More Than Numbers: I Am Greater Than My Highs and Lows

We are thrilled to introduce Ben Tzeel as a contributor to the One Drop blog! As our One Drop In-House Fitness Guru, Ben will be serving up tons of fitness knowledge. You can also find him repping One Drop as a One Drop Ambassador; just look for him in the Community feed! 

More Than Our Numbers

People have a fascination with numbers. They like gathering data; people like comparing data; they manipulate data into saying all sorts of things. People love numbers because numbers don’t lie. They are typically objective bystanders that will tell the story as it is. They create accountability, clarity, and sometimes, help achieve results. People love numbers because they allow you to create a label, to group things into categories. They allow others to point a finger 👉 at you and ask questions❓. To praise or place blame.

So naturally, what do the endocrinologists of our lives, the healthcare overseers, the insurance companies, and everyone looking at our diabetes data do? Make us into numbers. 

“Oh, your blood sugar was 4️⃣1️⃣7️⃣. What did you do to make that happen?”

“Your A1c is 8️⃣.4️⃣%. You need to make some major changes.”

“Congrats! Your A1c is 6️⃣.2️⃣%. You are doing great.”

We Have a Choice

Diabetes can be brutal on a lot of days. There are unexplained lows that interrupt workouts. There are unexplained rises in blood sugar after taking the same bolus. At the same time. After eating the same food you ate the day before. And after taking the same pre-meal blood sugar. It’s more obnoxious than sitting in the middle seat on an airplane with a screaming baby sitting directly behind you and the person in front of you reclining their seat all the way back.

Even still, through it all, we have a choice in how we deal. You can look at diabetes through a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty approach. You can choose to see diabetes as a little nuisance to deal with that just so happens to bring about opportunities you never would have received had you not been diagnosed.

No one is perfect. Life is a bunch of peaks and valleys. If the road was constantly flat, I’m pretty sure we’d all be bored to tears. It’d be like a never-ending drive through those flat, empty, wide-open spaces (I’ve been there before). Life is about reaching those pinnacles you shoot for and those dreams that you want to achieve. It’s about taking those risks. It’s about falling flat on your face, but having the will to get up and try again.

Diabetes will knock you down sometimes. But we can’t put a label on each and every number and allow those numbers to dictate our happiness. They are just numbers.

It’s Up to You

Only you have the choice as to how you respond to the numbers. You can make them the focal point of your life. Any time there’s a high or low, you can flip out over being out-of-range.  Alternatively, you can use your numbers as a source of external validation of yourself, for that ego-boosting “I just ate a pint of ice cream and now I’m 110 so I’m a champ!” Or, you can be non-reactive, take care of the blood sugars as they happen, live with no boundaries, and go dominate your path. Life is short. Diabetes should never stop you from doing anything you want to do. There is so much more to life.

We are greater than our highs and lows. We are more than our numbers.



Ben Tzeel
Ben Tzeel

Ben Tzeel is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is currently attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, finishing his Master’s Degree in Nutrition and becoming a Registered Dietitian. Ben has lived with Type 1 Diabetes since 1999 and has never allowed it to hold him back from achieving his goals. He is a published fitness model and contributes content about exercise and nutrition to many websites, including One Drop & Diabetes Strong, where he is the Fitness Editor. He offers personalized online fitness and nutrition coaching to motivated clients. Reach out to him at or on Instagram at @manoftzeel.