A Grumpy Christmas
I’ve been grumpy at Christmas for many years, from long before I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. My Christmas jumper is not only horrible but seems to give me a rash. I don’t like Christmas music, especially when I have been hearing it continuously since the end of October. I met a reindeer once and he smelt terrible. Oh, and don’t get me started on how creepy elves are…
Things only got worse after my diagnosis with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D); a key part of my self management regime is controlling my diet and limiting the amount of carbohydrates I eat. This is never easy for me, and the festive season makes it even harder. My office looks like the aftermath of an accident in a sweetshop with every spare surface covered in chocolates. Each time come back to my desk, some kindly soul has left me a slice of Christmas cake or a mince pie. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas cake and do appreciate the sentiment. It’s just that I don’t need to eat 5,000 calories a day when I am running a marathon, never mind during a normal office day.
To make things tougher, and me even grumpier, for every mince pie there is a friend or colleague asking me “should you be eating that?” For each box of chocolates being passed around the office there is someone saying “don’t give him one, he has diabetes”. Having T2Ds doesn’t mean there are things I can’t eat, and I do know that however tactless, these comments are well intended. Nonetheless they cause my blood pressure rise, make me increasingly irritable, and do nothing to help my self control slipping.
So what can I do this year to stay self controlled and make myself seem less like The Grinch? Here is my plan;
I am going to have a bit of everything I fancy, but I am going to be careful about portion sizes. Saying no to something tempting increases frustration and often ends in my self control failing. It is more enjoyable and better for me to have a little of something, and it is Christmas after all
I am going to keep exercising; as part of the Diabetes UK 1 Million Step Challenge earlier this year I set myself a target of walking 15,000 steps every day, and I am going to stick to it, even on Christmas day. There is nothing nicer than a good walk after a big meal, and it’s great for my blood sugar control as well
- I am not going to parties hungry; that’s always a disaster for my self control, especially if there is a buffet. A healthy snack before I arrive is a much better choice than getting increasingly hungry as the night goes on and then eating more than I would have done otherwise
- I’m not going to keep the house full of treats; there are more than enough around in the office and when I am out and about. I know from long experience that the temptation to snack in the evenings is too great
- No mince pies before 4pm; however tasty they are, they are not the foundation of a healthy breakfast. Knowing I am going to have one later, and that I will enjoy eating it without feeling guilty, helps me avoid snacking all day
Finally, I am going to enjoy myself and not beat myself up if I do slip from the plan a bit - that’s my Christmas present to myself