Are you living with diabetes? When you are diagnosed with a disease, syndrome or condition that is life-changing, it’s difficult to see the good side, but it doesn’t have to be just about smiling on through; there are actually some real positives about coping with diabetes. Yes, you have to manage things more tightly than previously and you need to consider your actions and activities more, but when you read on, I think you’ll be very surprised that living with diabetes actually gives you some advantages.
1. Diabetes is a New Beginning
There are so many people that wish they could change their lives (health, career, social) but lack the impetus or motivation to do so. One of the most positive ways of living with diabetes is to see it exactly as a chance to change your life. When you find out for the first time that you have diabetes, it can be quite a shock. But the fact is that this is a disease that can be successfully managed with the abundance of support out there in terms of support groups and fromm your health care professional. Include your family in your journey and you will be delighted with the response and the support that you receive. Diabetes is not the end of the road; it’s a chance for a brand new beginning.
2. Healthy Lifestyle Incentive
Finding out that you have diabetes is a huge wake up call for many people and it can be a huge shock. In saying that, it makes people really evaluate their entire lifestyle and forces them to set healthy incentives and priorities not only for them, but for their entire family. The bigger the focus on maintaining the proper blood glucose levels, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the lower the risk of diabetes related health difficulties later on. Living with diabetes really does make you prioritise your health and this is not a bad thing for anyone.
3. Learning How to Listen to Your Body
We have all ignored little warning signs from our body and continued to push it, keep it up late, feed it more wine and get less sleep than our body is telling us to. Eventually, when we end up having a horrible cold or flu, we realise we should have listened when our body was telling us to slow down. But then we never do, and continue along the same patterns when we feel better again. Part of coping with diabetes makes you tune in closely, helping you listen to AND hear what your body is telling you – which could end up being a lifesaver way down the road.
4. Good Choices for the Entire Family
It is no secret that our children learn from example, and what better way to set an example than teaching our children some of the lessons they will carry with them for the rest of their lives? Sedentary and unhealthy lifestyles are easily adopted by kids, and with a modern lifestyle, computers and Xbox, there is plenty for the kids not to actually do. Managing diabetes helps you make choices that will include your entire family. Kids will eat healthy and want to spend time outdoors in the fresh air – what better legacy to pass on than that?
5. Embracing Exercise
Coping with diabetes forces you to embrace exercise in the beginning, and eventually you wonder how you ever lived without it. Dragging yourself to the gym and resentfully and half-heartedly finishing one circuit before hitting the juice bar is not what it is all about. Find a sport or exercise that you enjoy and it will eventually become a welcome joy in your everyday life. Pilates and yoga are excellent for reducing stress levels and building a stronger body, which will pave the way for everything else to go right in your life.
6. Falling in Love with Good Food
It is incredibly easy to become accustomed to processed carbs and high fat foods. They taste good, and require no preparation other than making your way to a drive through or putting something in the microwave. But, because one of the most important ways to manage diabetes is through your diet, you have to and can become accustomed to good, wholesome food. You’ll swap white bread for wholegrain and fizzy drinks for mineral water, cut down on coffee and drink green tea – the feel good benefits far outweigh the little bit of extra time it takes to prepare them. People who don’t have diabetes don’t have the same motivation to make these choices.
7. Welcome to a Healthy Weight
Almost everyone at some point in their lives has moaned about how they would like to lose a bit of weight. Well, part of living with diabetes is that, because of the healthy diet and lifestyle choices, if you follow your new regime, you will shift that weight in no time. Being overweight is critical for people with diabetes, so it is more important than ever to keep the weight off. A harsh incentive, but it will make you think twice before tucking into the do-nuts.
8. The Land of Carbs
Media frenzy tells us that carbs are not our friend, and every fashion model swears to not consume an iota of carbs, bringing up a generation of people who feel guilty when they ‘’indulge’’ in carbs. Carbs, in fact, are an integral part of what we need in our diets every day, and in order to maintain healthy glucose levels, you need to eat carbs every day. Being able to enjoy carbs guilt-free - that is definitely something to feel positive about!
Living with diabetes may not be easy but you can certainly put a positive spin on it. Make the best of the advantages that it does bring and it will be easier than you imagined. We’d love to hear your advice and stories about coping with diabetes.