Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” has a popular verse on choices. ….two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

The road less traveled can make all the difference. The debate becomes a difference of what? Is it a difference in roads to travel, highway or one-lane? Is it a difference in short sleeves and shorts or long sleeves and pants? Is it a difference in dealing with a chronic disease or hastening the complications?

People tend to choose the convenient and habitual. They avoid the uncomfortable feeling of going against what they have always done. But doing what they always have done is going to give them exactly what they always got. No change, in spite of the risk of inconvenient or harmful complications.

Driving on a one lane road instead of a highway may offer more pleasant scenery but the consequences may result in a later time of arrival, possible traffic jams and a higher risk of an accident due to more distractions.

The wardrobe choice of warm weather clothes versus cold weather clothes could mean the difference between sweating and chill bumps. A chronic disease often demands treatment for symptom control.

At times choosing a path is hard because it means changing familiar and convenient habits. With chronic disease noncompliance and denial is a common route. Taking the road less traveled can make all the difference.

No one wants to deal with health issues, especially when it means making lifestyle changes. No one desires to alter their habits and lifelong behaviors unless pain and disability are unbearable.

Many people dealing with the chronic disease of diabetes expect a medical professional to hand them a list of forbidden foods within a 15-minute time frame to control runaway blood glucose levels. The less time the topic of insulin insensitivity is discussed, the less time they have to think about developing a new routine normal for their lives. If they actually have to pay for the information to control diabetes, they refuse and deny education.

A diabetic educational plan spells out the fact that your diet is not just what you eat. It is what you watch, how you move, how long you move, the medications you take, the medications that you do not take, what you listen to, what you read, the people you associate with and the things you engage your mind and soul.

The road less traveled requires always being aware and mindful of the things you put into your body, emotionally, spiritually and physically. With diabetes taking the road usually traveled will not affect runaway blood sugars or tingling feet.

It’s time for the road less traveled – just get started. Progress, even a little, will reduce unwanted complications, energize your motivation and boost your well-being. As Frost knew, the road less traveled by can make all the difference.


Bobbie Randall

Contributing columnist

Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator, registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a Diabetes Self-Management Training Program at Dunlap Community Hospital, Orrville, Ohio. Contact her at [email protected].

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