[acb-diabetics] staying motivated with diabetes
plawolf at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 20 15:37:43 EDT 2011
Aug 14, 2011
You've successfully resisted the urge to eat that slice of cake. You've
remembered to check your blood sugar
<http://www.diabeteshealth.com/browse/monitoring/blood-sugar/> that extra
time. Maybe you've resisted and remembered for days, or weeks. Perhaps you
now think that you've figured out how to keep yourself motivated in dealing
with your diabetes <http://www.diabeteshealth.com/> . Actually, you're just
Keeping motivated isn't about days or weeks. It's about years. In the last
installment of this series, we sketched out some of the challenges of
dealing with diabetes -- both type
<http://www.diabeteshealth.com/browse/community/type-1-issues/> 1 and type
2 <http://www.diabeteshealth.com/browse/community/type-2-issues/> -- on
this extended time scale. We also looked at an Israeli study that provided
compelling proof about the benefits of aggressive treatment to keep us
motivated and engaged.
But how do those two things work together? How do the challenges of
maintaining self motivation interact with the real benefits that it provides
To answer that question, we should take a look at a study, published last
year in the journal Chronic Illness, that offers a different take on the
issue of self-motivation.
This study was simply observational: It asked 77 people questions about
their diabetes and the measures they took to control it. Importantly,
patients were asked about their level of self-care first. This gave
researchers a baseline for subsequent questions: They knew which patients
took care of themselves, and which didn't.
The subjects were then asked about their level of motivation, how much they
knew about their disease, what the current state of their health was, and
how much social support they received.
Each one of those topics had the potential to affect how well the patients
managed their illness.
But only one topic counted: motivation. Motivation was the only variable
that made a difference in how well patients ate or checked their blood
Another win for motivation, right?
Well, yes and no. While the researchers, all from the University of
Missouri, acknowledged the effect of motivation, they wrote, "Individuals in
this study had difficulty in maintaining self-care demands, especially
exercise <http://www.diabeteshealth.com/browse/fitness/exercise/> . Meeting
recommended levels of self-care activity was challenging."
In other words, motivation works. But it doesn't mean that the challenges of
diabetes recede or that we ever fully master the disease. And the
researchers also showed that simply educating ourselves or having the
support of others doesn't matter as much as we might think. What really
matters comes from inside us, not from any outside source.
In the next and final installment of this series, we'll give some tips on
simple ways to increase your motivation as you manage diabetes.
If you have any thoughts about the series so far, please leave a comment
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