Randy's Tips for Taking Your Diabetes to Heart
Making changes is never easy, but that doesn't mean it's not possible.
I talked to my doctor about what I needed to know to help manage my risks and took my diabetes to heart. Here are some of my favorite tips to help you get started.
"Hit Your Notes"
Work with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan that works for you and set goals for your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
"Tune Up" Your Diet
Changing my diet was hard for me. Having grown up in Louisiana, I was used to eating rich, Southern foods, and now I'm always on the go. What I learned is that you don't have to give up all the foods you love. Eat smaller portions, fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables, and keep track of your carbs. Planning your meals ahead of time helps!
Drop a Few Pounds
I was at my heaviest when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes! Losing weight isn't easy and it's something that I continue to struggle with, but even a small amount of weight loss can help reduce risks to your health. Here are some tips to help you get on the road to a healthy weight.
"Move to Your Own Groove"
You can have fun while exercising. If you can't get to a gym, take a walk, park your car a little farther away from where you are heading, or take the stairs. Every little bit helps, as long as you keep moving.
These simple, everyday activities may help.
Gather Your "Fans"
Having a supportive entourage can help keep you on track. Involve family and friends in your diabetes management plan – a little support goes a long way. Here is some advice on ways to seek support to help better manage your diabetes.
Know When to Quit
If you smoke and have diabetes, you have an even higher risk of heart attack or stroke – 10 times the risk of a non-smoker without diabetes. And, if you already have diabetes, the harmful effects of smoking can cause even more complications, such as nerve damage and kidney disease. What are you waiting for? QUIT.
Put Yourself "Center Stage"
If you get discouraged, think of the big picture. The changes you are working hard to make can help you reduce your risk of heart disease, manage your diabetes, and work toward a healthier life.