I know you mean well….but YOU’RE NOT HELPING!!

This post goes out to all the mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, friends and foes (yeah, the haters are included too).

Based on the fact that you found this post, it tells me you have been searching long and hard for helpful diabetes information. Therefore, chances are this post isn’t for you.  I believe you probably know the people who should be reading this and I can only hope you would be kind enough to share it.

What I have to say isn’t easy. While it isn’t easy for me to say, it is even harder for people with diabetes to say. It is difficult because they like you or even love you and don’t want to hurt your feelings. Never mind the fact of how many times their feelings have been hurt and self-esteem has been ripped to shreds.

So, I am going to be the messenger and speak on their behalf. All I ask is for you to spread the word because this post isn’t for you.

We’ve got to change the conversation, and with that said…


Who is THEY you ask? Your diabetic loved one or friend. They know diabetes is serious, shoot for them it’s actually scary. I’ve learned that there are many diabetics who really don’t know how to best manager their condition. Most know the general do’s and don’ts, however, following through with them is easier said than done.

When you wake up in the morning, you rub the crust out of your eyes, stretch and your feet hit the floor. You go to the restroom first and at some point you are off to the kitchen to decide what you want for breakfast. You ponder over a veggie omelet with cheese…ooooooooh, or an all meat omelet,hmmmmmmmm? Bagel and cream cheese, three pancakes? A big Belgium waffle with that good warm syrup? Ooooh, oooh, ooooooh, maybe toast with butter and jelly (which should really be called stick of butter with a lot of jelly and a little toast). Wait NO...I want a cinnamon roll, donut or dunkin sticks with coffee (or shall I say “sugar with a splash of coffee...blank stare). Ooooooooweeeeee that right there warms my spirit in such a good way. But wait! I don’t have half those things in this kitchen, I’ll just get something at work!!!

Now some of those options are better than others, but the truth is MOST people we know are not cooking at home. When we do purchase breakfast, we are not ordering egg whites, (healthy) yogurt parfaits, or other low carb and/or healthy options. We want the GOOD STUFF! All that stuff I listed above, including muffins, croissants, greasy sausage, fried potatoes and the meat that reigns supreme...BACON!!!

The question I want to ask is “WHY is it okay for you to want these things even though you know YOU don’t need them either?” Is it because you are not diabetic? Well, news flash! If you keep eating like you are eating, you just may join the club sooner rather than later. I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer or Major Pain (one TUBBY TUBBY :-) ), but it is becoming a reality for more and more of us in the US.

Before your diabetic bestie (friend or relative) was diagnosed, you two enjoyed the same things breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, all of a sudden, they are just supposed to turn off the switch for all things DELICIOUS?


They don’t need to see a finger wagging in their face. They don’t need to hear “Should you be eating that?” or in other circles, “Now you know you don’t need that!” Diabetes is ALREADY a BULLY and Pumps are SNITCHES, so they don’t need the people they love the most being annoying too! It is not my intention to rough anyone up, I am merely the messenger. I am coming to you on behalf of all my diabetic family and friends who were too shy, too polite or too scared to respond in previous attacks conversations.

What they need from you is to…

Change the Conversation!

They need you to be supportive! Meaning, when they are having a rough day or week or month with diabetes complications you say, “Man that really SUCKS! You are such {insert compliment} a strong person to deal with all this on a daily basis. Is there any way I can help? I have tons of hugs if you need one!”

Every time you see them, say "Hey Warrior! I am so glad you are still fighting the good fight."

They don’t need to hear “See, if you wouldn’t have been {fill in the blank} drinking that orange soda, eating that ice cream and peach cobbler before bed, eating that chopped beef potato and that sweet potato pecan pie, your blood sugar wouldn’t be out of whack.”

Just because they have diabetes doesn’t mean they are no longer going to want ALL THINGS sweet, delicious, melt in your mouth, feel warm going down the inside of your chest, and put you in a sugar coma heaven. It is just NOT REALISTIC.

So as lovingly, sweetly, kindly as I can muster up these words, I am asking you to STOP being a FINGER wager and become a loving LEARNER, so you can continue being a LOVER of your diabetic bestie. They are going to kick you to the curb if you keep up this nonsense (blank stare).

What I know for sure is they NEED you, so I want to help you strengthen this relationship rather than KILL it! What I know for sure is that you LOVE THEM and you want to see them healthy, happy and live a long life. This is why you are trying to help in the first place, right? RIGHT!

So, I hope you will consider my next few points. These points are going to allow you to love on them while you encourage them and support them on their diabetes journey.

3 Ways to KEEP loving on your diabetic bestie:

Change the conversation.

Stop being critical and judgmental.

Stop talking at them and start talking to them.

ASK more questions.

Know that NO MATTER how much they know about diabetes or how to manage their own condition THEY are the expert of how they feel.

They are the EXPERT of their life.

KNOW that they are doing the VERY BEST they KNOW how to do. If that doesn’t look like much to you then figure out how you can become part of the solution rather than the problem. Maybe you could research therapists in your area who specialize in helping diabetics. Find them a Diabetes Educator who can teach them more about their condition and how to improve their level of self-care.

Actually learn what diabetes is and which type they have:

Some “Nancy Know It All’s” think they know so much about diabetes but don’t even know that their friend is Type 1 and not Type 2. They will never be able to “exercise it away” and they won’t “grow out of it”.

Learn and ask questions about their specific regimen:

Have you ever offered to go their Endo (Endocrinologist aka Diabetes Doctor) appointments with them? This would give you the opportunity to ask the doctor questions and get accurate answers regarding things you are curious about. You just might find yourself contributing information your loved one doesn’t remember or recall the way you do. Additionally, you might have more courage to ask for information on resources to help your friend get free or discounted supplies. Sometimes we don’t want to ask for the help we need, which is why we need the ones we love and trust the most to step in and advocate for us.

I hope you are now able to see all the ways you can begin to add value to your diabetic loved one’s life, instead of being on the verge of sitting on that curb by yourself!!! I know this is not what you want.

If you need help transitioning from being a FINGER Wager to a Loving LEARNER, email me at carmella@adiabetictypelife.com to schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation. I’d love to explore how my coaching services could be of assistance to you.

It takes a village to support a diabetic, so let’s start building one brick at a time!!

Join us on Facebook @Facebook.com/adiabetictypelife

Be Well & Test often,


It's time to fight back!


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