Diabetes Blogs

Why I Don't HEART Valentine's Day

Social gatherings are meant to be enjoyedHaving diabetes should not inhibit our social lives.


So, the holidays are over, right?  WRONG! What some of us fail to remember is the holiday eating season goes from Halloween through Valentine’s Day! Then we get to breathe for five minutes before getting hit with delicious Easter (and/or Passover) goodies just before we start to see the swimsuit ads in pre-season sales. (I’m not making this stuff up!  They’re doing it to us on purpose!)

So they’re out to get us…we just have to figure out who “they” are. “They” are the ones who campaign for candy and cakes to be put out on the counter at the office every single week. Those donuts are just calling our name as we walk by, aren’t they? Sometimes “they” are the ones who actually brought those goodies in, even though nobody really needs them. Those are the people who look at you and say, “Oh, you can have it just this once.” By the way, I wish I had a non-sassy answer to remarks like that, but I just don’t. I attempt to keep a pleasant tone when I reply, “No, I really can’t,” but try as I might, it just comes out snotty. I really think “No, thanks” should suffice without announcing at every turn, “I can’t, I’m diabetic.”

Diabetes should not inhibit our social lives. We should not have to pass on gatherings with family and friends because we can’t eat that. So how the heck can we deal with having a life and having diabetes at the same time? Well, we see many helpful hints online all the time, including all over this website, suggesting behaviors that we can try to turn into habits. The first thing we have to do, of course, is to be aware.  Read labels, know what’s going in our mouths, be selective, make good choices. (Easy for me to say, huh?)

One idea may be to make a “contribution” to the gathering with a dish or a snack that you know you can eat. Something that won’t send your blood sugar to the moon but is tasty enough to keep you from feeling deprived. My most recent guilty pleasure comes in the form of baked snap pea snacks called Harvest Snaps. They’re low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber crispy treats that won’t kill you, if you remember not to eat the whole bag in one sitting. I just have to remember my own rule of never, ever putting my hand into a bag of anything. I measure the snacks—even if I go back for more—so that mindless eating doesn’t take over and totally derail my good intentions.

You know, something that I learned only recently is that when you’re dealing with losing weight or maintaining a weight loss, falling off the wagon for a day probably won’t do too much harm, as long as you get right back on without delay. Diabetes, on the other hand, is an everyday thing. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got kidneys and blood vessels that just don’t want me to take a day off. So I don’t.

Holidays are meant to be celebrated. Social gatherings are meant to be enjoyed. Super Bowl parties are meant to be raucous and fun (even though my Packers weren’t  there this year…again). Enjoying life and managing diabetes are not mutually exclusive. It just takes some doing.

Stay well.  See you next time!


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