3 Reliable Actions to Best Diabetes Now ~ Peter James
This is my own story and in no way an advice-giving article. Any ideas of replicating anything in this article should discussed with your doctor. I am not a doctor nor a health professional.
I was reading an article about World Diabetes Day which is on November 14th. The article stated that over 60 million people on the American continent have diabetes. The article went on to say that half of all adults are overweight or obese, and that this along with lack of physical activity is a key risk factor for the disease.
The article also said that Diabetes is associated with more than 500,000 deaths each year in the region. That’s frightening!
“Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, can be prevented,” said Alberto Barcelo, PAHO/WHO regional advisor on diabetes. “But there is limited public awareness of how to prevent diabetes.”
I was diagnosed with diabetes in November 2000, I was told by my doctor (he also had diabetes) that there was no cure and that it is something you have for life. Well that was a shock!
Action 1: Monitor blood sugar to find out what I can and cannot eat to maintain a healthy blood sugar reading.
I decided to monitor my blood sugar three times a day as well as before and after any snacks. I had set myself a goal of getting this disease under control by diet and exercise and self-education.
It took me over a year before I cut back on testing my blood sugar so often. The reason I cut back on testing was that I had found out what I could eat that would not impact my sugar reading and what foods to definitely avoid. Naan bread I miss you so much!
Fast forward 18 years and I have maintained that low blood sugar level such that when I go for my A1C blood work every six months there is nothing in the reading to show that I am diabetic, and the doctor tells me that without knowing my history I would be diagnosed as a pre-diabetic.
Action 2: I set a plan to meet and maintain desirable weight.
Part of maintaining that goal was dropping 20 lbs. of weight and maintaining that weight loss which I have done. What I have not done until recently is set a goal to drop another 25 lbs. which I need to do to be even healthier.
I live a pretty good life without too much stress and I think that sometimes that sense of being comfortable stops me from moving forward.
I have started my own business and sometimes I get side tracked because I am quite comfortable and so do not push myself as much as I need to. I am no different from many others in as much as I too can rationalize my actions afterwards when I get distracted and tend to believe my own hogwash sometimes.
So now I have set the intention to lose 25 pounds. I have not set this as a goal, rather I have set the goal of exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, six days of the week and limiting consumption of sugar and saturated fats as advised by the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization.
I weigh myself once a week to make sure that I am on track. When I started my new regimen I had actually put on three pounds! I know that weight is not the only factor and that perhaps my daily walk of five kilometers was building a little heavier muscle in my legs.
Action 3: I monitored and addressed my eating patterns
I started to keep a food log of all that I eat. The log is actually an app for my phone called MyFitnessPal. As long as I am honest with my inputting then I can see where I need to adjust. I am usually great in the day, but my weakness is at night.
So rather than just fight the urge to eat which is probably the result of tiredness I have slowly brought my wake-up time to 5:30 in the morning. Before this I was getting up between 7:30 and 8:30 am.
I have set a list of tasks to achieve when I get up and mostly get these done before I go for my walk at 7:15.
It is not an easy road! The key is to stick with the regimen and make adjustments as necessary as I go along.
I did not get up at 5:30 straight away, it took almost two months to get comfortable with it and now I cannot sleep in after 5:30. I walk every day for 3.14 miles except Sunday. It took a couple of months to get in the habit of going every day and now I do it without too much pain at all.
I know that the weight and the diabetes can come back really quickly, so I need to keep a picture in my mind of myself eating well and being slim and healthy. This is key to avoiding the health complications that I do not want to think about which come with poor health management.
I believe that with my positive outlook, healthy lifestyle habits and persistent focus on being successful with my health will help keep diabetes at bay.
I am not a health or medical professional and I share this as my own story and not as professional advice in any manner, shape or form. http://ow.ly/i/EKv7v
You Know These 5 Myths about Goal Setting, Right?
If everyone was to set goals in all areas of their lives and stick with those goals until they were achieved, we would all be so much richer for the achievements and the journey we took to hit the target.
Often it is the discipline of writing and achieving goals that can make us better off than the accomplishment of the goal itself. We become more focused and disciplined and take more responsibility for our actions.
So why is that that surveys show that less than five percent of the population set goals on a regular basis?
Here are five myths that help us understand the answer to that question
1. I already have goals!
Actually, if they are not written down in detail and with an action plan, then they are just ideas, dreams or wishes.
2. I don’t need goals I’m doing fine.
That thinking is like leaving your house in your car and driving to a business meeting without knowing the exact destination or route. You will probably get there eventually but you could well get lost along the way and even be late.
When you use a GPS, you need to put in where you are leaving from and the address of where you are going.
The GPS then works out a step by step plan for you to follow and get you there in the best way possible.
Successful goals need the beginning point, the end point, and the necessary steps in between.
3. I don’t need written goals; I have them in my mind.
When goals are floating around in your mind they can often get lost or diluted with the hundreds of other thoughts that are racing through your mind at the same time, so they cannot give you motivation or clarity.
Imagine a cruise ship with all the different departments on board; imagine the shop, entertainment, food and beverage etc. are all doing their jobs well. If the captain on the bridge does not chart a course and get the ship to the correct destination, then all the good work of everyone else would have been in vain.
The captain on a ship has his bridge team involved in the defined course and destination with measurable bench marks along the way called waypoints.
The same goes for a hotel on land; if all departments are efficient at what they do, and the leadership does not market the hotel then the business will fail.
Conversely, if the leadership does a good job and some of the departments have no goals to reach they can let the company down and bring about business failure.
4. I don’t know how to set goals.
Unfortunately, I have yet to see the skill of goal setting as a separate course on any curriculum. We all need practice in writing goals and action plans and we really need that practice in an environment designed just for the task.
There are enough detailed on-line guides for setting your goals down on paper and I shall be publishing a step by step article soon.
It will still be up to you to apply the knowledge you have gained by learning to write out your goals and to acquire the required discipline necessary to become a consistent goal setter and achiever.
When you do this the world really is your oyster and who knows what pearls lie within waiting just for you?
5. Goals don’t work, life is too unpredictable, and things always change.
If you ever flew a plane to a destination, that plane was more often than not pointing away from the destination than exactly at it.
The pilot monitors the wind speed, weather and air traffic while working to be fuel efficient as well as arrive on time. He is constantly making adjustments and sometimes even detours yet invariably arrives at his goal, his pre-set destination.
Goals are plans that can be adjusted and should be adjusted as challenges and obstacles appear. It is by having a goal that you can get beyond the obstacle much easier. Without a goal beyond the obstacle, the obstacle tends to be the only thing in our focus and so can be overbearing and seem insurmountable because it is all we see.
When we focus on a goal way beyond the obstacle, that obstacle just becomes a challenge to be dealt with while we are on our way to a greater goal.
It is important to note that if you are not a part of your own goals then you will definitely be a part of other people’s goals whether you like it or not.
Many people are quick to cite a Harvard or Yale study that shows 5% of their MBA’s make at least ten times more than the rest and this is attributed to the 5% setting goals.
I suggest that probably the main reason of people not setting goals is that when they have tried they have failed.
The reason for failing is often not setting goals in all key areas of their lives and not adopting a habit of daily monitoring, reflection and action to make those goals happen.
Yes, life is unpredictable, and things always change. In 12 months’ time you will be one year older.
The big questions is, will you be doing the same old thing, or will you be 12 months further along the pathway to your goals and dreams? http://ow.ly/i/EKuLD
Schedule Time for YOU!
I remember when I worked for a corporation and struggled to get things done. I like to help other people out and never really liked any discomfort in the work place, I preferred peace and respect.
My daily planner had many different types of entries from meetings –actually, come to think of it mostly meetings – to performance review, job observation of my reports and whatever else was demanded of me by the company or one of my bosses.
I still had my own responsibilities including working on my own key result indicators, professional development, organizing systems, answering phone calls and emails, meeting with clients to discuss their challenges and on and on. The interesting thing was that I never used my planner for me, for my things that needed doing, so I was taking care of others at the expense of my own work and commitments.
I forget where I learned the technique of putting my own time into my planner first but it was an amazing success. One night I stayed behind at work and went through my daily and then weekly to-do list and scheduled time for all of it. When others wanted my time for a meeting or a discussion or a “oh do you have a minute” a “Hi there you are, that reminds me I wanted to run something by you” I would say let me check my planner and if I have a moment I’ll be happy to share it with you. More often than not I did not have a moment as my planner was full of my own work.
The magic of this technique seemed to be in the perception that the planner was a perceived higher authority and so it was not me saying no to the interruptions or the distractions, rather it was the planner and I was beholden to stick to the plan. Even when by boss would come by or call me and ask if a had a minute –not sure why he said that because it was never less than half an hour at best! – I would say just let me check my planner and then respond with “I have a previous commitment at the moment can we make it another time?” So often that was enough to get me off the hook and back to my own work.
I put specific time to answer my emails and pick up my phone messages as well. I told everyone I did not pick up my emails until after lunch at 2:00 -3:00 PM. My phone messages were checked twice a day at 11:00 and at 3:00. People would get so annoyed with me in the beginning but when I told them I had previous commitments first thing in the morning they eventually got used to it and left me alone. If they did need to communicate they knew when I would be checking their message. For those not familiar with my system I was getting back to them within 24 hours anyway.
Before I started scheduling my email and phone message pick up I would spend my days by addressing the needs of everyone else and by the time I got around to starting on my work I seemed to have lost steam. It was not an easy transition and no one else at my place of work did anything like this so I was seen as a bit weird, but when my productivity improved and my energy stayed higher throughout the day there were colleagues who wanted me to show them my system.
I work for myself now and still use the same strategy even though I have fewer people distracting me still find that if I only check my email once a day I do not end up with it owning my time. The same goes for answering messages on my cell phone, if it is important then a message will be left and I’ll get to it later today. I choose to use my planner, cell phone and email for me and not let it use me.
By taking action steps for myself first and then others I am reminded of the briefing they give on airplanes where we are told that should the oxygen masks drop down we should put our own on first before helping children or other people. Just makes good sense to me.
Growing up as a lad we were taught that children should be seen and not heard. So we let grownups speak and we listened unless we were asked a question. Old fashioned I know, but that is how it was. I would listen to adults sharing opinions on everything from the price of bread to how the country was going to the dogs. (They should have let it; maybe the dogs would have done a better job!)
As I was growing through my teens I never really had an opinion on anything very much and was always quite happy to go with the flow of my school or my friends. When I hit my college years I pretty much kept quiet as I really did not know what to say to start a conversation. As I listened I picked up the opinions of those around me and started to adopt and share those opinions. In the army we were pretty much a working class group of lads and learned to become good at complaining. I became a pretty good complainer, if I say so myself and could give a good complaint about the sergeant or the regiment or whatever else we were talking about and could generally get plenty of nods of agreement from my friends.
Later on in life as I entered my thirties I had a number of colleagues share with me that I was quite opinionated and could be somewhat bombastic when sharing ideas or solutions to problems.
I have since learned differently. Back in the early eighties I was listening to some audio cassettes by Rita Davenport and she said that we don’t always find the gold (goodness) in people because we are not looking for it.
This got me to doing a lot of pondering about the idea especially during my 40 minute commute every day. I believed that certain people were just useless because of my narrow judgment on them. I started to look for the good things in people and realized that I had only been looking at folks through a very narrow lens.
I wanted to change that and be able to be much less judgmental and far more considerate. Any change that is so big can be a tough pill to swallow and so it was for me. I was however, determined to make the adjustment within myself so that I could learn to begin seeing the gold in other people.
I think I have come a real long way since my early thirties and am much more flexible and mostly unattached to any judgments such that I can easily let go for judgments, opinions and even thoughts that do not serve me well.
If we see someone as unapproachable or obstinate, then that is all we will see because we unconsciously behave towards them as though that is all they are. They in turn unconsciously act that way because that is the way they are being treated by us.
I have found that if I continually practice not being attached to my knee jerk judgments’ of people, reach out and communicate with them and listen more than I talk, then I can often find the gold in them. Once we find the gold in people we can treat them as if they were gold and they generally respond accordingly. Yes, what we find really does depend on what we look for.
I have worked with many professional managers over the years and it seems to me that many of them get really good at life as it happens to them.
Most jobs have some kind of structure that we have to follow anyway and there are usually key result indicators that keep us focused on what needs to be done to help make sure that we are all productive.
There are also daily challenges with people, materials and machinery or equipment that we have to deal with. We learn as we go along and get better at dealing with these challenges as they hit us and soon this becomes our comfort zone. We start to spend more time on dealing with activities than we do on planning and analyzing our productivity to see where we can improve it. This is what we call dealing with life as it happens to us. The same can be said for our families, we know when the Birthdays are and what the kids need to do for each grade so they can slowly work their way up to college and hopefully success in the big world after college.
It is not easy to step out of this mold and it takes a definite desire to be able to turn things around. If you want to make life happen for you then you have to know what it is that you want to happen. You have to have a clear picture of all of the aspects of your life such as career, health, education, family spirituality, finances, contribution and social. Once you have dreamed up a future for each of those areas you need to right them down as clear measurable goals. These goals then need to be broken down into all the smaller steps that are necessary to accomplish those goals. These smaller steps then need to be put into your planner over the appropriate period of time. The period of time could be anything from one year to 25 years or more.
Then your job is to make sure that every day you are following the steps that you have planned out.
For example if you wanted to lose 20 pounds of weight that could be put down as 2 pounds per month for ten months. Most people want to lose 20 pound in two weeks and when that doesn’t happen the go back to old habits. So to lose 2 pounds a month you would need to start to monitor your daily intake and see how many calories you are taking in daily. Once you know this you can now plan to make just a few small changes that you can stick to and then follow those changes on a daily basis. Instead of two wines with dinner just have one glass. Instead of six ounces of meat have four ounces of meat. Instead of three sodas a day try living with just one and drink more water.
Dream your dreams. Plan them out in detail and then just follow the plan. Adjust as you go along and keep the changes small and stick with the plan. Before you know it you will be achieving goals and instead of letting life happen to you, you will be making your life happen for you!
One of the challenges I have found with managing people is that they often tend to gravitate to what they like to do rather than what they need to do.
An example of this is a dishwasher in a busy restaurant kitchen. His job is to keep the dishes clean so that the cooks always have plenty of clean dishes to put the food on. If there is a lull in the activity a dishwasher could take time to wash some walls or clean some shelving because he likes to see it clean and shining. Now this is OK as long as it is not at the expense of what really needs to be done.
The dishwasher thinks he has added value because he is doing the extra work and keeping the dish room area nice and shiny. When he goes for a performance review he may even think he will get a good review because he is going above and beyond and surely the chef will appreciate that.
At his performance review the chef lays into him and gives him a poor review. The dish washer is shocked and upset about this as he has convinced himself that the work he was doing is important.
Sadly the chef does not care about those other things as much as he cares about the clean dishes. The dish washer could argue that the chef does not even notice the messy walls or the grungy shelves and what kind of a chef is not concerned with these things. The chef on the other hand thinks that those cleaning tasks can be done once a month and that is sufficient.
Whenever we do anything outside of our specific job description it is always a good idea to ask ourselves “So what, Who Cares?” not to be smart or sarcastic but to genuinely find out what difference it makes to the big picture and the managers or supervisors that are involved in that particular area.
Before you do something that is not specifically required ask yourself what difference it will make to the person who is evaluating your performance. If you were to say “Hey boss I am going to prepare a report on the benefits of taking a typing course” what do you think the boss would say? Would she say thank you or would she say so what? If she does not really care about your idea then you would be wasting your time.
When I would teach performance review courses to HR managers one of the things that came up was the disparity between the expectation of the worker being evaluated and the actual evaluation from the supervisor. So often a team member goes for an evaluation thinking that they have done good work and that it is appreciated and then that effort is not recognized in the performance review.
So going forward save yourself some heart ache before you start being all enthusiastic and doing extra work ask yourself “so what, who cares?” and if no one cares then it is probably best to not bother. On the other hand if the supervisor does care and is appreciative then go for it!