The Sea-Saw Effect of Motivating Yourself To Stay On Top of Your Own Care

By Chezbo Latest Reply 2013-07-08 16:16:16 -0500
Started 2013-06-17 10:09:19 -0500

Dear Diabetic Connect Community,

Greetings to all and I'm hoping your journeys with Diabetes is going well with you. I'm also hoping the fathers who will be reading this discussion, had a great Father's Day celebration with their families yesterday. All my kids and grandkids were with me and they all cooked up a beautiful feast for me.

All positive comments and "come-back" successful stories are most welcome.

Here's the point I want to discuss:
I've been in a 6-month slump about caring for myself with my Diabetes Type 2 condition. I'm a "list- kind-of-person." I function strongly on writing lists of things I need to do to get things done in my life. When I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2, two years ago, I got on this disciplined course of taking care of my Diabetes business vigorously. By writing all kinds of lists, I stayed on top of my Diabetes care for 1. 5 years. Cut back on sodas, bread, rice, pasta, took my meds, exercised, stayed active, watched what I ate, watched the portions I ate, and lost a lot of weight. Shirts fit bigger. Pants were falling off. Made multiple holes in my favorite belt to accomodate for the weight and inches I lost. In my doctor visits, the office was amazed at all my success and discipline. Sounds like a successful story? Well it was in the beginning.

I have to admit that after such a brilliant successful start, I looked around my entire Diabetes community and environment, and felt like I could fly and maybe just ease up a little on my "attack mode." Needless to say, I have been on a downward spiral funk of caring for myself. I'mtrying catching that fever again and begin a modified effort to regain most of what I lost.

My question to you all is the following: How have you been able to successfully come back to staying on top of your Diabetes care from a downward spiral like I'm in? How have you been able to stop the sea-saw effect of trying to stay motivated to continue taking care and keeping your Diabetes in check? How have you come back to success?

I hope to hear from you.


15 replies

karen7t2 2013-07-08 16:16:16 -0500 Report

Hi Chezbo

I have just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and am really struggling with it. After reading your post, I have decided lists are what I need too. (thanks for that)
Years ago (8) before I had diabetes, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. This scared me so I started cutting out fat and carbs from my diet. I was like you, diligent and I wrote lists and followed them. Weight seemed to fall off me. BUT, after about a year, I thought "oh, it won't hurt to have KFC, or a teen burger, etc." Thus, the weight came back and I haven't been able to motivate myself to get back on the diet. Now, I realize that my mistake is, that I never should have OKed the KFC or whatever else I had. I was extremely happy with how I felt, how I looked and I had a great sense of power. I felt great going to a restaurant and ordering a small dish and a large salad while everyone else got high fat meals. I felt proud of myself to not even crave these things. I have no idea at all as to why I even started the bad eating again. …Anyway, my point is, this has to be our way of eating and we have to stick to it. Tiny treats for occasions can still be had, and you can still feel empowered with the knowledge that the tiny portion was enough.
Good luck on getting back on your journey. I have a 13 year old and want to be here for my grandchildren. That's my motivation. Going to write a list right now. :)

Poodle gal
Poodle gal 2013-06-23 18:34:08 -0500 Report

Dear Chezbo, I'm right there with you! I think that it would probably be a rare person with diabetes that hasn't fallen of the wagon at one time or another. The important thing, however, is that you realize this and are trying to get yourself back on track. I agree with the person that said you need to take it one step at a time and make one change. Trying to change everything at once can be overwhelming and sets you up for potential failure. Set one goal and work to achieve it and then add another. All of us are here to help you and to care. Do you have a support system at home or not? If not, try to find a buddy that can cheer you on at work or another friend that will help you keep on track. Also,
one thing that works for me, have a well-planned treat once in awhile. I find that I can stay in better control if I allow myself a treat now and then.

I hope this helps! I'm thinking of you!

Poodle Gal

Chezbo 2013-07-08 11:36:24 -0500 Report

Thank you Ms. Poodles:) I appreciate your input. And your counsel is exactly what I'm trying to exercise on my road to recovery; that is, recovery of executing a well-planned routine to help keep my blood sugar levels in a great healthy range of 95-110. How are you doing today? Any good news you can share with us? Talk to me. Peace, Chezbo

Bun10 2013-06-17 21:37:14 -0500 Report

I see diabetes as a competition. I'm the good guy vs Disbetes, the bad guy. I'm very competitive. I don't plan on losing. My family isn't ready to live without me . My grand kids are so special. They love their Grammy. I'm going to be an inspiration to them. I've been at this for two years. I've had no help except reading Diabetic Living and researching on line. I wasn't referred to a nutritionalist. All my doctor said was fiber, fiber, fiber and don't eat bread if the first ingredient is enriched white flour. I didn't know what that meant but I read every pkg. I don't know a diabetic to ask how they do it. I didn't know what to eat so I didn't eat much of anything but I started researching the subject. A couple of months ago, I decided I didn't want to play anymore. I decided, "I give up! I'm done. I retire from being a diabetic." Completely illogical and impossible. Like you have that option!!! That lasted three days. It was comical because what I put in my mouth is so ingrained that I automatically continued to eat like a diabetic. After three days, I laughed at myself because none of us has the option to quit or resign. Besides, I want to live a long time so I I can enjoy all the successes of my grandchildren. Btw, after 4 or 5 yrs with the same dr, I changed drs last week. MIMA, now Health First, is really supportive of diabetics. I researched all the drs in my town and settled on this one. I feel like I'm part of "My Team" now instead of being a one person cheer squad. My family supports me but they don't know how to help because the dont understand it. Diabetes is a lot to study. Research your choices. I did it alone for two years and fell off the wagon for three days before I realized I can't do it alone. I need professional help and, of course, I have to commit to work hard. Chezbo, you had a great Father's Day because you are loved by many. You owe it to them to jump back on that wagon but mostly you owe it to yourself so you, too, can share in the successes of the family you created. Last week I had my lowest A1C. 5.4. I'd like to lose more weight but I seem to be stuck. What would you like to challenge me to? When?

Chezbo 2013-06-18 11:03:52 -0500 Report

Wow! What a reply! Thank you so much for you encouraging words. I love the idea of personifying my battle with diabetes as a competition event. That idea will truly help me along my journey with diabetes. I am very competitive and I don't like to lose. Thanks for that insight.
Congratulations on your latest A1C reading. That is truly marvelous! Whatever you are doing, keep up the great work!
Here's my challenge to you in terms of weight loss:
Any kind of activity will help regulate blood sugar readings. However, any kind of activity will also help out in losing a few pounds slowly but surely. I encourage you to take brisk 15-minute walks whenever you can take them. Try out a treadmill for about 15 minutes. How about swimming a little? No. I'm not talking about wading in the pool or catching some sun rays. I mean swimming a few laps to get the juices flowing? Gardening? Yoga? I heard yoga is a great way to lose weight and keep your BGs in check. That's my challenge to you. "You can do it!"

Bun10 2013-06-19 08:15:52 -0500 Report

Thanks, Chezbo! I'd like to lose 30 lbs. First 50 came off easily. I am an avid gardener. Obsessively!!! I babysit for a two year old and newborn and clean their house, laundry, etc. We put an enormous amount of miles on that stroller going to the playground and beach and shopping. They don't allow me driving the kids in the car. (NO COMMENTS!!!) I was working out at a gym until my back retaliated with a stenosis that is pinching the nerve that runs down my right leg. I'm really good about what food I eat. I think my problem is portion control. I eat on a salad plate but you can pile it high when there isn't much room. Lol! Then my numbers are good and I relax a bit. The first 40 just fell off. I worked out more. I was # 9 of the top 25 losers of the year at my gym, but I'd only lost 8 lbs. Lost a lot of inches. Then I changed to my diabetic eating style and dropped all those pounds. Been on this "plateau" too long. Everything you suggested is great. I'll have to step it up! On your mark, get set, go!!! Are you with me? Climbing back on that diabetic band wagon? You obviously know how to do it. I'm off and running. Keep up, Chezbo!

Chezbo 2013-06-19 14:49:04 -0500 Report

Wow again! You are already doing a lot of activities in your Superbowl match against Diabetes! I celebrate with you! One thing I did see that stuck out like a sore thumb was your "portion controls." That might be a thorn on your side that might be keeping you at that plateau you've been on for too long. Let's focus on that area. How about more meals but smaller portions? Don't pile a little salad plate upwardly. Instead, fill it, consume it, and wait another 2 hours for the next helping. Just some thoughts I'm throwing out there.
As far as my journey so far: A) I've visited with my primary doctor. I received a whopping D- in lieu of my 8.6 A1C. B) Started taking my meds regularly the past 5 days. C) I've changed taking my insulin shot from 9-10 PM to first thing I do in the morning when I wake up (I'm too tired to give myself a boo-boo late at night. D) Checking my BG levels 2-3 times a day; averaging readings of 127-130. Not great! But much progress made. E) Because I have a left knee pain (potential osteo-arthritis in my knee), I'm slowly starting to begin exercising again. I've gone swimming once and walk the dog longer while taking a brisk 15 minutes walks (2x a day). I think I'm on the road to recovery. And, I have a lot to cover while trying to swing into great momentum. Chezbo

Bun10 2013-06-20 18:59:24 -0500 Report

Chezbo!!!! You haven't been taking your meds regularly??? Man, someone ought to whoop you boy! I hate sorting and cutting my meds. I have two 7 day pill thingies for morning and night. Except, I fill the blue one with my night pills and the white one with my day pills. That way I can set up 14 days worth of pills before I have to sort them all out again. Thinking I need another set of white and blue. I'd only have to fill them once a month and I can easily see when I'm almost ready for refills on the 30 day expensive ones. Hang your head in shame, Chezbo. New extension to our deal: you HAVE to take to take ALL your meds EVERY day. The hall monitor is watching! I think injection in morning is better than night because you don't want to be asleep if your sugar drops.

Chezbo 2013-06-21 11:01:42 -0500 Report

I've been on target for the past 7 days in taking my meds. New deal accepted. I'm doing a lot better the past 7 days than the past 6 months. "Life is too short and God is too short." Thanks for the challenge:)

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-06-17 16:11:33 -0500 Report

Hey Chezbo,

Nice to hear from you. I suspect you are going to get a lot of replies to this post. Why? Because you are not alone here.

Here's is a link to an article I wrote awhile back about compliance burnout:

I encourage you to show yourself some compassion. Okay, you lost some momentum. But you're focused on getting back on the road. That's great. That's what's important.

Start the day focused on what you need to do and take it step by step, day by day. You might want to let your doctor or a diabetes educator know what's going on and go over your self-care regimen with them. And if need some ideas for how to stay compliant, ask away.

Also, get lots of support.

Take good care of yourself!


Chezbo 2013-06-17 17:13:28 -0500 Report

Dear Doc, thank you for responding to my topic. And thank you for the ariticle you wrote about burnout. I guess it's safe to say that struggling with my sea-saw ineffectiveness is comparable to burnout. Never saw it that way. But yes, it makes sense. I appreciate all your comments and article and I look forward to getting back on the wagon and getting right to work again. Thank you again.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-06-19 08:46:23 -0500 Report

Hey Chezbo,

You are welcome, and thanks a lot for the response. I hope you don't criticize yourself, just jump back up on the horse, and start where you left off.

And please keep us posted on how you're doing, let us know if you need some encouragement.


locarb 2013-06-17 14:26:30 -0500 Report

I absolutely have and I dare say this has happened to most of us at one time or another. How I managed to get back "on the wagon" was by starting very slowly. I started walking. There are multiple studies out there that show that as few as 11 minutes of walking has a positive effect on BG. It definitely does for me. After I was able to do that for a while, and fine ways to block the boredom, I started taking yoga classes. I don't care for yoga at all but I now go twice a week and complete one hour classes relatively easily. I also use a treadmill and lift weights on the alternate days. All of this is good but it is meaningless if you can't manage to control your cravings (if you have cravings). I make lemon juice with stevia and it's great so I no longer drink soft drinks. I do allow myself the occasional "junk" when stress or fatigue or "LIFE" interferes with my perfect plan.

All in all, just be patient with yourself and remember the days when you had such great success. It proves that you can do it and you can do it again.

Chezbo 2013-06-17 17:17:07 -0500 Report

Dear LoCarb, thank you for your reply and for the fantastic ideas to apply to "slowly" get back to gaining momentum to begin caring for my struggle with Diabetes. I appreciate you taking the time to reach out to me. Have a great day:)