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Diabetic & Still Living A Good Life

Diabetes is a serious and critical illness affecting millions of Americans today.  Tackling the everyday management of your blood glucose levels can sometimes be a hassle and a major inconvenience sometimes. But, living a happy, healthy, active lifestyle is still possible.  With the right motivation, you can manage the numbers without much worry, stress, and inconvenience.

Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, your condition does not define you.  Live your life, full of fun activities with the people you love and enjoy being around.  Enrich your life with the things that motivate and bring happiness to you.

Vitality interviewed several people from different walks of life and ages about how they stay active, healthy, motivated, and happy while living with diabetes.  With positive outlooks on life, each of the interviewees commented with positive outlooks.


Anna Cartien, 59, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes two years ago when she was hospitalized for kidney stones. She had been having excessive urination and was always feeling tired. Once she was diagnosed, she told herself, “buckle down and get it under control.”  Now, she feels fantastic and says that her happiness comes from three major life changes. Anna does more daily exercise routines and eats healthier meals than before she was diagnosed. She has also quit smoking.  Anna’s choice of exercise is spending 35 minutes on the rowing machine and 25 minutes doing yoga. You can learn more about the perks of yoga here and incorporate it into your exercise routine to see a big difference in your blood glucose levels.


Gretchen Becker, now 76, has been living with Type 2 diabetes for the past 20 years.  She says that her life expectancy is not determined by her diagnosis. Gretchen wrote a book after being diagnosed.  It tells about the lifestyle changes she had to incorporate to improve her blood glucose management. You can purchase her book now.  You can follow Gretchen’s healthy eating routine to avoid high blood sugar readings.

She started by cutting down on carbohydrates by eliminating bread and pastries from her diet. Like Anna, Gretchen has started walking every day also and attributes cutting out the carbohydrates and walking to losing a bit of weight.   Gretchen encourages joining an online community through forums when you are first diagnosed with diabetes. Having support from friends online lets you know you are not alone. Share your stories with the community.


Ellie Huckle was 11 years old when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She says that her family’s support has made living with and managing diabetes easier. She says, “My mum recognized I was having symptoms; exhaustion, excessive thirst and loss of weight.” Ellie did not let her diagnosis change who she was and does not feel sorry for herself. Now, Ellie is 18 and advocates for different diabetic causes. “Choosing to raise awareness of this disease to help others has turned my struggles into something positive. I have met so many wonderful people and have done public speaking on behalf of Diabetes UK and the type 1 diabetes charity JDRF- even twice in Parliament,” Ellie said.

Although diabetes is a 24-hour job, staying positive and making the constant monitoring a habit will keep you in the best health and keep you living a fun, happy, active life.  Even with diabetes, you can still do anything your family and friends do!

Just stay positive with your head up and start eating as healthy as you can and adding in exercise to your daily schedule.  Don’t forget to eat regular meals, always carry your glucose meter and strips, and avoid stress. And when in doubt of your levels, test.

To read more about Anna, Gretchen, Ellie and others’ experiences and learn more about the top ten tips Vitality has put together for anyone looking for the best blood glucose management check out Vitality’s site.

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