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4 Ways to Conquer Your Inner Critic With Diabetes

By Sara Reistad-Long
WebMD Feature

You know how to eat and exercise to stay healthy with diabetes. The problem is you don't always do what you know, right? It’s important to recognize the early signs of self-sabotage: procrastination, self-defeating behavior, fear, and perfectionism. If you do, you can redirect yourself long before you've done any harm.

Pummel Procrastination

Do you catch yourself saying things like, “I'll start tomorrow,” or “This one time won't hurt”? If so, you’re procrastinating, says Melissa Fredette, a licensed psychologist.

Get back in gear by reminding yourself what you really want. Maybe you want to talk with your doctor without feeling ashamed., or play soccer with your kids without feeling tired.

When you recognize you're procrastinating, you can cut it off at the knees. Immediately do something healthy that is related to your goal. You might pick a healthy snack or take a short walk around your workplace. You'll feel better all the way around, and you'll be creating positive momentum.

Smack Down Self-Defeating Behaviors

If you catch yourself overeating or slacking on exercise goals, something else might be going on. “You’re most likely feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of your situation,” says psychiatrist Sonali Sharma, MD.

To keep yourself on track, first, identify the healthy behavior you’re about to sabotage (like overeating carbs). Next, find a way to make a healthier choice that feels more agreeable to you.

Let's say you’re about to order a coffee drink with cream and sugar when you know you need to limit both. One option could be to get half the amount of sugar and cream. Or, just drink half the latte. This way you aren’t depriving yourself, but you’re also keeping your behavior in check.

The key is compromise. If you deprive yourself, you’re more likely to fall off the wagon completely.

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