With the full holiday season just around the corner (everyone got their Halloween costume ready?), we PWDs are going to be inundated on an almost regular basis with folks offering up the sugary sweets that come with this loathsome time of year. And while we all know the "tools of the trade" and the tactics for survival, it sometimes comes down to a much more emotional decision: is this particular treat bolus-worthy? Is it really worth the stress and anxiety of dealing with measuring and dosing, testing and retesting, and potentially screwing up our BG control for the whole day?
How do YOU decide whether or not to indulge in that rare Snickers bar or frosting covered snowman? When is worth the risk of "ruining" a perfectly good blood sugar track? I wrote about this around the same time last year, when my oldest daughter offered for the very first time to treat me to a cup of coffee — and I almost said no. If I can't deal with the consequences of a single latte, how can I ever manage Halloween? Or any of the holidays, for that matter?
Once again, I turned to the TuDiabetes community to find out how others handle the temptation of potentially bolus-worthy goodies, and how they manage the side dish of guilt that so often comes with indulging.
One TuDiabetes member, PowerPumper, responded to our little survey by saying, "I refuse to feel guilty. I work hard at controlling my sugars and taking care of myself. When I indulge, I indulge. I celebrate. I enjoy. I feel good about the occasion and the people I'm with. I may or may not pig out; I likely will, but there have been times I've been restrained. I bolus for it, and I test and adjust and test some more." Seems like a smart sensible way to handle the situation. I wish it were that easy for me to 'let go'!
Adhering to the common "don't arrive hungry" rule, Leona noted that she tries to eat a protein bar before in advance of being faced with tempting treats. "I'm far less likely to be hungry!" She also asks if others want to share her treat, and indulge with her. That way, she gets a little less damage than if she'd eaten the whole thing, but still gets a chance to enjoy.
Guilt, it seems, is all in the mind anyway, as Mark notes: "It doesn't matter what it is, it's going to raise the blood sugar." So true! How many of us have been recommended apples or granola bars as "safe alternatives"? Last time I checked, granola bars still had plenty of carbs!
There's always the "one-day deal": in a recent Self magazine article, a woman was quoted saying that she keeps her weight controlled by celebrating each holiday, just once. That is, she enjoys herself on that one day, guilt-free, and then is very is strict about getting "back on track" the next day. Not a bad idea, if you can manage it. The holidays are stressful enough as it is, right?
As Mark pointed out, "This is the only life we get." We should enjoy it, especially the special times with our families. But enjoyment doesn't always have to mean indulging in treats, correct? Of course, enjoying good food is the spice of life, but it's all about that precarious balance ... deciding, over and over, which special choices are — and which are not — "bolus-worthy."