I want to bring up a subject that seems to come up a lot among diabetics who are eating the LCHF way or any other alternative diet for diabetes. The subject of dealing with friends, family members, co-workers and food!
You know what! Nobody cares! Really! Get this through your head right now! Get a clue! The rest of the world (for the most part) is not thinking of the diabetics in the room when it comes to dinners, parties, birthday treats at work, etc., etc., etc.
In fact, my experience has been that the thought process of others is more like that of the medical profession and the diabetes educators in general; "Just eat what everyone else eats in smaller portions and take your medications or insulin, if need be, and play nice!"
In my own family, on both my side and my husband's side, there is no thought to the diabetics when making the menu for a family gathering like Thanksgiving even though it would be very easy to accommodate with a side salad or some non-starchy vegetables added to the menu along with the stuffing and mashed potatoes.
Oh, and I love it when someone says to me "Well, your sister is a diabetic and she is eating the cranberry sauce!" or "Come on, it's a holiday. You can forget your diet today!" Ah.... diet! I'm not on a "diet". I'm trying to control a disease!
In my small office of five people, two of us are diabetic and another is pre-diabetic. At our monthly meetings, donuts are still served and birthday treats brought in are still brownies and caramel bars! Even the other diabetic is the one bringing the donuts to the meetings! Oh, she throws in a few apples once in a while to satisfy herself that she is trying to offer healthy foods. Of course, the apple will be eaten later, after the donut but at least one can fool themselves into thinking that they made a wise choice!
Let's face it, when it comes to gatherings, we are the odd balls! I sometimes feel a bit like "bubble boy". Oh, I've heard about the comments made behind my back at the office regarding the butter I keep in the fridge there and the coconut oil that I put in my coffee at work. I don't announce it or anything but they all know. I've been told that when I am not there they discuss my foolishness and wonder how long it will be before I fall over of a stroke. All of this, of course, discussed while they munch on chocolate covered donuts in the break room.
I've gone away hungry more than once with a table full of food. The comments made to me by others is that there was plenty of food available so if I went away hungry it was my own fault.
Well, I guess that is true! I am the one who has to think about my food plan. No one else is thinking about it at all. Should I call them ahead and ask what is on the menu? Should I offer to bring a dish and then bring one that I can eat and others can eat or choose to pass on? Should I eat before I go? Well, how rude would that be; to eat at home and then decline to eat at the gathering?
It has been said, and I agree, that Diabetes is no longer looked at as a serious disease. That label is saved for diseases like Cancer or Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke! Most diabetics, when diagnosed are not even told that there are dangers of all of the above other diseases along with loss of limbs, eyesight, or kidney damage. It seems that to most of the "normal" world these complications are completely unthought of. Only those who have seen a diabetic parent, sibling or friend go through these horrible complications seem to understand.
I don't have all of the answers to this yet but I do know one thing for sure, nobody else is going to change for me so I need to "suck it up and deal with it". No amount of whining or complaining is going to change anything. I know that many of you can identify with this blog post and have your own experiences. I hope that this will help you to be strong and find ways to help yourself by realizing that you can't expect the world to understand you.