Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.

Anyone who has diabetes, or cares for someone who does, knows how demanding this disease is. We understand the need to think about what/how much we’re eating, whether or not we’ve taken our medications, and how the exercise we get will affect our blood glucose. We also understand that the demands can be stressful, and we might not always handle them well.

Knowledge is an important tool that will help you manage your diabetes. Knowing why certain foods raise your blood glucose or how different medications work will help you better understand your healthcare provider’s recommendations. Taking charge of your condition can be empowering. However, just because we know that we shouldn’t eat too much of a certain food doesn’t always mean we’ll listen to that inner voice.

How to stay motivated to keep on the path to better diabetes control

1. Have a daily plan. Write out a basic plan that you can follow on a daily basis. Knowing what times you should be taking your medications every day will help you remember to take them. Eat at regular times and make out a menu of foods that fit into your plan. Don’t forget to schedule time to exercise! Having a loose plan can help you stay focused.

2. Ask for help from family and friends. Having a few chosen individuals who understand your diabetes needs can help. They can assist with motivation and support when you need it most.

3. Acknowledge that diabetes is demanding. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to be perfect. Acknowledging that diabetes is tough will make it easier for you to deal with less-than-perfect blood glucose readings. There is no such thing as a perfect diabetic. We’re all human.

4. Celebrate your successes! Don’t always focus on the times when things aren’t going well. Maybe your blood glucose was great this morning or you pushed yourself to add more minutes to your walk. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for small victories.

Yes, diabetes is demanding, but it is possible to live a good, healthy, and active life despite diabetes. Have a plan, look for support, and remember to celebrate the good things every day.

To learn more on this topic:
What to Eat: Diabetes Meal Plan
How to Start a Diabetes-Friendly Exercise Plan
How to Start a Diabetic Weight Loss Plan