Beyond Kübler-Ross

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Dr. Dennis Van Hoof, PhD, CLC

“Enter Stage 6 and thrive!”


Beyond Kübler-Ross

People who experienced a traumatic event typically go through 5 emotional stages in the order as defined by the famous psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross:

Kubler-Ross stage 1-5

It turns out that people who have been diagnosed with a life-changing disease, such as Diabetes, tend to follow the same pattern. They first can’t believe this happened to them and ask themselves: “Why me? This can’t be true. It is so unfair!” (Denial). They get frustrated, as it dawns to them that this changes their life forever. But they never chose to make this life change; it was forced upon them (Anger). They wonder if it is really true, as they experience the notorious “honeymoon” period, or they are given false hope that this is just temporary when they are told that a cure is right around the corner (Bargaining). That hope gets crushed when they realize that they are stuck with it; this is what their life will look like from now on (Depression). Some will stay depressed and reluctantly deal with the daily necessities, whereas others try to make the best out of their lives and look for ways to get back on track (Acceptance).

Once we’ve entered stage 5 (Acceptance) we still frequently fall back to the earlier stages while trying to manage our blood glucose levels and body weight during our busy lives. Even when we feel like we’re doing the very best we can, we still experience those outrageous fluctuations that just don’t make any sense. No matter how hard we try to follow the advice of our health care professionals, it’s just not that simple when our bodies refuse to cooperate and “life gets in the way.”

Then, after talking to your doctor, your mission is crystal clear and you know exactly what to do: eat healthy and exercise more.

But when you get home, your doctor’s instructions turn out to be easier said than done, as nobody told you how to eat healthy and exercise more.

Sadly, something devastatingly dramatic needs to happen before people are truly willing to make a life change. Manifestation of complications, such as retinopathy (becoming blind), nephropathy (kidney failure), amputations of toes, fingers or whole limbs, is the regrettable wake-up call that you should have taken your diabetes management more seriously.

While it sounds so simple to live a healthy life, it is unfortunately not so straightforward to actually do the obvious.

  • How do you implement a solid exercise regimen into your busy life?
  • What are healthy foods to choose from?
  • How are you going to keep this up for the rest of your life?

By organizing my life to manage my own diabetes through a structured healthy and active lifestyle, I came to realize that I had taken the step beyond mere Acceptance; I had entered stage 6 and now Thrive with diabetes. This makes me capable of doing things that I had never even thought were possible before I was diagnosed.

Kubler-Ross stage 6

If you are ready to follow me on that same journey leading to an organized healthy and active lifestyle for efficient diabetes management in an easily sustainable and enjoyable way, then contact me for a free Introductory Coaching Session. Or register for one of the upcoming Workshop series to learn The 3 Steps to Sustainable Lifestyle Changes©.

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In working with me, you will master the 3 key elements to help you get beyond the 5th Kübler-Ross stage and to enter stage 6 (Thrive), which is turning Diabetes or weight-related challenges and restrictions to your advantage. These 3 elements of The 3 Steps to Sustainable Lifestyle Changes© are:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Motivation
  3. Dedication

As you walk the path to success, you will discover that your only limitations are the ones that you set for yourself. You will also find that it is not your impressive accomplishments, but the journey itself that is your greatest achievement. Sooner or later, your consistency and the ease with which you are able to keep up your healthy and active lifestyle will be noticed by others too.

Are you ready to Thrive with your challenges and become an inspiration™ to others — with or without diabetes — by setting the example of a healthy and active lifestyle?

Besides these blogs, you can also follow me on social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Keep an eye out for my next blog, and I hope to see you soon to get you started on the journey to your new life!

—  Dennis


Dr. Dennis Van Hoof is a Certified Life Coach (CLC) with an academic PhD degree in Biochemical Physiology. By combining 20 years of first-hand personal diabetes experience with his in-depth scientific background, he developed a method to efficiently manage his own diabetes in a sustainable way. To learn how you can do this too, reach out for personal Diabetic Lifestyle Coaching or follow a group workshop that is specifically tailored to people with Type 1 or 2 Diabetes as well as pre-Diabetics and those at risk due to being overweight or obese. His clients thrive with their challenges and become an inspiration™ to others — with or without diabetes.

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2 Comments on “Beyond Kübler-Ross

  1. I LOVEEEE that you use the word “thrive”! Thriving with T1D is exactly what my goal is every day. Accepting limitations and settling are simply not in my nature. You hit it right on the mark with thrive. That is exactly what each of us should be doing. Great informative post and thank you for my new favorite word 😉

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