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Make good diabetes habits hard to break

"Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again," are words to an old song, but they are good advice when you backslide in managing your diabetes. Inevitably, temptation--and with it, error--comes along to derail your efforts. From holidays to birthdays to wedding receptions, there are always opportunities to derail. That's why developing good habits is so important; by doing so, you can ensure you don't fall off track with your diabetes management.

Diabetes habit #1: Maintain a proper diet

When you do allow yourself to indulge, the secret to successfully getting back on track is to put it behind you and return immediately to your daily regimen. You might have gorged yourself at your cousin's wedding reception and had twice the carbohydrates you should have, but don't beat yourself up about what you did yesterday. What's important is that you start eating healthy again today, especially if you didn't see a spike in your blood sugar from your one-time transgression. Don't let that lull you into believing it's okay to do it more often. The hidden effects (many of them long-term) of repeatedly making poor eating decisions are the reasons you want to make eating right a high priority every day.

Diabetes habit #2: Develop good exercise habits

Slacking off in your exercise and activity levels is another easy slip to make.

You may have a perfectly good excuse, like the flu or a muscle strain, but as soon as you have recovered, you need to pick up where you left off. Nothing is as easy as making excuses to avoid exercise, and before you know it, you've been a couch potato for a week, two weeks, maybe a month. The longer you stay away from exercise, the harder it is to start again. So if you have let your exercise plan lapse, make up your mind to re-start it today. If you have been idle for a long time, go back to square one and start off slow and easy with baby steps.

The important thing is to make up your mind to follow your diet regimen and exercise consistently, until they become such a strong habit that it's harder not to do them than to slack. Remember that your physician, nutritionist, trainer, exercise partner, spouse, family, and friends are all pulling for you.

If you find yourself lapsing in any aspect of your diabetes treatment regimen, don't be afraid to ask them for their support.

About Roger Diez

Roger was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2008. After his initial diagnosis, he made some lifestyle changes and lost forty pounds. Connect with him on The Diabetes Collective as he shares his journey with diabetes.

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