Healthy habits and focusing on the positive help us manage diabetes

My 1 positive thing


I gave two workshops at the Friends for Life annual conference last week (see post below) and collected feedback from my attendees which I promised to share. 

In my workshop, “Flourishing with Diabetes” I asked everyone to write down ‘1 positive thing diabetes has given me.’ At the end of the workshop each person stood and shared what they had written. Each person – remarkably, or maybe not, no one hesitated or came up empty.

I collected 35 ‘things’ and using the affinity diagram method broke all the comments into 5 categories: Greater Health – 4; Closer Family Ties – 5; New Friends/Community – 9; Empathy/Compassion/Understanding For Others – 9; Self-Resilience – 7.

Greater Health

• A greater awareness of health for the whole family

• Appreciation for the need to take better are of myself: eat better, quit smoking, more exercise

• Health consciousness

• A strong understanding of nutrition and portion control – general good eating habits

Closer Family Ties

• Brought my 17 year old daughter and me much, much closer than what we would be without it

• Stronger relationship with our daughter who has type 1 diabetes

• A close knit family caring, loving, supporting each other

• Made me a more attentive parent

• United my family around a common issue and learning together

New Friends/Community

• Community

• Good friends and the ability to accept their love

• New friends, travels, closeness with my daughter

• New lifelong friendships (more like family) for me and my children

• Lots of great friends who want to stop diabetes!

• New friends for myself and for my daughter

• Friendships that I have made

• FFL, CWD, friends and role models for my daughter

• A community. A voice. A sense of humor

Empathy/Compassion/Understanding For Others

• Compassion for parents dealing with children that have a health challenge

• Understanding

• Patience and a drive to care for and inspire people who need help

• A better understanding of what my sister has dealt with for 25 years (after my son’s diagnosis)

• A chance to be sympathetic with others who go through similar things or difficulties in life

• Wisdom to help my daughter who has a serious chronic mental illness

• Additional empathy and patience

• Empathy & compassion for people who have kids with other chronic conditions

• Greater empathy for parents and children with health issues or disabilities


• Courage to know I can help when my Person with Diabetes needs me

• Insight-single mom of a 9 year old realizing I can do this for my daughter

• Perseverance, ability to deal with and solve problems

• Ability to let go

• Perspective on what is really important in life

• Showing me that I am capable. I can do it

• A good sense of responsibility early in life

And Mine: The opportunity to do this work

In my workshop, “inspired Diabetes Self-Management” we discussed how Healthy Habits help you work smarter managing diabetes. Again, I asked everyone to write down 1 healthy habit they have and share it. I collected 17 healthy habits and they break down into: Food – 7; Exercise – 4; Blood Sugar Monitoring/Site Change – 6


      • Drink water before each meal

      • Keep an accurate carb count @ breakfast

      • Measure everything

      • Eat as healthy as possible

      • Pack a lunch every day

      • Try to be supportive in food choices

      • Choice foods to balance out certain spikes


      • 1 hour of activity a day

      • Run

      • Exercise

      • Variety in exercise

Blood Sugar Monitoring/Site Change

      • When in doubt, check

      • Don’t hesitate to change site

      • Remember, diabetes #s are just data!

      • CGM helps my daughter test more

      • My daughter checks her blood glucose every time immediately before starting the car

      • Set blackberry for every three days for catheter change

You might like to ask what 1 positive thing has diabetes given you, and find it useful to write down your healthy habits, and borrow any of these listed here.

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