Diabetes: Rewarding YOURSELF

best effort ward

This guest post was written by type 2 diabetic and chef Ward Alper. It originally appeared on his website, The Decadent Diabetic, and was republished on Information About Diabetes with permission.

Do you remember the last time you tested? Do you remember your last A1C results? I am also sure that you also remember the last time you felt that you cheated on your Diabetes.

QUESTION: When is the last time you patted yourself on the back for all the hard work and effort you put into managing your Diabetes?

My very tall doctor is the person that got me thinking about patting myself on the back. He and I had a great relationship built over many years. He would tease me that my arms were probably too short to reach, so he would pat me on the back for all the hard work and effort I put into managing my Diabetes. It wasn’t a physical thing. He would keep reminding me that what I am doing severely decreases the negative effects of Diabetes on my health. It wouldn’t cure my Diabetes, but it would drastically improve the quality of my life with Diabetes. Sharing my positive outlook and recipes with others, he thought, was good for me (my ego) and encouraging for others.

This sounds like something all of us should do. But we don’t. We seem to get bogged down in what we have not yet achieved or the minor setback, or that “cheat”.

Be clear that simply by reading here and looking at the recipes available, you are doing something positive. It doesn’t matter if you prepare any of the recipes. You are exploring the possibilities in managing your disease. This is terrific. At some point you will get to trying one or more of the recipes.
Checking in on Diabetes-specific sites is a huge step in the right direction. We all come to acting on those steps in our own way and in our own time. Pat yourself on the back for being willing to explore the possibilities.

For all the hard work you have done, even if YOU don’t think it is enough, you deserve a reward. This space is all about food. My suggestion is to reward yourself with something wonderful to eat.
Start slowly if you like, and try a new vegetable fixed in a new way. Use it to replace a higher carbohydrate food that used to be on your plate. Make it taste so good, you have no choice but to see it as a treat rather than a poor substitution for what you really “think” you want. Take “boring old chicken”, spice it up, and turn it into a treat (reward). Move on to cheesecake or chocolate cake if YOUR carbohydrate budget allows. Start smaller with a single cookie made from a lower carbohydrate recipe. You really can eat just one…even if you can have more.

Triumph over your Diabetes. I am, and I think you will be, very pleased and surprised at how good eating and managing your Diabetes can be.

We don’t have to be perfect. We only have to strive to be better. We all need to recognize our efforts and not dwell in what we may not have achieved…..yet.

It is time to be proud of what and who you are. Go out and buy something in Diabetes blue. A coffee cup for example and make yourself a great cup of coffee or tea to start your day and remind you how far you have come. Perhaps a t-shirt or polo shirt. That shade of blue seems to look good on everybody. When people tell you how good you look in that color, tell them it is Diabetes blue. The money you spend will not only make you feel good but if you find a site that donates some of the proceeds to research, may have some benefits for others. Somebody seeing you in the shirt may feel a little less isolated and encouraged by your position on having Diabetes.

Get out there. Pat yourself on the back. If your arms are too short, get someone to do it for you. YOU are amazing. Try preparing a new recipe. You can do it!

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Source: Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic