Brace Yourself! Holiday Foods are Upon Us!
The holidays are upon us. Hopefully, many of us have survived Thanksgiving to an extent. Perhaps some of us felt like we succeeded, and some of us felt like we failed. The holidays are a rocky period that might challenge the newest ones of us in finding ways to manage our ship through the wakes of diabetes management.
I’ve written extensively in the past on various tricks, techniques, or ideas, on how to manage holiday eating. But I don’t think that I’ve spoken on a personal note as to what is my approach. And what I say might be controversial to some, and I’ll temper that with:
- This is not dietary advice
- I am not a registered dietitian or a nutrition professional
- You must find your own diabetes management that works for you, with the advice of your medical team
I am simply a person living with diabetes, and trying the best that she can to run a marathon; a long life with the best possible choices, because this isn’t simply a six month fad diet which I can afford to dump later, when I’m bored. That is the long and short of my premise of survival, err, diabetes management.
What Matters to Me
What matters to me is not feeling deprived. Deprivation makes me immediately want to ditch everything, and throw the baby out with the bathwater.
It isn’t merely making ‘fake’ food equivalents of foods I enjoy, but actually getting to enjoy the REAL foods I love, with friends and family, on occasion. The idea that I might be a prisoner to lack of choices, a prisoner to a health condition, and that I might not be allowed to eat x or y food, for the rest of my years, is not a very productive idea toward my ‘adherence.’
So for me, consistency is more valuable than perfection. The idea that I can make the best choices, on a day to day basis, as a kind of savings account toward those ‘special’ moments with loved ones, is very freeing. And it gives me a LOT of wiggle room to breathe, and be myself.
So I might spend most every week eating healthier foods, so that on a day like Christmas, all I have to seriously worry about is not eating so much that my pants won’t fit; and not eating so much that my vision might become blurry.
Having a little bit of something; of everything I love, without constantly beating myself over the head that ‘I have no self control,’ or that I have failed to be ‘balanced,’ or that I needed to have some lesser tasting item in order to appease the diabetes gods, is nothing short of a resounding victory for me.
When I do this, I know that I have gotten to enjoy a good day with friends and family, and that the next day I can go back to living a healthful life, like any healthy person, and know that the complications of diabetes mismanagement are not the result of one day of extravagant choices.
Did you know that diabetes is a risk factor for developing chronic kidney disease?