According to Doctor David Cavan, a Consultant Physician at Bournemouth Diabetes and Endocrine centre (Cavan, 2014), if you are willing to make a change to reverse your type-2 diabetes, it is important to ask yourself these first two questions in order to assess your readiness for change:
Question 1: On a scale of 0-10 (0 being not important and 10 being extremely important), how important is for me to make changes to help reverse my diabetes?
Question 2: On a scale of 0-10 (0 being not confident and 10 being extremely confident), how confident do I feel that I can make changes to help reverse my diabetes?
Most of the time, people answer high scores on question 1 but scores tend to vary for question 2. If you answered high on both questions 1 and 2 and have been honest to yourself, then chances are that you are ready to make changes to reverse your diabetes. However, if you answered low (<5) to the question 2, then you should ask yourself the two following questions:
Question 3: What are the reasons I chose to score so low to the second question?
Question 4: What would need to happen for me to be able to give myself a higher score?
Focusing on these 2 questions should help you identify what are the barriers to you making the changes to lifestyles including diet and levels of physical activity and addressing those barriers so that you are set up and ready to make those changes. Once you have tackled what was holding you back (for instance time, education on nutrition and fitness…), then that means you are ready to change your lifestyles and you can ask yourself the following questions:
Question 1: What are my reasons to make changes?
Question 2: What frustrates me most about having diabetes?
Question 3: How do I want things to be different?
Question 4: How will you know when you have achieved this?
Question 5: What is the main thing you would like to change starting from now?
It is really important that you know what matters to you the most in trying to reversing your type-2 diabetes. For example, it can be that you no longer want to be on medications for the rest of your life, or simply that you want to feel more vibrant and energetic. Identifying the “why” behind your willingness to change is key as this will be your primary source of motivation. (Question 1). Once you find your motivation, it will make the change process easier.
Visualising how things could be different for you in your future self is also a great technique to motivate you to get to where you want to be (Question 3). Imagine sipping on your mug of coffee and enjoying your breakfast without having to take a blood glucose test or medications for example. Something that may help you keep in mind this healthier version of yourself that you want to be is to hang a picture, a mission statement on the fridge, on your phone screen or anywhere else where you can see it everyday as a reminder to yourself.
Finally, what you answer to Question 5 is the main goal you are going to set for yourself. It doesn’t matter what that is but remember to be specific and start small with something that you are willing to achieve and feel confident about (Question 1 & 2). This can be as simple as: “I am going to reduce my consumption of packaged juices and other sugary drinks starting from next Monday”.
In order to do so, you may want to empty your fridge from any packaged fruit juices you have currently in the fridge and start thinking about a healthier option (for example: lime and sparkling water or low-carb fruit smoothies made with vegetal milk or water).
👉Comment down below what’s holding you from making changes?
Cavan, D 2014, Reverse Your Diabetes: The Step-by-Step Plan to Take Control of Type 2 Diabetes, Vermilion, London