My husband and I are expecting baby #2 in January. It’s an exciting and nerve-racking time…two babies under 2 – yikes!

It hasn’t been the easiest pregnancy. I got shingles at six weeks, which was painful and itchy, lasting for about two weeks, and I’ve developed some awful varicose and spider veins running down both my legs, making it difficult to stand for long periods of time. But every pregnancy has it’s difficulties and aches and pains, and, heading into my third trimester I hoped I wouldn’t be in for any more surprises.

Alas, there was another surprise waiting for me.

I was told I have gestational diabetes. What?!?!

Really? One more thing I have to deal with? Running after a busy, curious toddler. Laundry. Dishes. Running my dating coaching business. Trying to have some sort of social life. Did I mention laundry?

Can you see the good in the bad?

My world has been totally rocked. Me? Diabetes? Initially, I felt completely deflated by the diagnosis. Three months to go in this pregnancy, and, now this.

Starting at 29 weeks, I had to completely change my diet and monitor my blood sugar levels four times a day by pricking my finger. Additionally, I have had to plan all my meals in advance, prep meals each day, meticulously count how many carbs are in each meal, and go to a whole boatload of new appointments (on top of all my OB/GYN appointments).

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

But here’s the silver lining.

When the frustration and disappointment of it all faded a bit, and I started researching the types of diet changes I’d need to make, I started to see the good news in the bad news.

I’ve always been a petite person with a skinny frame, so I’ve always been able to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted with little to no consequences (and, let’s just say, I have a MAJOR sweet tooth and affinity for all things starchy, which is only exacerbated when you’re pregnant). I consider myself extremely lucky, because I know the rollercoaster relationship many women have with food and their weight.

But maybe becoming more educated about food would be a good thing for me, I thought.

Maybe, in some strange way, getting gestational diabetes could be seen as a good thing, if only to help me learn how to eat better, how to combine foods in healthful ways, how to eat foods that keep my energy levels high throughout the day so that I can be there physically and mentally for my daughter and baby #2 long after she is born, and so on and so forth. I have no excuses. I have to do this, for the health of my growing baby and my own health – present and future.

When it comes to your love life, do you see where I’m going with this analogy?

Are you able to see the good in the “bad” things that have happened in your dating life and in past relationships? Can you start to see how things happen for you and not to you?

For instance, maybe you dated a man who disrespected you and treated you less than the way you deserve to be loved and treated. Instead of perpetually looking at this experience in a negative light, maybe you’re able to see the relationship for what it taught you about how you see yourself, areas for more growth, and what you really need to thrive in a relationship.

Write down a list of all the “bad” things that have happened to you. Then go through that list and look for the good, the opportunities in each of those experiences. How did they happen for you and not to you?

Seeing your love life as full of openings for learning and self-growth instead of seeing it as a burden you’d rather just ignore is the only positive choice in my opinion if you want to create a healthy, happy relationship.

So…even though it’s very difficult some days, when my fingers start to feel bruised from the pricking and I’m frustrated I can’t eat what others are eating (especially during the holidays or at parties), I am choosing to see my gestational diabetes diagnosis as an opportunity for learning and growth and better future health.

You can choose to see your dating and relationship experiences in this way, too.

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