Diabetes and Health: The Power of a New Perspective

This post was contributed by Grace Sinopoli, NDTR, WN4DC Symposium Intern

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. -Wayne Dyer

How often do your patients come to you with “diabetes distress”?

Living with and managing diabetes can lead to fatigue, tension, and burnout in up to 40% of patients. Perhaps you have felt distress and burnout yourself in your work with patients or clients with diabetes. Have you ever felt frustrated or that your approach hasn’t been successful? As you’ll learn from Elizabeth Michaels, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE’s presentation during the Weight Neutral track of the Weight Neutral 4 Diabetes Care Symposium, a shift in perspective can have a powerful impact on your practice, and ultimately your patients’ outcomes.

Empower patients to align their values with their health behaviors

Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

One major shift you can make is to learn about and eventually transition from a provider-centered to a patient-centered, collaborative model of diabetes care. In patient-centered care, we as clinicians work as a team with our patients, involving them in the decision making surrounding their care, and “empower [patients] to align their values with their health behaviors.” This represents a paradigm shift from the common provider-centered approach, in which clinicians tell patients what they want them to do, or what the patients “need to do.” The collaborative model centers the patient, it’s been shown to increase patient adherence and improve outcomes because it incorporates what we know to be true about stages of change theory.

Elizabeth will also invite you to redefine success and goal setting in diabetes management. By embracing a weight-neutral approach, we reduce shame and guilt while freeing up space to work on evidence-based goals and outcomes that truly make an impact on diabetes care. You’ll also learn more from Elizabeth about the science behind the weight-neutral approach, and how to refine this approach for yourself, for sharing with other health professionals, and above all for your work with patients and clients. 

Wondering how you can shift your perspective? Join us this July to learn more from Elizabeth Michaels’ presentation and come share your perspective!


Grace Sinopoli is a dietetic intern at UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial and an alum of the University of Dayton. As a soon-to-be registered dietitian, she is passionate about the intersection of Health at Every Size, food insecurity, and social justice, and she is an advocate for ending weight stigma and diet culture in all areas of life, especially healthcare. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or at gracesinopoli1@gmail.com.