Holiday Cheer… with Diabetes at Tow

With this month’s Diabetes Social Media Advocacy blog carnival, founder Cherise Shockley left it up to us to choose what to write about based on the DSMA talks from your month of November (FYI: you can participate in those chats every Wednesday at 9pm EST on Twitter).

With Hanukkah beginning this evening and Christmas coming up this weekend, we’re obviously drawn to the theme of “Celebrating the holidays with diabetes,” so Allison and I could every share a little about how we handle things this year.

The holidays are supposed to be a time spent with loved ones, reflecting on the year and observing the great things, but it can be tough to stay confident with diabetes nipping at your heels! Here is how we cope…

The greatest obstacle I have faced in the holidays is being mindful of what I’m eating. This was a huge obstacle when I worked at an office and was constantly surrounded by biscuits, candy and other goodies which individuals would bring in the kitchen. Willpower is not something I’ve mastered, and I often would think, “Well, I’ll only bolus for it!” Everything sounded bolus-worthy! But inevitably I wouldn’t really understand what I was eating and I would forget that I ate something due to grazing, and I would wind up pursuing my blood sugars the rest of the day.

I work in the home, it has been a lot easier to keep things in check. But we hosted a holiday party in our apartment, and guess what we’ve: leftovers! So that has been another obstacle. What I’ve been trying to do this year is only pace myself, and to understand that my life is not going to be terrible when I do not attempt everything, or at least not all at once! In addition, I attempt to focus on my absolute preferred things. I try to avoid eating food “only to test it” or finishing food that I’m not completely crazy about. Sometimes at holiday parties or dinners, I’ll just keep eating because it’s on my plate — even when I’m full or do not care for what I’m eating! How nuts is that?

I think that it’s also important to be more sympathetic with your self and to not destroy your holiday season since you miscalculated a bolus. As long as you are trying, I think that counts for a great deal. The worst thing is to eventually become completely apathetic and disengage from your health, which I understand all about firsthand. Your diabetes shouldn’t ruin the holidays for you, but guarantee that the holidays do not ruin your diabetes.

I’ve actually been pretty damn good at willpower all of my life. Long before I had diabetes, I watched my food intake very closely (even too closely at times). Thus, I’ve never had problems with gaining weight over the holidays — before last year. My Pilates teacher is still teasing me about the SIX POUNDS I gained between Thanksgiving and early January this past year, despite exercising fairly frequently the whole time.

It seemed so unjust! Those years of diligence, and everything I really do is enjoy a little extra brie and a couple of fermented goodies (I finally broke down and roasted myself a few desserts so that the holidays didn’t need to be a spectator sport, i.e. me watching everybody else enjoy treats). Afterwards, I decided the weight gain was due to two items, that I have to work on combating this year:

1) “a little bit more” also often — a few extra chips, extra cheese, extra sauce, etc. day following day adds up. No way round it!

2) “middle-age spread” — God, how I hate that term. They say it begins in individuals over 50, which I am not yet, Thank You Very Much. But I’m positive that my metabolism is currently slower than it used to be. I can not absorb that “little bit more” like I used to. insert primal scream

This year, I did quite well over Thanksgiving, by sticking almost exclusively into the veggies and turkey. But in a party two nights ago, a friend showed up with a flourless chocolate ganache cake. How sweet! (Err, are you wanting to kill me)

Hanukkah begins tonight, and I’m very excited to get festive with my family every night. On Friday, we are hosting about a dozen teenagers for a Hanukkah party. Which should all be plenty of fun. And food, food, food, damn it. My fortune, the conventional Hanukkah dish is about the worst thing imaginable for your diabetes and watching your weight: Latkes, aka lumpy potato pancakes fried in gobs of petroleum. Yum. Yikes!

My strategy is to limit myself to one or two of those rich buggers per night, while stuffing up on veggies or salad and hummus that I plan to keep around. However, the Latkes are moving in, complete with ” slightly more” carbohydrates and calories than I would otherwise consume.

Forget New Year’s Resolutions. That’s too late. I’m resolving immediately to have a few simple steps to bypass the vacation poundage: Drink lots of water, particularly between all those glasses of champagne and wine we’ll be enjoying. And workout every day — at least a good run if I can not make it into the gym. Oh, and test often and dose vigorously. These are always great moves: I only require special incentive within the holidays!

Hanukkah present yourself: jeans shall match come January.

It is also a holiday tradition here in the ‘Mine to point you into the ebook, Nuggets of Wisdom, released a couple of years back after a very successful Holiday Tips contest collection. Throughout the giveaway, we collected all kinds of information from the DOC about the best way best to handle holiday meals, travel, anxiety, the Diabetes Police, and more. We gathered this information in an ebook, superbly designed by Gina Capone. The information may have been motivated by the holidays, but believe us, these suggestions use the rest of the year also. So have a look. We hope it helps!

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For additional information click here.

Disclaimer

This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a customer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and does not adhere to Healthline’s editorial guidelines. To learn more regarding Healthline’s venture with Diabetes Mine, please click here.

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