Our minds are more powerful than we think. They can hold us back with worry and fear, but they can also empower us. Our mindset impacts how we handle difficulties—whether that’s diabetes or some other life challenge. How you handle life’s curve balls can affect your future.
For example, I was born with a shorter left arm and only two fingers on my left hand. I struggled with self-esteem issues and engaged in self-destructive behavior because of this. At 19, my health wasn’t even on my radar. But when I received my type 1 diabetes diagnosis that year, I chose to use it as a wake-up call.
I turned my diagnosis into a positive: I started exercising, eating healthfully, and managing my condition. Seven years later, I’m an elite trainer and hold powerlifting records in four states.
It’s all about attitude.
So many of us feel broken or hopeless when we’re first diagnosed with diabetes. It’s only natural. But with a negative attitude, we might avoid exercise for fear of the blood glucose fluctuations. We might lack motivation, or worry the effort won’t do much to improve our situation.
With a positive attitude, we can convince ourselves to work harder for a healthier lifestyle. We know that exercising may result in blood glucose fluctuations, but we do it anyway because we’re motivated to manage our diabetes.
Just consider the two mindsets above: In the first, we’re at a greater risk for health conditions or complications. In the second, we feel fitter and happier.
Let’s not allow ourselves to be controlled by limitations that can be overcome with a positive attitude. Limitations are self-imposed. Stop seeing yourself as limited. Start seeing all of the things you can still do with diabetes.
With the right mindset, you can control your diabetes instead of letting it control you.
Chris Ruden has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and health promotion and is an entrepreneur, model, and motivational speaker. He is an elite powerlifter with two fingers on his shorter left arm—he was born that way—and type 1 diabetes (he uses an insulin pump). He has set a number of state powerlifting records, and he is showing the world that limitations are self-imposed. Find out more at chrisruden.com.
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