Wil Dubois

Welcome back to our weekly advice column, Ask D'Mine, the final edition of 2014. While we're reflecting on the past year, we'd like to express huge love and appreciation for our column host Wil Dubois, a longtime type 1 himself who's also a professional D-clinical educator and diabetes author.

Appropriately today, Wil is taking a look at the world of diabetes New Year's resolutions and sharing his thoughts on those. Definitely worth a read, whether you personally plan to make resolutions or not -- and if not, then hearing Wil out might just change your mind.


{Got your own questions? Email us at AskDMine@diabetesmine.com}


Ashton, type 1 from Louisiana, asks: Hey, Wil, what's your diabetes New Year's Resolution this year?

Wil@Ask D'Mine answers: Last year I resolved to give up New Year's resolutions and I'm proud to sa

y that it's the only resolution I've ever kept! Naturally, I don't want to screw it up by making a new one this year.

But that's just me.

I actually like the whole idea of New Year's resolutions. A periodic re-evaluation of ourselves and our behaviors, what we don't like about either, and want to change about them, is a good thing. And I think that even though the vast majority of New Year's resolutions get thrown the wayside before the end of January, there can still be some lingering benefit to the self-analysis.

So change your smoke detector batteries and let's get busy! Oh. Wait. That's supposed to happen with daylight savings time, isn't it? Well, resolve to change your smoke detector batteries with daylight savings time, then... and maybe throw in a lancet change to be safe, and let's get busy!

Of course, most New Year's resolutions seem to revolve around quitting perceived bad habits or adding perceived good habits. People want to stop smoking. Stop drinking. Stop over-eating. Stop procrastinating. Or they want to start exercising. Start taking probiotics. Start donating to charities. Start helping little old ladies across the street.Sticky Note Resolutions

I said perceived in both cases because sometimes "bad" habits have silver linings and "good" habits have black linings. Consider the man who has a heart attack after giving up the drinking that took the edge off his stress; or the woman who had a similar heart attack after taking up exercise she wasn't fit for. The switch to good had a bad effect. If they had kept their "bad" habits they would've had good outcomes. OK, granted, those kinds of examples are rare, but we need to be careful when applying the "good" and "bad" labels, don't we?

But back to stops and starts. I wonder if there are any studies that compare success rates of "stop" resolutions vs. "start" resolutions?

I resolve to check into that. Someday.

But you asked about diabetes-specific resolutions. To my mind rather than the traditional stops and starts (you can't really stop or start anything in diabetes, now can you?), we are in a new category set that I'll call less or more. Such as, "I'll test more this year." Or "I'll eat less candy this year." Hey, lucky us. Grey areas lend themselves to flexible definitions, and thus a higher likelihood of success than those nasty black and white stop/start things.

I'm sure we can all think of dozens of things we could do more of. We could download our meters more. We could listen to our doctors (and spouses) more. We could exercise more. On the other hand, in the less is more department—pardon the play-on words—we could eat less high-carb food. We could feel less guilt at our failures. And we could be less cavalier about the timing of our annual dilated eye exams.

Now, most of these types of resolutions boil down to paying more attention to our diabetes. But for many of you out there, I have a radical suggestion: I think you should resolve to pay less attention to your diabetes in this next year.


So who on earth needs to pay less attention to their diabetes, you ask? Well, anyone who's unhappy with a 6.0 A1C because it wasn't in the fives. Anyone who spends more than three hours a day studying his or her CGM downloads. Anyone who spends more than two hours a day on diabetes advocacy efforts. Anyone who spends more than one hour a day telling everyone else they are managing their diabetes wrong. Any one who spends even 10 minutes arguing with someone who doesn't have diabetes about why they are a PWD and not a diabetic.

In short, anyone who spends too much time on diabetes and too little time on life.

Oh, yes, I am soooooooo guilty of being one of those people in the past. Made worse by Keep Calm and Live Lifeboth living and working diabetes. I was 24-7-365 diabetes for years. Dummkopf that I am.

Don't get me wrong. You need to take care of your diabetes. You need to do what you need to do to stay healthy in both the short run and the long run. But this damn disease can totally take over our life, and then what's the frickin' point? Isn't the point of keeping healthy to be able to live a good life? If our lives are being lived only to get us to the next shot, the next test, the next A1C result, then I think we've got it wrong.

Challenge yourself in this New Year to carve out time for joy, bliss, and healthy selfish self-indulgence. Get a hobby. Get a love. Find a joy. Watch an old movie. Read a blog that has nothing to do with diabetes (after stopping here first, of course). Resolve to make time for life, and live that life to the fullest.

So I call on the community to resolve to be a little less focused on our disease and a little more focused on anything else. I call on the community to resolve to be a little less judgmental and a little more understanding of each other. I call on the community to resolve to advocate less and to enjoy the fruits of our efforts more.

And hell, I may even break my last year's resolution and resolve to join in.



This is not a medical advice column. We are PWDs freely and openly sharing the wisdom of our collected experiences — our been-there-done-that knowledge from the trenches. But we are not MDs, RNs, NPs, PAs, CDEs, or partridges in pear trees. Bottom line: we are only a small part of your total prescription. You still need the professional advice, treatment, and care of a licensed medical professional.


Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.