Friday, November 2, 2012
By KELLY CHAMBERS, MS, RD, CDE
Special to HRN
Making behavior changes can be very hard. This is whether we have diabetes, are at risk for diabetes or want to make healthier choices. Even though we may know how important it is to make a change, it can be hard to get started with that new habit.
Many of us take on too many changes at one time. This often sets us up for failure. Just one or two small changes can lead to big differences. Walking 10 minutes a day or limiting portions at meals may help delay or prevent developing Type 2 diabetes. It can also improve blood sugar levels for people that already have Type 2 diabetes.
To get started making changes, set a goal or make an action plan. When making your action plan, use the SMART criteria below to help improve your success rate.
Also, remember to make sure that it is your action plan or goal — not what you think your doctor or your family would suggest you do.
After setting your action plan, give yourself a score between one and 10. The score reflects how confident you are that you can achieve this plan. If you score is under six, you might want to revise the plan so that your confidence level is higher.
S: Be specific about your goal including what, why and how.
M: Make sure your goal is measurable, so you know when you reach your goal.
A: All goals need to be attainable. Do not over commit to something you know will be very hard to achieve.
R: Ask yourself if this plan is realistic. You want set a goal that is doable, so you can be successful.
T: Set a time period for reaching your goal.
Some examples of SMART goals may include:
I will walk for 10 minutes during lunch break on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next four weeks.
I will plan and record dinners five nights a week for the next two weeks.
I will test my blood sugar every night at bedtime for the next two weeks.
Remember it takes a number of weeks to develop a new habit. It is common to have a few slip-ups along the way. Do not beat yourself up over it. Try to figure out the slip-ups that stopped you from reaching your goal. Then list some solutions to overcoming those slip-ups, or barriers.
If you are having trouble setting goals or overcoming barriers, consider setting up an appointment with a diabetes educator or dietitian. Most insurance companies will cover diabetes education.
Also, many insurance companies are adding weight management counseling as a covered benefit.
Here are two free events on Nov. 14 for Diabetes Month at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital:
n Pre-diabetes class: 3-4:30 p.m.
n Cooking Demonstration by Chef Chris Smith
“The Diabetic Chef”: 5:30-7 p.m.
To register, call 541-387-6379
For more information, call Providence Diabetes Educator Kelly Chambers at 541-387-6379 or visit www.providence.org/diabetes.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge