Native American Diabetes Project

Meeting 5: Staying on the Path!

Congratulations! Today is a time to celebrate all of your accomplishments!

Just as we always do let's take a few minutes to review the things we have talked about over the last few months.

So far we've talked a lot about exercise, fat, sugar and how to ask for and give support!


Exercise is done for at least 20 minutes, all at one time

3-4 times per week

Your heart beats faster

You sweat a little

You breathe a little harder than usual

You feel you are working a little

Should be easy enough to talk to someone
       while your're exercising, and

It's fun!

Exercise can prevent diabetes and can also lower blood sugars !

Eat less
We said eating less fat is important. Ways you can eat less fat are:

Eat less butter and lard.

Rinse and drain cooked ground beef with hot water.

Trim the fat off of meat and chicken and
       throw it away before cooking.

Bake, broil, and boil meat instead of frying.

Drink low fat or fat free milk instead of
       regular whole milk.

Eat less
We said there are five easy ways to eat less sugar.

Eat sugar-free Jell-OTM and sugar-free pudding.

Use sugar substitute.

Drink sugar-free soft drinks, punch, and Kool-aidTM.

Eat fewer sweets like cakes, pies, cookies and
       sweet snacks and eat them less often.

Use less sugar in everything you eat!

we can!
And we said the best way to get support is to ask for it!

Choose the right time.

Ask if it is a good time to talk.
Is it the right place?
Are they in the right mood?
Are you in the right mood?

Introduce the idea.

Use positive statements
Be specific
Start small with something you know you can be successful at
Give people a choice

Say that you need help.

Spouse Children
Grandchildren Relatives
Friends Other participants

Say what you need and why you need it.
       For example, try this..."I am so happy when
       you walk to the post office with me. Can you
       walk there with me this afternoon or evening?"

Thank you!

As we
on our
Sit back and relax as we continue our journey,
Through the Eyes of the Eagle!
Think of your own journey over the past year and what you have done to become Stronger in Body and Spirit, and how you have helped others in your family and community along the way.

The Eagle has seen his vision come true! The Native People of golden brown are once again exercising their bodies, eating foods that are low in fat and low in sugar and helping each other to be Strong in Body and Spirit!

The Eagle knows that changes are hard to make and keep. Getting more exercise, eating less fat and less sugar and asking for help from our families and friends is hard to do everyday.

The Eagle knows that there are good days and bad days. He knows Native People want to be Strong in Body and Spirit! and are doing their very best to get more exercise, eat less fat and less sugar and ask for help.

Strong in
Body and
The Eagle sees Native People setting examples for the children and grandchildren in the communities, so they will be healthy and strong too.

The Eagle sees Native People learning from each other and giving support and encouragement to others as they make healthy changes in their exercise and eating habits.

The Eagle knows that by sharing their new knowledge, and giving support to one another, Native People are helping each other to be Strong in Body and Spirit!

Life is a
Life is a journey, with ups and downs, smooth times and bumpy times, and roads that cross. We have to decide which way to go!

Diabetes can be thought of as one of those bumpy times of life! Once you have diabetes, you have diatetes forever. While medicine can make the diabetes better, it cannot cure diabetes. Even though someone has a good blood sugar now, it will go up and down depending on many different things: food, or activity, or illness, or stress, or medications.

You have
lots of
to make!
Every day is different when you have diabetes. You have lots of choices to make that affect your blood sugar. You have to decide which way to go!

You've already started making changes over the past year are on your way to being Strong in Body and Spirit! You've learned you can control diabetes through more exercise, eating less fat and less sugar.

can feel
Strong in
Body and

You've also learned that your family, children, grandchildren and friends can delay or prevent diabetes through getting more exercise, eating less fat and eating less sugar!

You are learning how to make through those bumpy times with diabetes. While there will still be bumpy times, the road should be a little smoother. And when the bumps occur, you'll be ready to handle them.

How can I
stay on the
The Eagle has seen the Native People becoming Strong in Body and Spirit! He knows that you are moving in a healthy direction. You've decided which way to go! You are Staying on the Path!.
Five easy
ways to
Stay on
the Path!
You need to know which way to go in order to get there! Here are 5 easy ways to help you Stay on the Path!.
1. Set goals
and give
yourself a
You've been setting goals and giving yourself rewards all along in this program. You've set goals for exercising more, eating less fat, eating less sugar and asking for support.
2. Solve
Decide what the problem is and find a way around the problem so that you can continue to move forward.

For example, you like sugar in your coffee, but know the added sugar can raise your blood sugar.

Solution: you go to the store and buy a supply of Equal packets and start to make the switch from sugar to Equal. You keep Equal packets in your purse or pocket and on the table.

3. Cope!
Did you know that your thoughts create your feelings? Well it's true! If you think more positive thoughts, you'll have more positive feelings about yourself and those bumps of life will seem just a little easier!

For example, if you feel like you'll never be able to exercise more, try some positive thoughts! "I am doing the best I can with my exercise, and although I didn't walk today, it's okay. I will walk to the post office tomarrow!"

4. Develop
a support
Ask for help from your family and friends and give support to others who are making changes too! Choose the right time, introduce the topic, say why you need their help, say exactly what you need and thank your family and friends for their help.

Remember that when we help others, we help ourselves too!

5. Stay
Remember when you are in control of your own decisions you are in control of your diabetes!
You make
your own
The Eagle also knows there will be times when we will make choices that aren't as good for us. That doesn't mean that you aren't motivated. You're still motivated but other bumps along life's path have come along. Try not to let the bumps along lifes' journey take control of you. You can still be in control of your decisions.
Be aware
of the
on you!
Did you know there are lots of things that can influence your decisions, even when you aren't aware of it? It's true! In order to Stay on the Path! and choose a healthful life, it can help if you are aware of the things that influence our decisions. Here are some of the things that influence us when we are making a decision.
Many of our eating choices are influenced by the traditions we grew up with! Take a minute and think about the foods your mother or grandmother cooked. The food she cooked for you tasted good. Not only did the food taste good, but you also got warm feelings from your family when you were together. The food tasted good and also connected you to your family.

What family traditions can you think of and how do they influence your decisions? Are there ways to use family traditions to help you and your family Stay on the Path?

Culture can influence our thoughts and behaviors too. Culture can influence the foods we eat, and the activities we do. Take a minute and think about our Feast Days. There's always lots of food and dancing.

What things can you think of from Feast Day and how do they influence your decisions?

What strengths from your culture can help you to Stay on the Path?

As you know the television, magazines, newspapers, and radio and advertisements really try to grab our attention and influence us. Sometimes these massages are unhealthy for us and our children

What are some of the television, radio, magazine, or billboard ads that influence your behavior?

What are ways you can overcome negative messages from advertisers?

Habits or our "usual ways," can be our friends or our enemies, depending on if they are good habits or unhealthy habits. We can turn unhealthy habits into good habits by making it easier to do the good habits. For example, we can buy sugar-free soft drinks instead of regular soft drinks, and then when we feel like drinking a soft drink, we'll have the sugar-free kind available! It is important to remember it takes six weeks to create a habit. So, if you start exercising, keep it up for six weeks and then it will become a good habit!

What are some habits that influence your behavior?

How can you help healthy behaviors become good habits? (Hint: They say it takes six weeks to make something a habit!)

Let's take some time and watch this video together. It's from the White Mountain Apache people.

How did the video make you feel?

What faces do you remember?

What words do you remember?

on our
Remember the 5 easy ways to Stay on the Path!
Set goals and give yourself a reward!

Solve Problems!


Develop a support system!

Stay motivated!
Be aware
of the
on you!
Family Traditions

Our Culture



Make "good habits" by doing something
       good (like exercise) every day for six

Don't give

There will be times you go off the path, but get back on it as soon as you can! Be your own best friend! When you know the reasons why you do what you do, you are half way there to Staying on the Path!

The journey of life is full of bumps and diabetes is one of those bumps along the way. We always have new goals and new problems. There may be detours along the way but we know that we can get back on the path again. Sometimes we may need a jumpstart to get back on the path, but we know that we can ask our family and friends to help us get back on the path.

Plan to get
on the path
and Stay on
the Path!

Just like planning your garden, you have a plan how to Stay on the Path! You already have a plan to exercise and to eat low fat and low sugar foods. It is also important to plan how to Stay on the Path!

Take a few minutes and think about some ways you can plan to Stay on the Path! this week.

This week, in order to Stay on the Path! I will


My reward for Staying on the Path! at the end of the week is



I promise to do the best I can.

Thank you!
Thank you for your participation in this project. We will not be having any more formal meetings together like this, but we will be doing some other things in your community and will need your help and continued participation and support.

Don't forget to ask your clinic staff and CHRs if you need help. Let your tribal leaders know diabetes is a problem and you need them to support exercise and healthy eating programs.

A new vision
for you!
For a Healthier Tomorrow
by Georgia Perez

Great Spirit,

Thank you for another day in which I can spread my wings like the eagle, gathering wisdom and strength to make life's changes for a healthier tomarrow, through working the body and taking the time to enjoy each other and passing time.

Great Spirit,

We thank you for your blessings that have provided the healthy foods to nourish our bodies.

May we learn to appreciate and not take for granted all that we now know to make us healthier.

May we be open to accept change that will benefit not only ourselves, but our children as well.

Great Spirit,

Thank you for the sweet rewards that come from the soil that we work with our hands.

May the rewards be plentiful as our families grow healthier, to live longer and healthier lives.

Great Spirit,

Thank you for our family and friends.

May we continue to grow as one community for a healthier tomorrow, through supporting and sharing in time of need and joy.

Great Spirit,

And thank you for each and every day that we can enjoy the blessings that you have given to us.


What do
you think?
Before we finish, take a few minutes and tell us what you think about this meeting. Be as honest as you can, we want to know what you really think. This information will be used to make our program better.

What did you like best about today's session?

What didn't you like about today's session?

What would you add to this session to make it better?

Thank you for coming to the meeting.

  |Native Diabetes Project |Back to Top of the Page|
|Meeting 1: Exercise More! |Meeting 2: Eat Less Fat|
|Meeting 3: Eat Less Sugar |Meeting 4: Together We Can|
|Meeting 5: Staying on the Path!|

Copyright January 1995, First Edition, University of New Mexico, School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM 87131.