that work for you – meditating, drinking a glass of water, or taking a short walk can help you stay on your path.
#4 Reward yourself!
Find some perks that make you smile and treat yourself! Sometimes the little things mean the most so make rewards a part of your plan. And don’t beat yourself up if you occasionally stray from your plan – some research shows that a treat once in a while will help you be more successful in the long run. Just get back on your plan as soon as you can and give yourself a pat on the back for staying committed. A little slip might even help you understand better how important your goal of good health is.
#5 Be kind to yourself!
This is probably the most important suggestion on this list. Changing lifelong eating and exercise patterns isn’t easy– recognize what a positive step you’re taking and be proud of yourself! For more about how important self-compassion is in managing diabetes, watch this video from Robin, an amazing person with type 2 diabetes.