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4 Ways to Conquer Your Inner Critic With Diabetes

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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.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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