Now that Halloween is behind us that means the avalanche known as “The Holidays” is careening towards us. The holidays mean friends, family, parties, gifts, cozy nights, and one of my favorite things: food!
For all of us with diabetes, the food during the holidays can present us with one of the biggest d-management challenges of the year. Part of the challenge is trying to get our insulin and BGs to cooperate with fruit cake, but for me, the hardest part is more about managing the feelings around holiday food: should I or shouldn’t I?
The fact is that food-most of it not particularly diabetes friendly-is a big part of holiday traditions. It’s why we get together with friends, it’s what we use to celebrate the season, and it’s a centerpiece to many of the festivities. And because of that, it’s particularly hard to turn it down. Us folks with diabetes want to be in on the party, celebrating just like everyone else. But at the same time we know we’re going to pay the price with our blood sugars later. Yes, you can bolus for Christmas cookies, but it’s not easy to get that right. Very rarely have I dosed for a high - carb treat and had a nice 120mg/dL an hour later. It’s more like I have a layover around 239mg/dL and then drop back in to range later when I “fix it.”
There’s also the challenge of other people’s feelings about your diabetes and food. There will always be the relative that asks “are you allowed to eat that,” as if you need a hall pass to have a slice of pie. And there are folks who will worry incessantly that they’re being insensitive by serving sugary treats. Just this past Saturday my dear friend apologized for “not thinking about me” because she brought desserts to a party we threw for someone. I felt so bad that she felt bad! Not for one second did I want her to worry about me! Us folks with diabetes are used to being around lots of different types of foods in lots of situations-at the end of the day we have to decide for ourselves how to manage each situation. And we do this everyday anyways-it might just be more obvious around the holidays.
I’ll try and use this holiday season to educate when it’s appropriate, and also work to remind myself that the people in my life who love me are coming from a good place with their concerns. I’ll also try and practice a little moderation when it comes to all the treats around.
Do any of you have holiday coping strategies that have helped you? Please do share!