Back when I was on insulin injections I used to have a lot of people comment on the fact that they wouldn’t be able to inject themselves on a daily basis if they had diabetes themselves, that I am somehow braver or stronger than them because I am able to do it. Now that I am on an insulin pump the injecting is a lot less conspicuous, but I still hear similar things from people when I test my blood glucose levels – people claim that they wouldn’t be able to look at their own blood everyday. These sorts of comments always make me laugh because it makes me wonder whether people have thought through the alternative. Without insulin injections I would not be able to survive! Arguably, I could get by without testing my glucose levels, but that would make it a lot harder to manage my diabetes and I would be more likely to get complications sooner and ultimately not live as long.
The way I see it, managing my diabetes is non-negotiable. Injecting (now changing my insulin pump site) or testing my blood glucose levels are not really choices – they are not things that I look forward to doing and I would jump at the chance to not do them if a new treatment meant that I didn’t have to, but for now they are what keeps me alive and what keeps my glucose levels in check. So I do them, not out of wanting to, but out of needing to. It is not a choice. The alternative is death.
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” – Bob Marley.
There are many times in our lives when we find strength that we didn’t know we had. When circumstances call for us to do unbelievable things. When there isn’t much choice not to be strong. But it isn’t just life and death situations where we can find hidden strength within ourselves. We humans are pretty amazing and determined creatures and we can achieve just about anything we set our minds to. The trick is that we need to decide there is no other choice.
As a dietitian I have seen people achieve amazing weight loss results and make huge changes to their lifestyle. I’ve also seen many people struggle to lose weight. The difference between the two is often whether they have decided that this is something that they NEED to do almost to the point of having no other choice. It is within this mindset that we can re-examine our excuses, re-focus on overcoming the barriers that are in our way and find the strength that we need to achieve our goals.
When did you find strength you didn’t know you had?