Rachael Lloyd, 49 of Norco, California
1) EDUCATE YOURSELF. I can't stress that enough. You need to know how this disease affects you personally and your ability to successfully manage it. Talk to your doctor at length, sign up for educational classes, read and research. You could also join in support pages on Facebook such as American Diabetes Association. Get your whole family involved in being educated.
2) LEARN TO READ LABELS while shopping and when eating out. It's not just sugar count but looking at the carbs and fiber for total net carbs. I was surprised at the carb counts in my favorite foods. While you're at it, watch your portion control. Again get the whole family involved in eating healthier. The support is so important to know you're not alone.
3) GET UP AND MOVE. The easiest most inexpensive way is to just walk. No gym membership needed. Start out small and build up. Get your family involved to get fit together and have that support. Get some Fitbit buddies and hold each other accountable. It's all about being fit, better, and healthier you. #fitnotskinny
4) DON'T DEPRIVE YOURSELF. If you want a sweet, have some. Again portion control. Maybe one cookie vs. a handful. There a lot of good recipes out there for low carb/sugar treats. Or share with someone and have just a bite or two. If you deprive yourself it can make that craving even worse and set you up for failure. Also don't beat yourself up when you do have a set back. Tomorrow is a new day.
5) TAKE YOUR MEDS. Don't go it alone! Get a little help from your phone. There are so many great apps that help you stay on track with your health, but I love Mango Health (www.mangohealth.com) to help manage all the medications you may be on. It sends easy, fun reminders to help make sure you take them on time and not miss any doses - as medicine (along with healthy eating and exercise) plays an important role in managing your diabetes. I even get rewarded with prizes each time I take my meds, through the app!