Diabetes Book Review: The ABCs of Loving Yourself With Diabetes by Riva Greenberg

Ginger Vieira Health Guide
  • Ginger  usually writes for HealthCentral's www.diabeteens.com, She's lived with Type 1 diabetes and Celiac disease for 11+ years, and is a record-holding powerlifter, personal trainer and cognitive Health & Chronic Illness Life Coach at Living In Progress.


    Don’t let the title fool you; this book, The ABCs of Loving Yourself With Diabetes, is for all ages. In fact, I think its simple presentation is actually one of the most helpful and effective things about it: here are 26 powerful thoughts and parts of life everyone with diabetes faces.


    Riva Greenberg, the author, is an avid writer and voice behind diabetes in her work at The Huffington Post, occasionally articles at DiabetesHealth magazine and her first book, “50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life: And the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save it.”

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    Riva’s past with diabetes is not perfect, she’s struggled just like so many others, and she’s turned her life around in way that diabetes literally seems to drive her only in a positive way.


    Each chapter of Riva’s book is themed by a letter of the alphabet, but the contents of each chapter are so real-to-life and so worth thinking about for one straight-forward page, that I almost think I ought to make a schedule for myself where I read one page every morning and focus on its topic for the entire day.


    My two favorite chapters were:


    K is Knowing You Are Capable of Change.”


    Whether or not you have diabetes, this chapter speaks volumes. So often we feel entirely stuck in whatever place in our life we’re in now. Whether we’re facing addiction, poor diabetes management, depression, or any self-destructive habits that are so difficult to break free from, this chapter is a reminder that you are actually capable of changing anything in your life.


    Wanting to change it badly enough is the first step. Making it happen, being patient with your progress, and following all the way through with your goal until you are where you aim to be…those are the next steps.


    Riva has changed her own life, her own thinking, her own habits…and while it’s hard to see in ourselves that we’re capable of that degree of change, we can always see the potential in other people. The final trick is to see that potential in yourself.


    "O is for Opening Your Heart and Letting Yourself In"


    I love this chapter because I see this struggle so often in my work as a Health & Chronic Illness Life Coach. The ability to make a mistake and say to yourself, “Ohhh, I’m not perfect! I’m going to try again!” is an ability that many of us haven’t developed to its fullest yet.


    But it’s so important.

    We are all so human and so filled with flaw. How can we possibly expect ourselves to manage this disease perfectly day in and day out? Whether you fell off your diet and ate too much ice cream, or your blood sugar sky-rocketed to 450 mg/dL because you forgot to take your insulin…yes those are serious things, but bashing yourself for them won’t help. Pick up. Wipe off the dirt, and move on. Try your best next time.


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    Thank you, to Riva, for a book that I would describe most simply as truly comforting, like chatting with a best friend who lives with diabetes. 



Published On: July 13, 2010