Food and Diabetes:
I think many of us can agree that the question we, as betics, get asked more than anything is some variation of : can you eat that/should you be eating that? And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten in heated debates over something as silly as a cupcake.
Now I know some betics who are absolute pros at carb counting icing and can do it with their eyes closed, I am not one of those. I do a guess and hope for the best lol (that doesn't stop me from enjoying the danged cupcake!) but guess what? The foods many non-betics deem us as “not being able to eat” are jut as annoying to carb count as some foods deemed “okay” by those same people! Fruit. Dude, fruit carb counting kills me. But fruit is “healthy” and therefore “okay” for a diabetic to eat.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Both a cupcake and an apple will spike my sugar. Both in the case of a cupcake and an apple, will I guesstimate my bolus and cross my fingers. But one is deemed okay to eat as a betic, and one isn’t. Crazy huh?
Crazy and also annoying as hell.
Food can be a complicated dance when you have the betes. And unfortunately, these types of comments from others lead to many betics getting into tangled relationships with food. Closet eating, binge eating, depriving themselves, and the people who make the comments go on to live their lives without any repercussions (unless eventually someone gives em a smack) It bothers me.
As awesome as social media is and the online community is and as much as I looooove this community that so many of us take part in and feel safe in, I hate when I see people (especially those who are highly revered in the community) making blanket statements about diets, foods, etc. I think that each person should do whatever the heck is best for them. High carb? Cool. Low carb? Sure. No carb? Why not. Keto? Go for it. Vegan? Get it done. Meat only? Grill on.
Everyone’s body is just as different as their diabetic care. And I’m fearful of what comments and blanket statements do to betics, because I know what it used to do to me. I hated birthday parties when I was a kid and the parents would give everyone an ice cream Dixie cup and just skip over me. Or hand out the cake and not even ask me. I know they weren’t doing it to be mean, but as a kid - it made me feel like such an outsider. And of course, my mom and I would’ve already come up with a game plan for cake, or ice cream or the pizza. I remember there being so many birthday parties I cried on the way home afterwards. I remember sleepovers where the parents wouldn’t give me popcorn or whatever snacks everyone else was having. I always had my own snacks, of course, in case of my blood sugar going low but I wanted to feel... the same.
And here I am 21 years later, still facing the same comments, same looks, same judgments....over food. For those of you who know me in real life, and if you’ve seen me eat - ya probably know I can pack some serious food away haha but looking at me (standing at 5’1” and a smaller frame) you probably wouldn’t guess that. And if you looked at my plate some days, you probably wouldn’t guess I’m a betic. I’m okay with that. I choose to do a "moderation" appraoch. I don't deprive myself of anything and am currently working on feeling less guilty about when I "indulge". I do fruit. I do chocolate. I do carb. I do protein. I do it all!
So yeah, in my approach- I choose to do the dance with food and sugar and sweets. Buuuuut I’m cool with those who don’t. Whatever your stance is on food and betes, whether your betic or not, please take into consideration the people who are reading your words, hearing your comments, and seeing your stares - it makes a difference. Many of us are ready a complex dance with the food we are choosing, whether YOU choose to see it or not <3