Yes, I have diabetes & I can EAT a COOKIE

Written by Quinn Nystrom

I was at a meeting last month with well educated people who were 20 years my senior. We were seated in a fancy meeting room with white linen tablecloths on all of the surrounding tables. We had just finished our delicious entrée of a chef’s salad when the dessert plate was put in front of us. Without even thinking I grabbed one chocolate chip cookie. I hadn’t even gotten the cookie back on my plate when a woman sitting two chairs away from me snaps in, “Are you sure you should be eating that?” I looked right back at her and said, “Why, is it yours?”

 

The sad, but very honest truth is that I get comments like this on a weekly basis. I call them the “diabetes food police”. It’s a sad reality that people with diabetes have to face on a frequent basis. Now I understand that when most people are playing the food police they have good intentions, but being on the other side of things it can become exhausting.

 

The night of “cookie gate” I was in a sassy mood so I wasn’t offended and just responded with a funny response back. But there have been occasions where my own insecurities take the better of me and I take the comments very personal. Instead of just thinking, these people just aren’t up to date on the latest information about type-1 diabetes, I take it as they’re trying to tell me that I’m doing a poor job managing my chronic illness.

 

The truth is someone with type-1 diabetes is allowed to have a dessert if they would like…really they can eat whatever they would like. My endocrinologist (diabetes doctor) just tells me to do everything in moderation. If I want birthday cake, have a slice of it; just don’t eat the whole cake in one sitting. But I look at that as, isn’t that the advice you would give any other human?

 

Have you ever experienced the diabetes food police?