Diabetic Pregnancy: Managing Blood Sugar with Personal Diet Goals, Rewards
Pregnancy Tracker: 25 weeks
Size of the Baby: Nearly a pound and a half.
Biggest Obstacle: Consistency!
Here I am, six months into my pregnancy, and I have to admit, some of the novelty has worn off. It's not the delight and anticipation for our little bundle of joy that's lacking, but rather, I've lost some of my initial motivation for facing the day-in and day-out work of a diabetic pregnancy.
There are certain habits I've found that make managing my blood sugar much easier. The issue is remaining consistent in my application of these behaviors. Sometimes I do really well, but eventually I'll let my determination and resolve lapse, and I pay for it with stubborn high blood sugars!
In an effort to better monitor my adherence to these healthy habits, I started charting my progress daily. This worked okay, but I noticed that, after a week, there were several items on my list that I wasn't able to check off because I'd never completed them, even for one day! I needed more motivation, obviously.
I decided to devise a reward system for myself. I announced to my husband that starting on Sunday, if I accomplished each item on my list, everyday for a week, I'd get a reward. The reward had to be something relatively inexpensive (we do have a baby on the way!) and not a food item. Rewarding myself with a hot fudge sundae seemed to be missing the point.
After some deliberation, I concluded that spa treatments will be my reward. First, I'll start with a manicure or pedicure. Then, after two or three weeks of healthy habit consistency, I might get a facial. A pregnancy massage, the ultimate prize, will require an entire month of adherence to my list of healthy habit resolutions.
As of now, these are the items I need to accomplish each day:
- Eat at least one serving of fruit
- Exercise -- swim or walk for 45 minutes
- Practice temporary basal rates
- Walk for 10-15 minutes after lunch
- Meet my water quota (64 oz daily)
- Avoid "forbidden foods"
- Keep within my carbohydrate limit (165 grams daily)
I can see people raising their eyebrows at the idea of "forbidden foods." However, I've decided that, for me, choosing not to eat something at all is easier than trying to eat certain foods in moderation. Tortilla chips for example. I simply cannot eat just one little serving of those delicious chips, so I'm better off avoiding them for the rest of my pregnancy. Other foods on this list include pizza, white bread, donuts, white rice, baked goods, and fried foods. Each time I experience a stubborn high blood sugar after eating something unhealthy, I will likely add it to this list.
Although these items may seem quite restricting, they are actually liberating. When I maintain these habits, I see great blood sugar results, while keeping me and the baby as healthy as possible.
A diabetic pregnancy is hard work. The final reward is going to be amazing. However, in the meantime, I'm going to treat myself to little rewards to keep me motivated and pat myself on the back!
If you have any other ideas of reward systems you've used, whether for a diabetic pregnancy or for any other life resolution, please share them!