It bugs the hell out of me! Well-meaning (sometimes) and uninformed (nearly always) people telling someone (including me) how to manage their diabetes.
While I haven’t lately had anyone tell me anything that irked me, I see it and hear it all the time.
Please folks, if you don’t have diabetes yourself, unless you’re a medical person (and they are sometimes wrong too), don’t presume you know anything about how to manage anyone’s diabetes!
Just a few tidbits… if you have diabetes, as you know, this list can get a mile long. Here are just a few that come to mind.
- Because I’m a few pounds overweight (thank you insulin), don’t presume I have Type 2. I don’t.
- Because something worked for someone else, don’t presume it’ll work for me… and above all, stop shoving it down my throat.
- Don’t tell me that if I don’t look after myself, I’ll die. That’s the first thing we learn. Then it’s OUR choice.
- Please stop being the food police!!! I have insulin. Theoretically, I can eat whatever I want as long as I can manage it effectively with insulin. (Doesn’t mean I do or I can.)
- If I look like I’m not motivated to manage my diabetes effectively, motivate me gently, suggest a counselor who can help, or just plain hold your tongue! You probably have no idea why I’m not motivated.
- Don’t talk to me about low-carb, high-carb, low-fat or whatever other combination of foods you think aren’t good. Studies have shown that both a low-carb/high protein/high fat, or high-carb/low fat diet/low protein (in whatever combination you want) are equally effective for losing weight. If you can manage your diabetes well on high carb, then that’s your choice. If you manage on low-carb, that’s your choice too. If you manage on a mix of both, fine too.
I can’t stress this enough, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT in terms of their management of diabetes and what works for them, and what they’re willing to do. If just one thing worked, everyone would be on the same diet, with the same amount of insulin/pills, taken at the same time of day, via the same method. Nice try, but no cigar!
If everyone was motivated the same way, there’d be no issue – everyone would have perfect A1Cs, right? Even then, diabetes doesn’t always behave the way it’s expected to all the time. Just doesn’t happen unless you’re a total creature of habit (eating the same thing every day, same exercise, same everything, stable hormones, no illnesses and so on)! Even then everyone gets curve-balls at one time or another!
What I want to stress above all else is that it’s people’s personal choice about how they manage their diabetes, whether you think it’s right or not.
If you find someone who’s not motivated, then try gently once or twice, then LEAVE THEM ALONE, and don’t judge. Support them in other ways. It’s not your place to be judge and jury for anyone else’s life.
Even if you think you know better, please don’t lecture – more often than not, it’s more unproductive than helpful.