Ok, so you found out you have Type 2 diabetes.
That can be devastating news. But it’s also not the end of the world. It’s more than possible to live a long, happy, healthy life — and maybe even reverse the diagnosis.
So, what steps should you take to get to a point where you’re not only surviving — but thriving — with a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis?
Step 1: Processing
The first thing you should do is take some time to mentally process the diagnosis. You are not a failure in life. Yes, lifestyle choices like diet and exercise can play a role, but so can genetics. Don’t let the world tell you that you did something wrong. Yes, you could probably do better. But this is a chance to do just that! To change your life for the better. Look at this diagnosis as an opportunity to make better choices that will add years onto your life.
Step 2: Support
Once you process through those initial emotions, it’s time to build a support net. Think about the people you’re closest to — your family and dearest friends. Make a list of those people. Then, reach out to them one by one to explain your diagnosis and let them know you’ll need their support through treatment and your lifestyle changes. Talk to them about what you need, what’s important and how they can be there for you.
Step 3: Diligence
Paying attention to your blood glucose levels is critical. A high reading will affect your mood and energy levels. You’ll need to be adamant to checking it — and checking it often. Talk to your doctor about medication and other treatment options to keep your blood sugar at safe levels.
Step 4: Diet
A good, healthy diet is one of the best ways you can combat Type 2 diabetes. Your meal plan should include lots of vegetables, fruits, whole wheat, oatmeal, beans and complex carbohydrates like brown rice. Skip foods packed with sugar (like cookies and pastries), as well as white bread and pasta. If you need help getting started, consider Diet-to-Go’s Balance-Diabetes meal plan. The plan follows the American Diabetes Association Nutritional guidelines; it’s heart-healthy and balanced for sodium, carbs, fat and cholesterol.
Step 5: Fitness
You’ve heard the reasons fitness is important — heart health, mood, sleep, you name it. The key to getting into a good fitness plan is to start out small. Consider hiring a personal trainer to help build your own personalized routine. Then, once you get started, stick with it. Build exercise into your routine. Commit to it the same way you’re committed to going to work or attending an important meeting. Fitness doesn’t work without consistency. Do what you have to do to make sure you’re committed.
Step 6: Learn
Information is your ally when it comes to finding ways to live with Type 2 diabetes. There are so many great resources out there — consume them. Never stop reading and learning. You might even consider finding a Diabetes Coach or a support group. People experiencing the same thing you are can be your best resource.
Do you have Type 2 diabetes? What was the first step you took after learning your diagnosis?
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.