Motivation to follow a healthy lifestyle

By clj01 Latest Reply 2011-06-12 22:30:06 -0500
Started 2011-04-21 13:46:38 -0500

I think I am like a lot of you out there. I want to lose weight, I want to eat right, I want to follow my medication regimen closely. What really happens is, I seem to gain not lose, I get hungry and go to the fridge and eat whatever is handy, I forget to check my blood sugars and guess at how much insulin to take. If this sounds familiar maybe you have the answer I need.

What motivates you to follow a healthy lifestyle, and how do you accomplish it?

Any responses are greatly welcome, you may have the answer I or someone else needs.

12 replies

Mari.anne 2011-06-12 22:30:06 -0500 Report

For me, it's having a goal. I'm a keen, amateur photographer who loves to travel. I tell my friends that being a blind, legless photographer might just be one too many barriers for me to overcome. I try to keep a tight(ish) control over my diabetes so that I can continue to lead life the way I love to.

Sweet Potatoe
Sweet Potatoe 2011-04-29 10:10:37 -0500 Report

If you have a cell phone, you can set an alarm to remind you to take your medicine and check your blood sugar. Not sure about how the insulin works, but you should use the correct amount. You must be careful what you eat and the portion to lose weight. You also must exercise, walking, bike riding, zumba(I like), really find an excerise that you enjoy doing. Keep fruit cups, cucumbers, things of that sort in your frige. I ususally eat popcorn with my husband and drink plenty of water. This keeps me from being hungry during the night. Hope you find something that works for you. Good Luck!!!!

Ann Wambui
Ann Wambui 2011-04-29 03:48:10 -0500 Report

as we are all different, i think motivation applies the same. what motivates me is future ahead of me,I know i will be a mum one day and a healthy one to take care of my kid, i also fear diabetic complications therefore i do my best to prevent as much as i can

MoeGig 2011-04-28 21:29:17 -0500 Report

I guess for me it's Fear! Fear of having to suffer through the onset of complications…and we all know what they are. With other diseases, you can always say it won't happen to me e.g., if you're a smoker, you might not get cancer…(don't tell that to the Marlboro Man…who's no longer with us). But the evidence of inevitability of complications with diabetes mismanagement is very evident and cannot be denied unless you are totally tone deaf. Now, if you haven't acquired this fear, knowledge is the only thing that can engender that Fear. This, to me, this is the real benefit of Diabetes Connect: educating us about the certainty of complications if you ignore control.

Katirene 2011-04-29 01:31:35 -0500 Report

I have to agree totally…you took those words right outta my mouth! When the pain becomes great enough, people are motivated by that pain along with fear…I believe…to change something.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-04-23 12:27:57 -0500 Report


This is a great question, a great idea for a discussion.

In my experience, some patients are motivated by wanting to stay as healthy as possible, to be there for themselves and the people they care about. Others are motivated by fear, and wanting to avoid the potential outcomes of untreated diabetes. Or maybe a combination of both.

Either way, what's important is to find some way to keep yourself on the path.

Again, great idea. Hope you are doing well!


RAYT721 2011-04-21 17:37:55 -0500 Report

First of all, welcome to our family. I hope you get as much enjoyment and friendship here as I do.

Motivation is a hard thing to pass on, like the tips that I am about to share. What works for one person will not work for another. There are many situations in which you are unique. Your mind, body and soul will be different from the rest of us and your motivation(s) will be as unique. Think of yourself as a snowflake (grin)

The best advice that I can give you is to take baby steps towards your control. If you try to change everything in your life overnight and all at once you'll probably be weaving baskets before long. Start small and think big.

When I began on my journey (or should I say roller coaster) I made small changes … giving up sugar for the most part. I added a little more exercise each day whether it was more steps of walking or doing leg lifts or touching my toes or whatever. You don't have to join a gym and start training for a marathon. Dance if you'd like. Take steps instead of elevator. Do what you like and it won't feel like exercise.

I learned to eat less food more often and I never, ever skip breakfast although that was the hardest thing for me. Once I learned that breakfasts do not have to be compliments of Aunt Jemima and Bob Evans I began to find things that help me get the morning energy that I need. It's usually a low fat low carb yogurt and/or Atkin bars (lots of flavors for each) but you may consider protein shakes (not the Carnation Instant… that's not the best choice) or leftovers or whatever works to start your day off. Food is to the body as gasoline is to the car. Set a timer if you have to so that you test 2 hours after your first bite of food (not after you are finished eating).

Keep a journal either on paper or think about an online journal like the one you can use FREE at (check out tools and check out My Plate D). It's a little bit of work at first but gets easier. I firmly believe in recording and in listing goals and to do lists. I have notebooks around the house for list making and computer software: Word/Excel.

I find that I eat every couple of hours but still manage to stick within a sane amount of calories, carbs, etc. As your list of favorite recipes and meals/snacks grows you will get to know your likes and dislikes. Check out the Diabetic Connect archives and use the keyword "Snack Attack" for ongoing lists of snacks. Get to know how to read food labels for nutritional data. You won't learn it all overnight but make yourself healthy each day with simple swaps. If you fall off the wagon, pick yourself back up. Don't beat yourself up. We are here to help with your successes and failures.

Don't think of your menu planning as dieting but planning is important whether you want to gain weight, lose weight or stay the same. They key word is PLAN.

I am not on diabetes medication so I can't offer advice or opinions. Keep your doctors in the loop on how medications affect you. Get a timer to remind yourself of testing whether you use your microwave oven, cell phone, watch, or alarm clock. There is a pill cap timer recently on the market. I think it's called Dose Alert or something like that which I've heard of.

Add more water to your life. (Note: tap is better for you than bottled… and cheaper). Don't get discouraged. We are all here for you although none of us have all of the answers. Check out the healthy recipes in our recipes center. Check out library books for healthier recipes. Network with friends.

As you build better habits and reduce the bad habits, the motivation you are seeking will come. Just don't expect the impossible or unrealistic. Goals need to be realistic and measurable. Once again my tip is "slow and steady wins the race."

It is great to have you with us. If there's anything that I can do or say to help you, please add me as a friend and let me know. We're in this together!!!

Buckle up!!!

big momma 10
big momma 10 2011-04-29 09:28:08 -0500 Report

This is what I am doing. But I m starting to excerise more now. I need to keep my sugar intake down, I need to keep water down, andi Think I am getting now. I also need to watch the carb. My daughter who is a health feak and workout nut is helping me. Whenever I get low number I get excite. and try to do more.

Janice5208 2011-04-23 23:27:04 -0500 Report

Ray-thank you-I learned alot from your reply above. It gives me alot to think about ,thanks

RAYT721 2011-04-24 10:10:27 -0500 Report

The funny thing is that I just found this website a little over a year ago and have gone from a blank stare on my face with "I'm a What?" to "I'm a Fighter!" … This website has given me so much. Perhaps the best thing it's given are the list of friends that I have here. Don't be afraid to ask any questions that you have. I can truly use the word "family" when I talk about diabetic connect. Hope you'll be able to say the same!

Art Loving
Art Loving 2011-04-21 15:30:20 -0500 Report

Don't forget about stress. It contributes to both apetite and lack of weight loss.
It's stressful being Diabetic; checking blood sugar, watching carbs, caleries, water intake, checking ones feet, exercising. Few, I'm tried.

Art Loving
Art Loving 2011-04-21 14:56:18 -0500 Report

I started using WebMD to track my food and exercise in addition to my BS. It's a lot of work. What I've learned is I'm now eating more Carbs than I thought, even though I make better food choices. Also, My sodium intake is too high, and it's because of the packaged foods. I think when I lost weight I was watching my carb intake more. I don't add salt to foods so I'm surprised about the sodium intake level. Portion control maybe part of the answer again. My BS have been good exept out of the blue this morning it was high. It went from 89 to 137 overnight without eating.