Remember that one time you lost weight and kept it off for a while, but over time life just got busy and the weight came back.
You weren’t ok with it, but there were a lot of other important things that needed your attention...like making it through college, how you were going to pay the bills or take care of your family.
Next thing you know, you're at the doctor for a yearly check up and you find out that you have high blood pressure and high blood sugar aka hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
You sit there stunned as the doctor goes over all the lifestyle changes you need to make like that you need to lose weight, clean up your diet, and start exercising while adding new medicines for you to take every day.
You can’t seem to fully wrap your head around this new diagnosis.
You’re scared. What’s going to happen? What does this mean?
You don’t even want to tell your friends and family because you are embarrassed that this is happening, you didn’t think it could happen to you.
You’re ashamed that you let things come this far. You might even want to completely ignore your diagnosis.
There is a lot of fear that fuels the stress and worry that you may be feeling.
Fear can stall you from taking action.
Fear can make you feel like there is no hope.
Fear can make you think that your friends and family are going to judge you.
Fear can leave you feeling overwhelmed because you just don’t see how you are supposed to lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise while going to your 9-5 and taking care of your family.
The first part of staring your diagnosis in the face and doing something about it is working through fear and how to face it, rumble with it, and use it as fuel to light your fire.
Because it is completely possible to reverse or use fewer medications with the right lifestyle choices. But you won’t get there if you let fear stand in your way.
There is a way to kick fear in the face and stop being afraid of what other people think while you get your health back on track.
Here are three things to do right now to take action and get started moving towards a healthy life...one step at a time:
1. Change your mindset
Accept yourself for what and who you are. Your diagnosis does not define you, yes, you now have some extra stuff to deal with in your life and it makes life extra complicated and hard, but ignoring or dismissing it will not help you move forward.
What you focus on you become, so change your focus.
Let me say that one more time. What you focus on… you become…You change your focus by changing how you speak to yourself in your brain. How you speak to yourself can change your perspective on how you view even the smallest of tasks.
Here's an example, if I say to my self every morning..." you are never going to lose weight you're just fat and you always will be." Do you expect me to ever lose weight?
What if I said, "you are doing the best you can. Today is a new day and I will try my best." You might have a little more hope for me, but maybe not convinced that 'trying' is not as good as truly believing in yourself.
A lot of times we can make a decision on the outside without fully committing to it...and we both know that just saying you are going to do something will never give you enough motivation or willpower to start or stick with it.
Change your mindset, change your focus, change your commitment, and the rest will follow.
What if I said to myself every morning, "I love myself when I look in the mirror, I have great curves and I can't wait to see more of them. I eat to fuel my body which gives me the energy to live each day to the fullest." This person is the person I want to be. The one that starts with self-acceptance which translates to all other decisions in my life.
How are you speaking to yourself?
An easy way to help you speak to yourself differently is by developing self-mantras. Here are some examples of self-mantras to practice. Feel free to write your own and put it on your mirror (I like to stick mine in my makeup bag because it's a little more private but I get to see it every morning while I'm looking at myself in the mirror.)
- I am not my diagnosis I am free I can choose how I want my future to be.
- I am taking responsibility for my health and I am in charge now.
- I am strong, I am brave, and I will not let fear keep me from living a healthy life
- My mantra: when faced with challenges, I embrace the suck and keep moving on to the next task, I know I am capable of 20x more than I think I am. (I repeated this over and over in my mountain bike race and ended up taking 2nd. You never know how your mindset can eliminate fear and drive you to confidence!)
2. Make a plan
Taking imperfect action towards meaningful goals helps to relieve stress and gives you a huge sense of enjoyment.
But fear paralyzes our actions.
The way to overcome this is by making a plan to get to where we want to be and taking steps to get there. Here’s an example:
If your goal is to get your blood pressure and blood sugar under control (BP less than 140/90 and fasting blood sugar <130) you will need to take your medications according to your doctor and pick one to focus on:
losing 1-2 lbs a week
lowering your carbohydrate intake while increasing healthy fats and lean proteins
adding in exercise
All three can have a huge impact on your health but, we cannot focus on too many things at once or we will be paralyzed by fear and overwhelm.
Let's pick the second one. For the first couple of weeks, I would focus on adding vegetables into your diet and that’s it. Instead of changing your entire diet and removing all the things that you love, just focus on one small thing. Doesn’t that feel more doable?
I have a free resource that helps you pick 1 or 2 healthy habits each week and track your success. It's a great place to start if you are ready to take a step forward to get your health back on track. Click on the image below.
One thing that kicks fear and self-doubt in the face is having gratitude.
I know it seems a little bit out there, but if you can take a moment right now and think about 1 thing you are grateful for and really feel it.
I'm grateful for this warm blanket and my sweet dog, Lily, who thinks she's a lap dog although she isn't, I'm grateful for my husband that sleeps in a little (to like 7 am) so I can get some time to myself, I'm grateful to be able to connect with you and maybe inspire you just a little today to take one small step of action for your health.
Your turn, what are 3 things you are grateful for right now...big or small?
Feel how fear has been pushed away for a minute because you can look at your present moment and be thankful for what you have and what is around you.
Tip to add more gratitude into your life:
Every night before bed keep a journal nearby and write out three things you are grateful for. And don’t just write them to get it over with it. Really take a moment to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and feel yourself being grateful and thankful.
Making the bold decision to not let fear hold you back anymore is one of the best decisions you can make to ensure you live a healthy life.
The people in your life love you and support you. I guarantee if you ask for their support they will help you reach your health goals. If not, find a new support group or get a health coach, like me. ; )
It’s not something that happens overnight, but taking intentional action and changing your mindset with mantras and gratitude will point you in the right direction.
Everything that you want in life is past your comfort zone. Don’t let fear be the reason you didn’t take action to get your health back under control. You can do this. You are not alone.
If you are ready to start taking imperfect action now and you just don’t know where to start, grab my FREE Starter Kit to get your blood pressure and blood sugar back on track.
Let me know in the comments below, what action are you going to take to conquer fear and type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure?