Week 1: Welcome!

Updated:May 19,2014

The Sandwich Generation

I was rushing to finish a typing job and quickly munching my way through a box of sugar-free cookies. At the same time, I was trying frantically to cut down on interruptions from my grandchildren, Jett, 5, and Melody, 6, so I could make my doctor's appointment. It wasn't easy.diabetes_tools_GoalsGuide_week1_image

 During the doctor's visit, I was shocked to find out that my diabetes medications were not doing the job they used to do. I guess I thought that all I had to do was pop a few pills and all would be fine. But in this visit, my doctor talked to me about my last A1c of 8.9 percent. He said that unless I committed to making lifestyle changes, I would need to start taking insulin injections soon. I asked what I could do. He referred me to a diabetes educator to work on a plan for my diabetes self-care.

Some days I feel like the bologna in a generational sandwich. My 81-year-old mother has needs and I'm helping to care for my grandchildren. Whoever calls these the "golden years" hasn't walked in my shoes. I feel tired morning, noon and night. I don't take the time to think about what I eat, and I avoid checking my blood glucose because I don't like the numbers I see. But that day I wondered: If I don't take care of myself, who will?

The diabetes educator suggested that I start with a few simple changes. We also discussed how all of this was impacting my grandchildren. Not only do I want to be around for them, I want them to be healthy, too! Visions of chomping on the entire box of sugar-free cookies — and teaching my grandchildren bad habits — made me cringe.

Exercise? Not much recently, except picking up toys. But what I learned that day made me want to change. I plan to enjoy Jett and Melody for a long time.

-- Fran

Some of you may identify with Fran and her barriers to being active and eating more nutritiously. She wanted to do things differently. This is the first important step of a new journey for Fran — and for you.

Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (for people with diabetes)

  • I have had a dilated eye exam in the last year.
  • I have had my feet inspected in the last three to six months.
  • I know how much my blood glucose changes when I am physically active.
  • I know if my diabetes medication can cause my blood glucose to go too low.
  • I know what to do to prevent low blood glucose when I am physically active.
  • I do not have diabetes, but I have been told I have pre-diabetes or have an increased risk of developing diabetes during my lifetime. I know what I need to do to prevent diabetes from happening to me.
If you checked one or more items, it's important for you to talk to a diabetes educator or your healthcare professional for more information before you start the Reach Your Goals Guide.

How About You?

Why are you participating in The Heart of Diabetes Reach Your Goals Guide? Write down the benefits of being physically active and eating healthfully. Is having more energy one of them? List the major reasons you haven't become more physically active. If you're unsure, take another look at Fran's story.

Benefits that are most important to me:

  • __________________________________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________________________________

Barriers that are holding me back:

  • __________________________________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________________________________

What helped you in the past?

Think back to a time when you felt better, had more energy or achieved something important to you. What did you do to achieve your goal? What choices did you make that helped you succeed? List a few of the success strategies that helped you achieve your goals.

My success strategies – what worked in the past:

  • __________________________________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________________________________

Break your barriers!

Now, go back to your benefits and barriers list. Choose one or two of the success strategies that worked in the past. Use them this week to overcome barriers that have kept you from reaching your goals. Which ones will you try?

My success strategies to reach my goal:

  • __________________________________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________________________________

Activity Log

Your activity log at the end of each chapter is your personal feedback tool. It will help you stay accountable. Look at it every day and write down or check off what you've done. People who record their activity are more likely to reach their goals.

At the end of the week, review your accomplishments. Get ready to feel good about yourself!

Start Date _____________________

Steps For SuccessSMTWTFS
I shared my diabetes success story.       
I identified my benefits and barriers.       
I prepared a diabetes-friendly recipe.       
I reviewed past success strategies and used them to reach my goal.       
(For persons with diabetes) I recorded my blood sugar.       
I was physically active this week. (Check days you were active.)       
Amount of time I was active. (Write minutes under day of the week.)       
Type of activities I did.
Walking Swimming Mowing Stretching exercises
Cycling Activity class Gardening Strength training exercises
Jogging Climbing stairs Cleaning Other _____________
I found support and motivation in the MyStart! Community.
Write your feelings about being physically active this week.


This content was last reviewed on 7/5/2012.