In visiting with a couple of diabetic friends and my diabetic nurse, I said that the numbers either weight or BG’s drive me crazy. I am a very, very competitive person with myself. I have to have the right numbers or it does get a little OCD. The friends, as I said are diabetic, one never, NEVER tests and the other does four times a day according to her doc’s instructions. My diabetic nurse admitted that she had noticed that I get rather testy about the numbers either weight or BG’s. She suggested that perhaps, I give myself a break, and not look at the numbers except in the AM and last testing of the day. I test three times a day according to my doc’s instructions. As for weight, there are so many other signs to tell how you are doing weight-wise that I wouldn’t have to look at the weight unless I wanted to.

So do your numbers either high or low, cause you great emotional turmoil, or can you take them in stride? If you are losing weight for control, how are those numbers and your emotions? How do you manage the emotional part of being diabetic? I stink at it.

You are not alone, Cathy. We frequently get caught up in and emotionally react to our numbers.

The usual advice to people upset about their BG numbers is “It’s only a number. The number is not you. You are not the number.” All true, but not real helpful.

What helped me was to remember that the number is just data, little different than the outdoor temperature. What is important is not what the data is, but how I use it.

If the temperature outside is 36 degrees I put on a coat. if I go outside and I’m still cold, I add a scarf. Or a sweater or a hat or change jackets. If the temperature rises, I take them off.

Similarly with my BG. If it’s too high, I react by taking some insulin. If it’s too low, I eat something. Then I try to think back to what might have made it go too high or too low.

This is the primary difference between the data that is the outside temperature and the data that is our blood sugar. We think that we should be able to have absolute control over our blood sugar. Uhn-uhn. We can’t control it, we can only influence it. But at least we have some influence. The jacket I wore yesterday has no influence on the outside temperature today. But the food I ate yesterday will influence my BG today and in the future, like the next time I eat it.

This is why it’s important to keep a log of our food, our activities and our BG. So we can look back and see what has influenced our BG.

If you can afford the strips, I’d recommend talking to your doctor about testing more often. Three times a day won’t give you much useful information. Talk about ‘testing in pairs’ - test before you eat, then test again 2 hours after you eat. This will give you a better idea of how the food you eat influences your BG. If you test before breakfast and not again until lunch, four or five hours later, you really don’t have any useful information on which you can act. You won’t have any idea at all what your breakfast did to your BG. Testing in pairs might mean testing six times a day. It’s worth it to have more influence over your numbers.

That won’t necessarily help with your emotional response, which is hard to let go of. But it might help you take a more clinical and cold approach to the numbers, because they’ll be more like data and a reflection of the food you ate, rather than a reflection upon you.

They don’t reflect on you at all. You are not the number. The number is not you.

Best of luck,


Feeling better yet?

Your comparison to the outside temp was brilliant and I would agree. Right now, the doc is happy to have me do three times, I am sure she will ask for more in the future…and I would be happy to give that to her, because in the end it supports getting me what I want ---- just to be healthy.

Health has been a long road for me, and I tough one. So that I tend to really get psyched by things that don’t look right, and then aren’t addressed by the team I have available. Another one of those rural health care drawbacks, you don’t get a choice in physicians or even docs over Pa’s or CNP’s…you have to take what is available. I am very lucky to have a good doc, a CNP who is very knowledgeable in diabetes and is also willing to work with me, rather than putting up road blocks to a good healthy relationship. But when I want it, I want it now…it’s not a good fault to have.

Thanks for the support, it is appreciated.


Yes, indeed numbers cause me to get slghtly stressed and emotional sometimes. But I have treated these numbers as a simple guage or an instrument to know how I am doing healthwise. Higher blood sugar means Ive eaten something too much or something that I shoudnt have (which is more often the case…LOL), a higher weight signifies Im not doing the activities or exercise I should have. Every three months my doctor asks me to go through several laboratory tests… cholesterol test, CBC, HBa1C,FBC, Uric Acid, etc, etc, etc (so many ABC’s there!). We go through all these numbers together. Believe me…its confusing sometimes. But afterwhich she discusse to me the meaning of these numbers. What I have to avoid, what not to eat, what to take…blah, blah… It facinates me actually. Yes, It gets tiring sometimes, but i learned to live with these numbers. It is definitely NOT a determinant of WHO I am. I just use these numbers to my advantage.

I hope you’re able to let go of the “OCDish” concern with the numbers, as it will drive you nuts I fear! Try as hard as we might, we can’t control those numbers entirely. When I was younger (before diabetes) and perpetually dieting, it was the weight numbers that drove me nuts. If some day I was up a little bit I felt like a total failure.

Now, for both BG and weight, I “notice” the numbers, record them, but do not judge myself by them. And gradually, over time, with ups and downs, the weight begins to lower overall. The bg helps me know what is going on in my body and I can match that with how I’ve treated it (exercise, food, infections, fatigue, stress), but I work hard not to stress about either number, as, if I did, it could cause me to completely give up.

For years I never weighed myself at all, because I used to step on and off the scale, hoping for a different reading, feel miserable if it wasn’t where I thought it should be, and so on, so I stopped weighing. Now I do it, just for the records, and notice what it is and the general trend, and don’t let it be a measure of my personal success or failure as a person.

Hope this helps a little, I have some OCD issues as well, and I try to use it for good. LOL.

Terry, I like the way you put it. We can’t control the numbers, we can only influence them. I hope I can remember those two verbs, as it makes a lot of sense, to both BG and weight, at least in my case.