Lessons from Diabetes – Obession

Disney tree house

The old Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse in Disneyland.

Why in the world would a topic like obsession ever appear on a Diabetes blog?  And, how does the old Treehouse from Disneyland fit in?  Trust me – they do.  Read on.

I’ve found a touch of obsession is really needed to successfully fight and control Diabetes.  I didn’t even think about it, until my Doctor mentioned that I was a little obsessed with my glucose readings…hmmmm.

I was seeing my wonderful Doctor about six or seven weeks ago going over my first A1c after stopping all meds.  Results were good, which was a huge relief.  Then, I asked him how often I should be testing glucose levels since I was no longer taking meds?

“I would tell you, and prefer, zero times per day.”

Could I possibly be hearing him correctly?  Zero?  I had been testing up to five times per day just to know exactly where I was and to track the effect of what I ate.  He knew this, and said I was a bit obsessed.  Me?  Obsessed?  Obsessed like OCD?  No, not like OCD, but there was, and still remains a very strong desire, perhaps obsession, to control Diabetes.  And, then I got to thinking about obsession and success.

Ahhhhh…now, you start to see.

Just about anyone I can think of who is successful is ‘obsessed’ with their product or service.  It doesn’t matter what field you think about.  Those who make a difference are dedicated (obsessed) with providing the best possible product or experience. You don’t think so?  Three examples…

Have you ever been to Disneyland in California?  One of the attractions Walt Disney personally supervised was the completion of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.  (Now, you know why the picture is there!) It was a huge man-made tree with a lot of leaves.  A lot of leaves.  The story goes that the leaves were all hand painted before applying them to the tree structure.  Walt took one look and said they didn’t look right; to take them down and do it again. Hand paint all of those leaves again! 300,00 of them.

Is the story apocryphal or accurate?  It doesn’t really matter since it’s consistent with Walt’s fanatical dedication to quality and the “Guest Experience.’  Was he obsessed?  Some would say yes; obsessed with providing the best possible entertainment experience for his Guests.  Was he always successful?  Maybe not, but he got it right more often than not.  Do you think it led to a little success?

I…You…may not win everyday in our War On Diabetes, but we must get back up, dust off our butts and egos, and continue the fight.  You can do this…we can win.

edison's bulb a bit bigger

I have mentioned Thomas Edison before in the blog.  He was convinced he could make a practical light bulb that could be used to illuminate cities, homes, offices and factories.  Could this have anything to do with the fact he had electricity to sell?  I would never make that association…not me.  He tested somewhere between 1,600 and 6,000 elements until he found the right material (carbonized bamboo filament) to produce a practical light bulb – ie. one that lasted longer than a few hours.

Was he obsessed, or just persistent?  I’m not sure there’s a difference.  He kept at it until he was successful.

You may not control your Diabetes right away. There might be periods when you get higher glucose readings and feel as though you have failed.  Have you? Or, have you learned what you can’t eat or drink and knowing that brings you closer to successful control? It all depends on how you react.

I can just hear you, “But, I’m not Walt Disney or Thomas Edison.  I am just a person…a regular person.”  I thought you might be saying that, so….

Meet Brain Fast.  Brian has operated a little restaurant in Southern California for over 20 years.  He was very successful and is dedicated to providing great food and wonderful service in a relaxed atmosphere.  Arthur’s is a bit quirky, but I have to tell you that Brian serves one of the best breakfasts in Southern California – and it always comes with a smile.  One day he decides to expand into a new food type – one that required invention, innovation, creativity and dedication (obsession) to develop.  He stayed at it for over two years.  Folks told him to give-up.  He got beat-up and knocked down.  But every time Brian faced a failure, or it got a bit harder than he ever thought it would be, he chalked it up to a lesson learned and that he was just that much closer to success.

His persistence paid off and he’s launched a new food truck which is being met with incredible success.

Whether it’s in your work life, your personal life, or in your War On Diabetes, being a bit obsessed with doing the best job possible is crucial to success.  You aren’t going to beat Diabetes in a day; a week; or, a month.  It’s a process of incremental steps that lead to control; steps that you take one at a time down a path others have made using Diet, Exercise and Meds as your weapons.  Success, and control, are literally inevitable.

You can control Diabetes.  You can win your War On Diabetes.  Never give up the fight.  It doesn’t matter if your fight is with Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes, or Type 2 Diabetes.  Never give up and never give in.  Persistence…a bit of obsession…and you will gain control of the disease.

As always, thank you for reading.


I am not a doctor or health professional. I am just a guy who is working everyday to control Type 2 Diabetes. My goal is to offer hope, help and solutions for day-to-day living for the diabetic. The disease can be controlled. It can be managed. And, you can do it!

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Posted in Diabetes Control, Lessons From Diabetes

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