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Just think of all those women on the Titanic who said, "No, thank you" to dessert that night. And for what?!

-- Erma Bombeck

Right after the first of the year I got an email from Jill Weisenberger.com about resolutions. There was a link to an article titled "12 Diabetes Resolutions Worth Making." I glanced over it and put it aside.

Fast forward a few weeks. I dug it out and read over it again, realizing that the resolutions are spot-on for diabetics. They are more personal than the typical, vague "lose weight, exercise, quit smoking" versions.

Weisenberger is a registered dietitian nutritionist, a diabetes educator and author. She is a consultant to the food industry, with clients such as Daisy Cottage Cheese and Egg Nutrition Center, has worked as a nutrition counselor in hospital and research settings and now has a private practice.

Weisenberger writes that she came up with the list after discussing triumphs and setbacks with clients. So instead of focusing on single goals, she touches on overall behaviors and attitudes.

1. Look at blood sugar numbers and your A1C as information, not judgment. They carry a lot of valuable feedback. We should ask ourselves what we can learn from these numbers -- positive and negative.

2. Look at weight as information, not judgment. This number can empower us to move forward with a refined plan, or it can frighten, anger and sadden us. Take the positive road. Our bodies will thank us. Use the number on the scale as feedback as to whether our plan is working.

3. Vow never to use exercise as a form of punishment. Whether you have diabetes or not, exercise is magical for the body and the mind. Exercise, she says, is being good to ourselves. Find reasons to be physically active, and then find activities you enjoy, or that you can learn to enjoy.

4. Focus on the habit. Get started on building a new routine in a small way. Start by committing to five or 10 minutes every day. Doing even something small daily solidifies the habit. That goes for meal planning and prepping, or any other lifestyle behavior.

5. Build in treat foods. Just say no to cheats and yes to treats. One inspires guilt, the other is empowering. We need to give ourselves permission to eat and enjoy our favorite foods -- in a smart way.

6. Set goals thoughtfully, not out of fear or panic. If we get a disappointing lab result or a jolt when weighing, we shouldn't have a knee-jerk reaction and make a long list of diet rules and take drastic measures with goals that are so big we fail and beat ourselves up.

7. Remind yourself that what you do most days is more important than what you do now and then. Find good lifestyle and eating habits you can stick with. On days you fail to eat mindfully and don't exercise, acknowledge it, learn from it and move on.

8. Consider medications another tool in the toolbox. They are not a form of punishment or a sign that we have failed. It is necessary for most diabetics to combine medications and lifestyle changes so we can grab control and hopefully delay or prevent complications.

9. Keep your medical appointments. It is the job of health-care professionals to empower and advise, not to criticize us if we gain weight or have high blood sugar levels. Go to the appointment.

10. Elevate self care to the level of priority it deserves. Taking time to exercise, plan meals, check our blood sugar and do other things for our well being is not selfish. Actually, it's more selfish not to take care of ourselves because negligence can leave us less able to care for ourselves and needing others to care for us.

11. Look for successes daily. We ate two cookies? At least we didn't eat three. Look for the positive, you'll find it.

12. Assess your progress. If you track weight and blood sugar, or journal, use the information in a noncritical way to find out what's going well and what isn't. Look for what you can pat yourself on the back for and where you can do better.

Tomorrow is another day.

Email me at:

rboggs@arkansasonline.com

ActiveStyle on 01/29/2018

Print Headline: Encouraging words better than judgments

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