Personal Responsiblity

I alone am responsible for my diabetes routine.

Once Upon a TimeBy Rachel Baumgartel

Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!

September 2011 — Routines are undoubtedly established over the course of a romantic relationship, particularly once that relationship becomes one that involves cohabitation.

When such a relationship ends, these routines make themselves that much more apparent as each person discovers life on his or her own.

This is the place in which I found myself recently, particularly when it comes to matters of staying healthy in spite of type 2 diabetes.

I miss the delicious meals he prepared most evenings, many times getting started while I exercised on the home elliptical just up the stairs from the kitchen. What a time saver that used to be, especially after a busy day at work.

On the weekdays I do not exercise, I make enough food for two dinners so that all I have to do on the days I do exercise is heat up a plate of food. This also helps with the recently limited food budget. Two meals for the price of one is always welcome, especially when the focus is on fresh meats, fish, fruits, and vegetables instead of packaged foods, pasta, and rice.

Yard work is no longer a way to add some variety into the weekly exercise routine while accomplishing a necessary task. It took me awhile to think of ways to stray off the beaten path of walking, elliptical, and balance ball workouts.

Now I follow up an apartment cleaning session with a "dance party." I turn on some music and move my body along with it. It does not quite match pulling weeds and raking leaves, though it feels just as invigorating afterwards.

The support we gave each other when it came to diabetes is what I miss the most. The daily routine of type 1 diabetes is much different than that of type 2, though I think being in it together day in and day out made things easier for both of us emotionally.

Isolated from another person's daily diabetes routine, I lost a sense of personal responsibility with my own. Some of the factors mentioned before played a part, such as not feeling like exercising and cooking a meal on the same night, having less money to buy healthy food, and losing some chores that could be considered exercise.

Most of all, I forgot that I had a whole other source of emotional support in the diabetes online community, that I was certainly not alone in this battle. To those who reached out in the darkest days, I owe tremendous thanks.

Navigating my own routine with diabetes has been rough. I still argue with myself over questionable food purchases filled with simple carbohydrates at the grocery store, but in the end I remember that I must make a conscious choice over what food enters my home. I still argue with myself over whether I really want to exercise or just go home and relax after work, but in the end I remember I must make a conscious choice to get moving.

Living well with type 2 diabetes depends on the choices I make and the routines I create — and ultimately, I will always be the only one responsible for them.

Read more of Rachel's columns.

dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: June 03, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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