January Fizzle

| Jan 14, 2011

Did you make any resolutions for 2011?  How many of them have you given up on already?  Many of my Facebook friends have enthusiastically boasted of their New Year's resolutions--lose weight, spend less time online, read more, worry less. While their goals are admirable, their resolutions rarely last.  Why?  I believe it's because their aim is too high or too broad, and their enthusiasm is short-lived.

People with diabetes do not have the luxury of short-term enthusiasm.  We are sentenced to a disease that has no calendar, no predictable pattern, and no cure.  Although this seems to be dismal news, the truth is that diabetes forces us to recognize reality--that good management and achieving success don't come easily, but do come with great reward.

I admit, my diabetes management has been lackluster lately. In November, I became a mother for the second time through adoption. Having two children, a toddler and a newborn, has been challenging, and, as you can imagine, busy. There is always something going on--a doctor's appointment, a diaper change, a bottle to prepare, tears to be wiped, laundry to be washed, dishes to be put away.  There are few quiet moments.

I have found myself testing four times a day instead of nine or ten.  I'm thirsty all the time because I forget to drink water. I have managed to exercise every day, but my workouts are often much shorter and less intense. I'm tired due to night feedings and endless daily tasks.    

Don't get me wrong: I feel very blessed to have my children. But diabetes is a full-time job, whether or not I want it to be.  It can be a job that I stay on top of (testing, correcting, exercising, carbohydrate counting) or it can be one that I fight (test less, haphazardly consume meals, skip workouts), but it's not going away. And fighting reality is often more exhausting than surrendering and proceeding.

I am working to get back into sync with my disease in the only possible way: by daily, if not momentarily, committing myself to my diabetes. Flight attendants always remind us to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first.  I know that in order to be the best wife, mother, writer, friend, sister, and daughter that I can be, I must make my disease a priority. As a popular maxim says, you can't give what you don't have.  

I can't wait for a magical date on the calendar to set a goal for my health.  Every day is an opportunity to do better, think more clearly, and act with purpose and precision. January first is just a date on the calendar.  Diabetes is every day, every moment. Don't let your goals fizzle.  Instead, make your goals specific and small, knowing that great rewards are waiting. 

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Categories: Columns, Community, Diabetes, Diabetes, Inspiration, Losing weight, Type 1 Issues, Women's Issues

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Posted by Anonymous on 18 January 2011

Excellent article for any goal. You can eat an elephant but you must do it a bite at a time!

Posted by Anonymous on 18 January 2011

Love the title of this article! I like how you balanced knowing what needs to improve without beating yourself up with little steps to better health. SMART goals are always the way to go-Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Time-Bound.

Posted by Bob(TimeForType1Cure) on 19 January 2011

Absolutely LOVE Rachel’s thought-provoking columns. Please keep ‘em coming.
Mostly agree with tackling goals on a bite-size basis. But, aiming way high is important for big change that requires shifting a paradigm--especially one that is incorrect but thickly embedded in perception, with money on the line for powers that be.
Here’s my aim-high resolution for all Type 1s: Let’s bring clarity to the conversation about diabetes to focus efforts on curing Type 1. Here’s clarity: Type 1 (Juvenile Diabetes) is the result of an unknown, genetic crap shoot. Type 2 is a lifestyle choice. It’s not a nuance. Blending the two blurs focus on a cure. Even Diabetes Health Magazine is guilty of blurring this clarity about diabetes…and mass media completely ignores the distinction.
Of course, blurring this clarity helps the Medical Industrial Complex retain direction on treatment of diabetes, not cure. And, as the famous bank robber Willie Sutton is purported to have said, “That’s where the money is.” (Come on, a mass-produced test strip costing over $1 each? Really? Estimated margin: 95%+. Make no mistake: Revenue & contribution drive the MI Complex--not care and cure.)
So I encourage all Type 1s to join me in an aim-high resolution—really a revolution. Let’s drive to a cure. And we can’t get there without the critical first step of clarity about the disease. Remember, if you aim high, you may not grab a star, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud, either. Type 1s, unite! Type 2s, heal thyself.
BTW: tried to post this anonymously and it never showed up. So I did it under my registered name to get it up. I’m really not paranoid, but interesting that a view which may be considered out of bounds apparently didn’t make it to or past the “moderator.” LOL!

Posted by Anonymous on 24 January 2011

Wonderfully written - even those of us without diabetes should heed your advice. It's so important as moms to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our families. Great article!

Posted by Jane K on 25 March 2011

Thanks for this post, Rachel! The part about the two kids and diabetes being a full-time job just brought back many memories of when my kids were younger. Trust me, it gets a lot easier when they can dress themselves, brush their own teeth, buckle their own seat belts, etc., etc. I used to say that I wouldn't have another baby because diabetes was my third child. And I said that out of respect, not scorn. Thanks again!

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