I believe there is a terrible myth floating out in the diabetes community that is fueled by caretakers and healthcare professionals (usually with positive intentions)....this idea of being a "perfect diabetic"....or as one company calls it "Champions". And I believe it's hurting the diabetes community because it's not an achievable goal.
First of all, what is perfection? Does this all go back to the dreaded good and bad categories that we are taught when we're first diagnosed with diabetes....there are good/bad foods, good/bad blood sugar numbers, good/bad A1c's, good/bad weights, good/bad excercise plans. It's like checking off the box in each category and wanting to have a gold star in each one. I may be going good for several days but then one day I get thrown off...or let's be real here....diabetes just gets in the way (it's a tough disease to manage sometimes!) and the bad boxes are now being checked. So does that make me a "bad diabetic"? Does that make me not a "diabetic champion"?
As a recovering perfectionist myself this is something that I've really struggled with the last 15 years of living with diabetes. Most humans want to be praised and so our inclination is to do things that make
other people happy...but then what happens on the days where our diabetes goes array...then do we feel shame when others don't understand that sometimes we are out of control of our numbers? In my case, I know it's been hard to fee like I can be open to share with people if I'm checking the "bad boxes" of diabetes care because people won't think I'm a good role model.
But the truth is, in my opinion, that diabetes especially, is a marathon not a sprint. You live with it 24/7. We don't get a day off. When I'm speaking and bring this up with an audience...I know the people who live with diabetes because they instantly start nodding their heads during this part because each person can relate to the exhaustion of a chronic illness where there is no vacation days. I just spoke with my diabetes educator this week about striving to test my blood sugar more often. The last couple weeks I've been slacking and she and I know that! It's about re-grouping, not making judgements, and making small goals moving forward.
So if I've learned anything in my 15 years with diabetes...it's to simply take each day at a time. To certainly take your diabetes seriously, but not bubble wrap yourself so you can't experience life and go after your dreams.
Go get em!